Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Deek’s Deadbeats


“Frankly, we theRangers international whiny pushsies are astonished – astonished we say – to see a decision go against us. Hitherto we shall be conducting a seance with the spectre of Bill Struth, it being so long since we experienced such an event we’re hoping the depraved old poltergeist can take time off haunting convent toilets to advise us on a ‘dignified’ way forward.” – theRangers International FC statement on Fatboy’s disallowed goal.


The ‘Astonishing’ Zombie Pop Quiz – What’s the Zombies’ favourite English team: Aston-ishing Villa…What’s the Zombies’ favourite car maker: Aston-ishing Martin…What’s the effects of viagra on a Zombie?: Astauner-shing…I thank you. I’m here all week…

ROXIE – 7/10 – Class on show from our veteran showgirl – a tremendous point-blank save to deny their equaliser* epitomises why Ange sought him out; natural ability that surfaces when most required; great goalies never lose it.Feet were surprisingly good too, given the treacherous plastique merde he had to cope with.


GREGGS THE BAKER – 7.5/10 – The inverted pieman returned to the scene of many of his crimes, though he’ll tell you his favourite game in the depraved Orange County stripes was when he got to watch Broony win the league there. Exemplified the Angeball role again with a first half of movement and involvement that was as devastating to Killie as the town’s recent outbreak of bubonic plague.

STAR LORD – 7/10 – Today, Matthew, I shall be Calmac, and he, me… On a surface made for Star-Lordery he was immaculate with his deliberate focus. Kept it tidy, smart and simple. i.e Ryan Jack with his hair combed, in a new suit.

MR.KOBAYASHI – 7.5/10 – Effortless in his demeanour, precise in his execution of just about every task – including a terrific block in vain at their goal. And seems to posses a midfield general’s left fit, given the cultured passes from deep he produced on a couple of occasions.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 7/10 – Quality consistency as ever from the marauding lumberjack. Dink across to set up Daizen was pitched better than Jon Rahm. As a special treat for us all during a flat second period, he delivered a sumptuous smashing of wee ex-Zombie goblin, Jordan Jones for yuks.

CALMAC – 6.5/10 – A touch too many is normally a complaint levelled at Jamesy, but here was Calmac, lulled by a sneaky bedtime story hissed at him by Deek from the sidelines, setting up their comeback* with a calamitous brainfart right on half-time. He’s always going to have one in him, due to the intensity of his game and the edge upon which he plays often – to lure them and break the press – so be as well getting it done when we’re cruising.


THE BUILDER – 8/10 MOTM – Swashbuckling his way back into a jersey with panache and handsomeness to make the Ayrshire Bears weep and burn local witches for cursing their mirrors The style with which he applied those two swish finishes with his gifted southpaw style echoed the young Rogic he was shaping up to be last season and – like I said last week – emphasised his return to impactful form. Still just a kid, evolving into a star.

TONIO IWATAO – 7/10 – Despite losing his pace since the Barca slaying, he now fits into our middle like a well-engineered Honda alternator; in that flurry of match-winning guile Tonio provided a secure and dynamic pivotal focal point. Nearly scored a great sizzler later to boot. Confidence is an habitual thing – Just as Ian Beale, ‘Parkloife!’ – and as he establishes a presence we can see the tough, stoical Japanese defensive midfielder that was the J-League POTY and hopefully a bargain buy in the summer for us, who will shore up the midfield in Champions League  matches and lessen our chances of being overrun late in the games.

LORD KATSUMOTO – 7/10 – That heid! Like a 50-Yen bit, but he guided in a rare headed goal outwith the grasping claws of Killie’s jabberwocky and had us purring. Caused on-loan Zombie ‘Garnish’ a torrid time with his bursts and but for thise final balls would have inflicted more damage. And scored more; classic Daizen moment on the pen rebound, lol.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE – 7.5/10 –  The smiling non-assassin, assassin. A Skybet 1/1 gift to score anytime and a braver (probably more phished) me would have slapped a three-figure sum on that. Alas, after just a few minutes the pushsies among us were thumping our foreheads against pub walls (exactly why gambiing is bad for you, kids – when you don’t…) as he latched onto a sweet through ball from their glakit winger and tortured their defence before sweeping it home. Expected a hat-trick minumum, but his day was stymied by an unusual aberration as we saw Kyogo actually miss from 12 yards. Trouble was he couldn’t hide his shocked amusement at us being awarded a straight penalty without a reluctant and lengthy VAR check, and the post spoiled a beautiful moment. Even thought he was still grinning after it…

HACK SACK – 6/10 – A day spent hugging touchlines, but so quiet as he toiled for service and space and felt the surface grind his joints. Workrate good as always, involved in many intricate moments but never around the danger areas; thankfully his mercurial match-winning ability was not required.


OH BHOY – 6/10 – “Aaahhh waaaant aaaaa rid caird fur thon Korean bhoy…” whined Deek post-game, due to Oh… Well, nearly kicking his own head off after the ball flicked up off him, never mind the lumbering Killie fleckwit bundling in with his own head thrown towards Oh’s boot. Right ye are, deek; away take one of yer bitter Zombie pills and shut it. Shame for the Bhoy Oh as master-diver Jurgen watched from the bleachers, looking to see what the prodigy had to offer on an Asian factory-designed yoga matt. Maybe on grass the ball would have run kinder for him and the near-misses been turned in to impress the world’s most pleasant German.

MOOEY – 6/10 – Marvellous moment as Mooey came on then lay down to sunbathe, before joining in reluctantly with some efficient topuche sand passing.

EDDIE TURNBULL – 6/10 – “This is just like ma cairpet in the hame,” he commented as he entered the field of play, “Ye can wipe it doon, tae…”Then raised eyebrows by managing to run about on it, actually sprinting at one point, throwing in some old-school deft touches.

VAT – 6.5/10 – Liked the bhoy’s confidence as he took the ball and swerved his way around their defence, keen to show his worth as Albania’s finest export since his Da’, pitching in a couple of dangerous balls, one a perfect
first-time crossball that should have been converted by Oh.

BERNIE WINTERS – N/A – Welcome to the Hoops, kid; a debut sporting a ginger warbonnet to make any Comanche chief envious. Enjoy that moment many millions of us through tha ages will never know but wish dearly we had experienced. And you can tell your grandkids you got on for just the last minutes but robbed an insidious smelly Zombie thug of the ball and got fouled by him; Badgeworthy.

ANITA DOBSON – 8/10 – A handful of lay-offs, careful squad management, and yet again Angeball triumphs. Do we take the Big Mhan’s ‘astonishing’ (there’s yer correct context, greetin’ Zombies) reshaping of the Celtic machine in his image too lightly? With too much nonchalance? He’s steamrolling allcomers since the system clicked into gear back in October ’21 and we’re taking titles for granted. Today epitomised his philosophy – no matter the personnel, stick to the style; less players than components now; a formula we’ve forever failed to replicate as quality European sides have dusted us down. Now we’re getting there, and soon there’s a crown coming and big fish on the horizon. Just 6 to go as Ange’s legend grows.

MIBBERY – 0/10 – Blunted by the Bhoys. “Ah, can’t see the flamin’ screen for tears,” said the VAR voice in Bargain Bear’s ear at the penalty award, and so they – like their brethern will have to as well – resigned themselves to defeat in the face of the relentless Hoops.

OVERALL – 8/10 – Injuries, form dips, Killie, snarling Deek and the horror pitch – a concoction made for a distasteful Sunday lunch. Yet it became delicious cookies all the way as the Celts went to Goblintown and tore them a new one in the space of 20 minutes. Enough to make us complacent, this incessant battering of all who would oppose the domestic dominance of the Hoops. But it’s a thing to be savoured – lest you forget the leaden, doom-laden, soul-destroying season of 20/21. Just 2 years ago…

Only two years for an ‘unknown’ villified Greco-Aussie to show up from the other side of the planet with an ideology they all scoffed at, and shake the establishment vermin to the core just as they were polishing the jackboots and pinning Iron Crosses on each another. And today, less than two years since we’d ever heard his name, Celtic rocked up at a venue we’d consider ‘tricky’ in pursuit of consecutive titles, and could have taken 10 off them, had it been required. Like I say, these are magic days, kiddos, magic days. And getting magic-er.

(note to SMSM hacks – you can’t copy that; it’s not a real word.)

Go Away Now


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

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