"There was a lot more than Shane Duffy wrong at Celtic"; Brighton coach absolves defender

By John McGinley

September 25, 2021

Brighton & Hove Albion coach Billy Reid reckons the poor form of Shane Duffy last season at Celtic was largely out of his control.

Duffy had a poor year on loan at the Bhoys after a much-hyped move north of the border from the Seagulls.

His defending left a lot to be desired and he was eventually bombed out of the team before returning to Premier League action this season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The 29-year-old has played every minute for Brighton in the English top-flight this term, helping them to four wins from their first five matches.

Reid reckons it’s vindication for his spell at Celtic, where the problems ran deeper than the Ireland captain.

Speaking to The Scottish Daily Mail [25/09 print edition, page 106], the Brighton coach said: “When Shane went to Celtic, I thought he’d be a huge success. So much went against him. He went there as a Celtic fan and never played in front of the supporters, which is incredible.

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“Everything just went wrong. He was in lockdown and all of that. He had a real hard time. But we knew the character of Shane coming back here. We knew the player.

“He talked of hitting the reset button and changing everything and you could see this was a different Shane Duffy to the two years when we first came in. I felt he was criticised far too much last season. There was a lot more than Shane Duffy wrong at Celtic.

“But he seemed to be the main guy getting the brunt of it, because he seemed to be the messiah coming up as the Ireland captain and so on. I think there was a lot of pressure on him. He’s left that behind and everybody at the club is delighted with how things have turned out for him.”

Photo by David Horton – CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s inarguable that Duffy has been impressive in a top league so far this season.

He may not have been a good stylistic fit for the Celtic defence, but I think there also has to be an admission the Bhoys did indeed have bigger problems than Duffy last season.

Celtic are now rebuilding and Ange Postecoglou has more than a few players on the right path, so everyone moves on.

It’s a shame it didn’t work out for the Ireland international though, given what a perfect match it looked like to begin with.

In other news, Chris Sutton fears imminent “nightmare” facing Celtic.

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