Shane Duffy "forgot what it felt like to play football" during Celtic days

By David Walton

June 9, 2021

Republic of Ireland centre-back Shane Duffy has addressed how he felt in his final few months at Celtic.

The former Hoops centre-back, who spent last season on loan from Brighton, was a sheer disaster from the get-go. A string of carelessly embarrassing errors led to Duffy becoming a joke figure amongst rival fans. Despite having a host of opportunities to put things right, things continued to go from bad to worse.

Now he finds himself back at Brighton and looking to reinvent himself. Duffy produced a man-of-the-match display with Ireland in Hungary last night as he looks to finally rid the demons of last season.

And as he thanked Ireland boss Stephen Kenny for putting faith in him, it’s clear he wasn’t happy with his final few months at Parkhead.

Speaking to RTE [08/06, 21:40], Duffy said: “It’s always tough when you go through a tough spell — most footballers do at some part of their career. I’ve went through it, and I’ve got a great manager who trusts me. I’ve got no complaints about not playing in the team [previously].

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“I try to play my role, trying to help the younger lads when I haven’t been playing football. So I’ve total belief and thanks to the manager for giving me a game, first and foremost. I enjoyed it again.

“I sort of forgot what it felt like to play football. Hopefully that’s the bad part over. Another rest and I’ll be ready to be back next season, kick on and show everyone how good I am again.”

Shane Duffy Celtic spell was a freak of nature

When Duffy signed, you’ll have done well to have found one fan who didn’t think he would make it here. After all, he arrived at Celtic Park with extensive Premier League and international experience. Not to mention the fact his physical skills were built up upon his arrival, a trait most suited to the Scottish game.

In the end, however, things blew up. Duffy would provide some of the worst performances ever seen by a Celtic centre-back. Whether it be domestically or in Europe, he was dreadful with the ball, woeful with his aerial judgment, and positionally all over the place.

Some of this can be legislated for given he was new to playing a high line. That’s not something he would ever have experienced with Brighton. In the end, you have to acknowledge that would’ve been a big change for him.

Shane Duffy struggled at Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

What was most disappointing about all of this however was how the initial struggles affected his confidence. There was no strength of character shown, and Duffy allowed it to consume him and effectively end his Celtic career. How he reacted to his early struggles was disappointing to say the least.

However, what can’t be forgotten is the player’s own personal struggles over the last year to 18 months. He’s had his fair share of knocks in his personal life, and that has to be taken into account when judging his displays. Everyone reacts differently to what Duffy has been through.

I certainly don’t wish for any ill well for him over the next season. Nobody can say he didn’t give it his all at Celtic. Unfortunately, a lack of confidence is what done him in combined with a lack of character to bounce back from it.

In other news, the Yokohama Football Association have made an interesting decision to try and control the Ange Postecoglou to Celtic narrative.