Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Banger Beavastuffin

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ BANGABEAVERSTUFFIN…

“We didn’t lose the game. We just ran out of time.” – Vince Lombardi.

. (Photo by Frederic Scheidemann/Getty Images)

ROXIE – 8/10 MOTM Miraculous show-stopping showgirl acrobatic antics surmount to nothing thanks to the fallible closing act that brought the curtain down. Haven’t seen a save like his death-defying double-stop since the school playground, and it took one of the remedial-class mad bar stewards to throw himself around the tarmac like that. A Celtic folklore hero in the making.

Robert Andrich of Bayer 04 Leverkusen scores their side’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

TONY THE TIGER – 5.5/10 – Roasted Tiger, anyone? Tony, enjoying a nap, failed to sense their goalscorer escaping his attentions to meet the corner and, bang!: 0-1. Thereafter it was caged tiger time as their pacy
bursts and tricky footwork had his stripes horizontal and his Hoops spiralling as he fought to keep tabs.

ZIDANE JURAN -6.5/10 – If the great ZZ can do it in a World Cup final, our ZJ can do it in the Mickey Mouse Cup Mustn’t Lose Match we eventually lost. Due to suffering from occasional Chronos Vision, where opposing players appear much younger than they actually are, Juran envisaged their keeper as a diminutive thirteen year-old and decided to lob him. He also experienced Looney Tunes Syndrome most of the game as PingPong sped away from him continually in the guise of Speedy Gonzales.

RAQUEL – 7/10 – A pretty good account of herself – unfazed by the furious midfield activity, she kept a cool -and gorgeous – head and was timeous and strong in challenges. Seemed well switched-on from the start,
unlike many others.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 25: Jeremie Frimpong of Bayer 04 Leverkusen is challenged by Cameron Carter-Vickers of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

GET CARTER – 7/10 – Piled full of calories from eating a full Thanksgiving Turducken before kick-off, he was in no-nonsense bouncer mode. When he could get near them. But their lack of physicality brought out the best of
Carter’s footballing nous, and his shift – making telling, key interceptions – was credible enough to warrant praise.

Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen is challenged by Nir Bitton of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

BLOCKCHAIN – 6.5/10 – First sign of the evening’s struggle would present itself as Nir false-flagged early and flaffed away possession. But the relationship between our lanky but vicious DM and the backline improved dramatically and he began to leverage the majority of possession our way in the second half. Disastrously, we then lose our best-performing midfielder to a friendly-fire head knock and dominance slips away.

Callum McGregor of Celtic and Amine Adli of Bayer 04 Leverkusen battle for possession during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

CALMAC – 5/10 – Probably his worst performance of the season. Nothing would run for him, couldn’t complete a decent pass, ended scurrying around chasing shadows as our metronome became a misplaced garden gnome and the game passed him by.

David Turnbull of Celtic takes a knee in support of the fight against racism prior to the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

EDDIE TURNBULL – 6/10 – A big test of his regenerative capabilities after struggling through 2 games on the Hampden coo-field at the weekend. Still on a high from pumping the Ugliebuglies on Sunday, his influence was minimised tonight by opponents from a higher plane of footballing existence. He did put himself about but unfortunately Calmac’s malfunctions limited Eddie’s chances to turn the match.

JAMESY – 5.5/10 – Cunning, cunning – a female lineswumin deployed to completely take Jamesy out of the first-half. An attractive girl, the look of askance shock she wore as she unsteadily made her way off at half-time told all about the sly grin on Jamesy’s coupon. Only when he realised the wings were switched in the
second period did he come alive and played a big part in our almost-winner, and SHOULD have been played in to kill the game by Turnbull minutes later.

MR.KOBAYASHI – 7/10 – Wee troublemaker pole-axed like a samurai by their goalkeeping ninja. Recovered to do his honourable duty as they hit a slump and he found more space. Tireless workrate paid off as he pounced on a slip to set up Notebook. If only we’d kept him on another ten minutes…

: Jota of Celtic celebrates with teammate David Turnbull after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021.. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

NOTEBOOK – 7.5/10 – The swashbuckling Zen Master of Club Tropicana blew us into ecstasy as he smashed in the second with his standing leg. They knew all about him as he went toe-to-toe with their best player – the one we gave them – and remained electrically-charged every time he got on the ball and countered PingPong’s troublesome roaming. Then… Subbed prematurely, and with him went a potent threat and our quality-level took a major hit.

SUBS:

McCARTHYISM – 5/10 – Well, big Blockchain’s slender but has reach and can give and take a hit whilst remaining a monolithic presence in the middle. Unfortunately McCarthyism was more makeweight, and coming into a furious game like that against crack opposition was an ask too much for him to exert any proper
control of a deteriorating midfield situation.

ABADASS – N/A – Kind of hid or just never really saw the ball.

THE YETI – 6.5/10 – No slouch for once – got involved, looked unusually engaged in proceedings, made a number of telling interventions that deserved better link-ups, and almost made the right contact to score a dramatic last-ditch equaliser.

MIKEY J – 4.5/10 – Oh, dear. Is it not always the angst-ridden story of big moments falling to the wrong player? With Notebook gone, in stepped Mikey; and there was Mikey failing to bury a third with his ‘bad’ foot, failing to use his footballing brain and send The Yeti clean in on goal. There was Mikey running out of time to prove himself a useful Celt and not another sand-dancer written-off to The History.

ANITA DOBSON – 6/10 – Oh, Ange, it was all going so well. And then you got a bit gallus. Another ten minutes with the wide Bhoys tiring them out and we’d have been cruising. But the subs dipped our quality, and they punished us with a resurgence in THEIR quality players that all the best sides can find. Lessons probably learned and dished out as he discovered our strength in depth was not enough to see out twenty minutes at top-level. Get knocking on the suits’ door in the morning, Ange.

Ange Postecoglou, Head Coach of Celtic looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

OVERALL – 7/10 – Flaming UEFA; they know fine well that the early Thursday matches should last only 80 minutes. Expecting our Bhoys to play an extra 10 without conceding like Keystone Cops in a John Carpenter movie is diabolical. And so Euro-Celtic did a Euro-Celtic and messed the pooch. Utter horror show defeat snatched from the jaws of a glorious victory, when even a draw would have been enough to force a showdown with Betis back in Glasgow.

After calamitous endings like this you don’t know whether to rage, rant or lament. Wasn’t it a fine effort against a top German side on their own patch? Or was it an unprofessional capitulation that showed we cannot compete properly at that level? You could argue both sides, but probably due to the very presence of an argument, and the fact we didn’t just get spanked and dismissed errs towards improvement in Celtic’s overall prospects of being a decent European force.

: Jota of Celtic celebrates after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

We do need everybody at their best, though, and tonight it was pretty evident that the midfield were struggling. However, up until Blockchain’s misfortune we were taking control, they were slumping, and prospects were looking… Well, incredible. Then somebody burst the dream-bubble and ‘I flamin’ knew it…’became the depressing awakening line. Turned out that on Thanksgiving day, we were the Wampanoags at the table and they robbed us of the promised land. Flaming turkeys…

So we drop out of the Mickey Mouse Cup and into the Tom And Jerry Conference which will at least give us some kind of European involvement, albeit a likely lunch date with Borat.

Yakshemash.

Go Away Now

Sandman

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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