Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Furrybitsville

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ FURRYBITSVILLE

BANE – 6/10

So the cinemas shut and our badass unintelligible supervillian enlists henchman Duffy to cripple the contentious Greek so that he gets his sequel. Had he saved any penalty the blockbuster was written; a good close block too, on their second, but the rebound was poked in. This fairytale return produced no Oscar performance. We can only hope that he thinks Duffy knows too much and deals with him appropriately.

AJER – 6.5/10

Another solid game; there’s no doubting the cavorting viking’s commitment to the jersey now – we see him straighten those big shoulders in the midst of inglorious defeats and attempt to drive the side on. Battled well through gritted teeth beside the calamitous Alan Ladd, and showed up again at Pittodrie when the chips were down with a great run and delivery for our penalty.

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ALAN LADD – 4/10

What can you say? Not a lot without shaking your head. Throwing Sheep into walls like he was at a rodeo, and then gifting the lead with more Sunday League tom-fakery.

Grew up watching Celtic in the 1990s and is seemingly doing his best to reprise that era’s infamous defensive project, The Sieve. And by tribute we’re now paying £45k a week for the Irish Efe Ambrose gone all Michael Jackson, though big Efe got more abuse for less.

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LAXALTIVE – 6/10

Sharp again, defensively, and always offering himself for the break, but not yet on the midfield radar properly going by the number of times he was finding space and not seeing the ball. Deliveries were keen and early – a good thing – but inconsistent – frustratingly so. Still sporting those teenage-chick-just-back-from-Benidorm hair braids, he’ll be lucky to get out of Aberdeen with his dignity intact..

PINGPONG – 5.5/10

More electric effort and more ineffective product. He’s buzzing around in all the wrong places, looking to elaborate when best to simply go direct. He’ll wonder if Jonny Hayes is his Da’ after this one.

SAM JACKSON – 4/10

You can’t let a redneck run in front of the Muthutuka. Suckered into tryin’ to Flock O’ Seagulls the feralclan family junior muthutucka and we were one down. Can this Muthutucka give us more? Or is he now a type required to be in the mood?  It looks more like the latter – gone are the Skelping Muthutucka end-to-end heroics; there’s an empty jersey a lot of the muthutuckin’ time while we require a dominating craftsman. Looking like a Frenchman
pining for France. Time to get righteous or walk the muthutuckin’ earth.

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CALMAC – 6.5/10

What a day, what a day… Captain, almost marvel, turned villain, up and down showing class and stupidity all in one eventful 90 minutes where he scored a beauty, prodded and prompted the side back into the game, got booked, was bundling into daft challenges, and gave away the late killer blow. Define this bhoys position,
please, and let him get on with running the show instead of asking he covers for the indifferent as well.

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CHRISTIE – 6/10

A return to the stadium he was considered too posh for – by his Da… – yet the place he found his feet before returning to claim status in the Celtic 10IAR plan. Not a bad display, but not quite the Ryan Christie YaChube highlight reel one either – good movement, admirable desire, great pen under pressure, but still to refine his execution of pass or cross to the standard we have praised him for. We need him to get fully in his groove, soonish…

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ROGIC – 6.5/10

These’s a groundswell of hope that the Celtic version of Oz II will be better than the duff Hollywood cash-grabs. Glimpses today of the match winning guile and the sumptuous weight of pass he can produce with those deceptively refined kangaroo paws to level proceedings. Credit for his stamina, lasting through a battle for space and with time on the ball rationed he managed to make an impact. More game-time for big Oz is a must to see if we can get anywhere near the legendary contributions of recent times.

THE YETI – 4/10

Mr.Angry. Proof negative (or is it positive?) that our mountain man is made to play with a strike partner. Considered a God-Sheep in those parts, he suffered from the close attentions of adoring defenders. Going Han Solo, he’s either rustling up opponents for the ball to break to no avail, or he’s futilely attempting to find space.

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ELSHAGYONLASSIE – 3/10

Mr.Missing. One of the finest hiders we’ve seen in the Hoops in recent memory. So good at it even Aberdeen forgot he was there until he popped up to win the penalty. And he might even have been forgiven if that had
been the winner. But it wasn’t, so he’s not.

SUBS:

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GRIFF – 8/10 MOTM

Shortest-ever appearance to be a MOTM winner BUT – pay close attention – this shift is EXACTLY what we’re lacking all over the park: a guy who’s focussed and on it and determined to make a difference by his own contribution and not ride the coat-tails of others. Stunning finish, thorn in their side, deserved to be lauded as the man of the moment. Strange Days indeed, Jimbo, when your most loveable controversial maniac is setting the example.

BROON – 6/10

Came on to the whines of 12 year-old FIFA aficionados everywhere, almost defied the odds once more, like Perth, by lifting the side to victory and shoring up the midfield. Might have been better to put him in at centre-half…

EDDIE TURNBULL – N/A

Back in Aberdeen for the first time since his dance hall days of the fifties when he was a regular northern visitor. ‘Cos he likes ’em hairy.

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LENNONY – 6/10

Well, he made the changes, shook it all up… Mostly. Looks like a man in need of a tonic (with gin) and may have come within a minute of it today. Let down by playing favourites – Elshag continues to defy logic and expectations at all the wrong times – but you can’t really quibble with his bravery in that team selection; it could’ve been chosen by fan consensus.

Trouble is right now Celtic show no signs, apart form continual personnel shuffling, of managerial/coaching influence. Lennony’s great managerial legacy has been an ability to galvanise sides to find the spirit to win as a unit. However, it has now become the resource most vital to current times as winter arrives and The Season of the Dead is at hand. We will surely discover in the next month or two if that is a finite thing or a well upon which he can draw.

OVERALL – 6/10

Meh. We returned to the Sheep Pen, scene of many a glorious Hooped triumph and inadvertently looked like getting another ding-dong Sunday smiler. Then we fell to the way of things this month and succumbed to depression, irritatingly by the boot of a gene-pool anomaly who’d managed to escape the wrath of Opus Dei by fleeing to the north. Still, we have the rueful comfort of knowing young Fergushun will spend the next few days hiding in fear of one of his Uncle Barry’s special cuddles.

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Encouragingly, Celtic found some dig and almost forced a result, echoing more swashbuckling times. Disturbingly, for the most part we looked toothless and disaffected. Far too many players waiting for something to happen. Far too few players with fire in their bellies wanting to make it happen. Griff, maybe Calmac, and young Ironside the notable exceptions; but that’s too little a percentage functioning the way required of a championship-winning Celtic squad.

We’ve encountered this bewildering, inconsistent, almost incompetent Celtic before at this point in a season, chucking away points. But we’ve never had a Celtic without the fans to re-inject the passion, or been negotiating the razor’s edge of football history through such turbulent times.

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This season of seasons will be divorced form the support, a bubble played on screens, the roars of Paradise muted in the past; Celtic need players and management to forfeit the unity of jersey and scarf and stand up to be counted among the greats.

Nobody’s pushing the big red panic button, but there’s a few glances getting thrown its way. We’ll have no Dubai reset this season, no mental recharging for the players; they must realise that its happening right here, right now, and get their heads fully in glory mode – get out and mercilessly blitz domestic opposition in classic Celtic style, instead of existing on reputation and hope.

Go Away Now. Until Thursday.

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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