Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Dundeeliverance


ROXIE – 6/10 – Ah, there he is. Travelled to Dundee at half-time on Saturday and was camped in his 6 yard box. Where he spent the afternoon, snoozing in his tent as play mostly raged on up the other end. Three-in-a-row of hee-all-to-do would be a nice way to end the year, Joe…

GREGGS THE BAKER – 7/10 – Ensconced inverted in the middle now, a moral victory over stultifying coaching demands of early season. And he’s much more involved – too involved some might say (me) because so much of our play first half seemed to flow through him. No sleight on Greggs for that excessive involvement or participation in seemingly every attack – more of a question as to why there’s not a more guileful, skill-laden player being the larger % fulcrum to his industry (ahem, Matty?).

WAYNE GRETZKY – 6.5/10 – Another busybody, supporting malfunctioning winger, but using Daizen as a distraction while he thundered forward, displaying pretty decent intricacies in multiple attempts to open up their defensive portcullis.

OF JUSTICE – 6/10 – Still shaking off the Xmas Guinness as he picked up an early yellow instigated by his own slack pass. But then so unlucky as he caressed a header narrowly wide, which in a way ignited our total dominance. Never looked out of step after that.

GET CARTER – 6.5/10 – Injured as Dundee keeper Carson (Zombie) and Shaugnessy (should know better) prepared to re-enact an infamous scene from Deliverance, a Xmas tradition to foster the unhealthy excitement of the home end, expressed in a cacophony of pig squeals. He was strolling through proceedings, then he was sat on his arse, now we’re victims of the Dundonian Mother-Witch curse as the big mhan looks set to miss the Visit Of The Vampiric; we wait like Estragon and Vladimir.

CALMAC – 6.5/10 – Tidiness is next to Godliness, and being Celtic captain is to sit at the right hand of the King Of Kings. So The Almighty Henrik would have approved of Calmac’s calm and efficient oversight of the midfield rhythm. And Keith Moon, too…

THE BUILDER – 7/10 – He took his time, but once he’d shaken off the creeping heebie-jeebies of being the first viking to land in Dundee since Harald Jakey Bojangles started the settlement with fifteen cross-eyed screeching harridans and two thumbless stud berserkers, Matty got to work. They couldn’t contain him from his first glorious injection of quality, releasing Kyogo one-on-one, and he drifted and linked and kept the pressure at alarming levels for their backline until submission.

SAINT BERNARDO – 7.5/10 MOTM – I’ve said there was more to come from this Portuguese O’Reilly twin, but I hadn’t expected today’s levels of commitment and dynamism. He does like a bit of swashbuckling but it looks secondary in his nature to all-action water-carrying; a worthy attribute for a player who must also have an abundance of skill in reserve. Certainly got himself around and in their faces, and frantically dug like Fred West at sunrise until he was rewarded with the glory of the breakthrough goal. And it still doesn’t feel as if he’s peaking or that we’re yet seeing the best of him. Watch this space…

BRIAN DE – 7/10 – “Ach, ffs, eh? Magic, ya bar steward…” Which sums up the frustration and excitement of watching him chop, shoot, fluff, bedazzle, irritate and inspire; shots, heiders, corners – the spectrum of phish to perfection was covered.

KILLER MUSHROOM – 6/10 – Oooohhh, a shaved post away from a Larsson-esque finish to send us all home sentimental. But not quite. Yet, as misses go, his was not an ego-bruiser; more like a happily rueful near thing, leaving him smiling about being so damn close to the thrilling highlight of the day – like Michael Fagan must have felt when the palace guards dragged him off just before the tickly bit. And now for our rejuvenated ninja assassin, as the quaint Japanese proverb has it – ‘To skelping the Zombies…”

LORD KATSUMOTO – 5/10 – Nothing for you here, Daizen… Marshalled and denied space in a low low low block which completely nullifies his game. However, was also another hour of match-fitness to carry towards Skelping Saturday.


OH BHOY – 6/10 – Close, close, and…nae luck, better next time; in fact the bhoy’s due a Skelping special, and you wouldn’t bet against him rattling them on Saturday.

YING – 5.5/10 – Busy feet and still exuding plenty confidence; which is a good sign, and probably also means he can’t understand the quaint colloquialism, “Beat it ye’re phish.” I’m not sure that he is, and hold hopes that he’s going to settle into a period of sparkling success to show us why they were raving about him back in Korea. South, not North, ya eejit – he’s not Kim Wrong ‘Un.

MIKEY J – 7/10 – “Who? For fu…YASSS! ” …And…”Yass! Two?! This gear’s great… ” And Santa saves his last and best present for Mikey, who had the most redemptive Xmas experience since Jimmy Stewart bumped into Clarence Odbody…

RAQUEL – N/A – Buck Rodgers will play anybody but the new centre backs, so Dundee was treated to some glamour in a fur bikini as CCV capitulated. Then they made Raquel their sect leader and we’ll not see him again until he defeats the village Jabberwocky in unarmed combat and gets to ride the ceremonial Pterodactyl back to Glasgow.

THE SHNAKE – 6.5/10 – ‘I will stick with tradition, seeing as it’s Xmas.’ And so we got delivered Raquel and Mikey, and nobody’s gotten such a bigger surprise in stockings since Richard Gough turned up at sportsman’s dinner looking like Frankenfurter from the Rocky Horror Show after misinterpreting the ‘dress informal’ notification on the invitation. So the unwanted loss stat of 2-in-a-row is cut at that, and D-Day looms; a chance for him to vanquish the pestilence eating away at his reputation, or succumb to mediocrity and be phoning rentals in the Middle East by the bells…

MIBBERY – 5/10 – A Sellic penalty? On Boxing Day? Pah! Nothing to see here…Three penalties at Mordor that was. And a red. CCV luckily not impregnated, VAR amazingly* not filling the air with sirens and strobing alerts for a clear and obvious spit-roast. Pathetic Zombie acolytes that they are.

*Not really.

OVERALL – 7/10 – 1888 is a significant number in Celtic history. It’s the final corner count from yesterday. The players got so numb from taking them they started a Green Brigade lottery draw for chances to have a go yourself. This was an exercise in focus and consistency; to their great credit the team kept functioning at a high level of intensity, wearing down the resistance like Andy Dufresne chipping away the Shawshank cell wall.

As an exercise in silencing unmentionables goes, it was also a success as the home H-Not-H-But-
Yes-You-Are ‘support’ ran dry of Mordor cover versions to spit at the away end, and were treated to some redemptive Irish folks songs which they’ll still have humming round their empty skulls at this very moment as they chase their lumpen hogwives around the slums, fists red balls of rage… Nice…So, away from those picturesque Monet scenes, we’ll look to repeat the rhythmic tempo of Boxing Day and see the same result come the weekend.

Luck saved Dundee from a savaging but also demanded more of our bhoys than sulking fatalism; they responded well and will thrive on the certitude that their consistent efforts to maintain quality of play WILL be rewarded. There really is nothing more they need after that – they have the tools and the mindset to dismantle those pitiless impostors who’ll come calling for our title.

So go and put them down like the mad dogs they are.

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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