The Dirty Dozen
Oh for the good old days when you only worried about injuries during the International breaks.
Covid-19 easily wins that battle these days.
I recall Celtic squads almost full of International players, so much so that it felt like a skeleton staff at Lennoxtown.
A quick squint at the current tells me we have somewhere around a dozen travelling to represent their home nation, not a small number at all.
The fact some of them will travel to or face countries with less than stellar medical features allied with a more basic way of life, might also mean the exposure opportunity is much higher than many would be comfortable with.
One piece of good news is Tam Rogic won’t be going anywhere. His nation has smartly postponed fixtures, so his notorious globe trot and subsequent jet lagged week not to mention fingernail biting chance of injury to those fragile magic wands will not take place.
This is however tempered by the fact Laxalt will be flying no small distance himself and then has a potentially explosive and draining World Cup Qualifier against Colombia on Friday night, which I will probably take in.
South America might not be our biggest risk though. The Norway Israel tie looks to be very risky, and we have four players there to enhance the risk factor. Norway has seen it’s own new kind of Covid from minks which ironically has entered Israels system also. Both nations are going through very large infection spikes right now.
We can only hope and pray there is no breach there, this is one meeting that holds the potential to seriously disrupt us.
Our Greek keeper will face three smaller nations, perhaps getting his mojo back, but another risk we can’t say no to while our Swiss International also falls into the same category.
One would imagine big Shane will be okay on Ireland duty, but the Bulgaria game stands out as a potential hiccup due to the fact it’s a poorer nation with many journeymen throughout those clubs to infect the international players involved.
The Scotland players also have their own worries on the virus front now unfortunately. Serbia, who Ajeti will probably face also, are trying to play two players who played against Lazio, a side which have had positive tests within the camp. Essentially a couple Serbs escaped before lockdown was announced, and now they wish to play them.
I wanted Griff to get some minutes under the belt, hopefully fire a few goals in to give the gaffer a real selection headache but with this news you’re just hoping someone somewhere sees some sense before serious repercussions arise.
So with a dozen players given three separate interaction opportunities each say, plus leaving the club/family bubble in the first place by simply meeting up with your national squad, members of the footballing department of Celtic Fc must brave around fifty infection opportunities.
And then our regular playing squad must reintegrate with them, “the dirty dozen” who have traversed the globe.
It’s bigtime gambling. It’s madness.
The light at the end of tunnel in the form of a vaccine looks near, which will end these Covid jaunts hopefully, but this particular International break is so very very ill-advised.
Me, you, Lenny and all connected with the club must await with bated breath the results of not the actual games or fixtures, but the virus tests after them.
That’s what its came to, the after game nose swab more important than the 90 minutes of action.
Fan A “Did you hear the result?”
Fan B ” Aye, Three and Two. Three goals, two positive tests!”
Fan A ” Are ye sure? I heard it was Three goals,three positives?
Fan B “I wish it was, I had a fiver on three n’ three!”