SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ HIBERNATION
“How dare you!” Ryan Thunberg.
BANE – 6/10
‘Flamiing switch on!’ he yelled at the side after Hibs’ second. Flaming yell that in the dressing room before we take the field, next time. Not a lot to do bar pick it out the net twice, neither of them his fault nor privilege.
PINGPONG – 5.5/10
Achieved a good balance of backtracking and attacking threat, then vanished in a woeful second period that culminated in him neglecting defensive responsibility for just a second thus allowing a free header to set up that second goal.
LAXALTIVE – 7/10 MOTM
Drexl from True Romance saves the day. Well, a point. Not only a pedigree defender but also a pretty good all-round footballer…Thank goodness. Left back pops up in right-winger position to lash equaliser into roof of net like a striker…Thank god.
BITTON – 6/10
Mr.Cool. Saw off Scotland midweek, probably expected to see off Hibs today. Mostly composed as ever, may have been partly culpable for Hibs second after striker latched onto forward ball that should not have transpired (see Pingpong), but finishing was good.
AJER – 6.5/10
The bhoy who would be gone… Now becoming the Bhoy who would be king. As he matures, so does his defensive presence. Today a carbon copy (look that one up, kids…) of almost every other stalwart viking display this season – solid, reliable, driving on; captain material. Remarkably, also a comment on what’s possibly wrong behind the scenes – the guy fingered as a want-away producing the most consistent focussed displays.
BROON – 6/10
Tough and indefatigable; crunching his dominance early with uncompromising ball-winning, set up a platform from which our creatives should have prospered. They didn’t. And if you think that foul against Broon which somehow in the muddled mind of Madden became a penalty for them was in any terms justified, then there’s a quaint common colloquialism you should employ – fleck off and watch netball.
CALMAC – 6/10
A dynamo for Scotland, the question was if his energy levels would afford a similar stint so soon after travelling between a series of countries usually only mentioned together in a James Bond movie. He faded when we needed him most; no blame apportioned though – without other, fresher players giving us a cushion it was a tall ask for Calmac to construct the win.
ROGIC – 4/10
Play Rogic, play well, is the mantra. But remember to give him the ball occasionally. Starved of decent linkage through the first-half, we waited as long as his languid gait for a sign…Never got one as he joined Elshag at Anonymous Anonymous, his magic touch absent as we pined for something special to counter Madden’s witchcraft.
CORPUS CHRISTIE – 6.5/10
Now officially the Saviour of Scotia too, and viral web star after the most heartfelt emotional outburst in a live interview since somebody triggered Greta Thunberg. He has developed a set of dancing feet that would have Sammy Davis Jr. purring but we’re still getting deliveries like Darcy Burchell part-timing it over Xmas for the royal Mail. Defied by that Israeli boxer in nets yet again, Corpus did produce a creditable lively performance, though criminally negligent with Pingpong for allowing the set-up header for Hibs’ second goal.
ELSHAGYONLASSIE – 3/10
The AA (Anonymous Anonymous) meeting better produce results; If they’ve got a twelve-step program I can only see him taking six steps before he shrugs and gives up.
THE YETI – 4/10
Moral – don’t mouth off about your intentions until you’ve smashed a few in to justify them. Looked promising when he spun around and slashed a shot away early on, but after that he was surprisingly swallowed up by Hibs rugged defence.
GRIFF – N/A – Another late sub. When we needed him ten minutes prior.
FRENCH EDDY – 6/10
Came on, did what he does best, gave us brief hope, shook them up. Gloves are off now – we’ve got no wriggle room so I’m saying play him and Griff/A.N.Other from the start EVERY game and give the TEN all we’ve got.
ALAN LADD – N/A – Came on to try and assuage the shame of being out-jumped and out-muscled by Hodor from Game Of Thrones at Wembley last week; Didn’t add to it, at least.
SAM JACKSON – N/A – Never realised he was on. Stealth Muthutucka.
LENNONY – 5.5/10
He’s had two weeks to plan for this suspiciously tricky away fixture randomly generated by the same ‘computer’ who gives theRangers a day more rest and a home match. Hmm, and apparently running the punishment algorithm that decrees separate penalties for Covid rules infringement than everyone else…Still, let’s not turn the focus away from Lennony’s fortnight of study into overturning the Hibees and returning serve to Hal 9000’s favourite malware on Sunday noon.
Trouble was, Jack Ross was doing his homework too, and we faced a Hibs set-up designed to nullify and counter through Boyle’s pace. Even though we struggled to apply a finish, the first 45 must have been reassuring enough. However, once the ref played the Joker, Lennony appeared to have nothing up his sleeve and was – again – reluctant to change a system that was deflating fast.
It’s about that time once more… No, not flaming Xmas – it’s big commitment time for Lennony: mess around with interactive, ineffective pet systems that produce bursts of neat, attractive prettiness lacking ruthlessness that facilitates opposition smash-and-grabs, or… Throw classic Celtic swashbuckling, relentless, driving, face-melting attacking football at them with TWO dedicated strikers and a savage desire to WIN it all.
That was rhetorical, by the way…
OVERALL – 6/10
Well, meh… Dominant as ever first-half, when it suited us. All that seemed missing was final-third sharpness and a killer ball. Surely that would come second-half as they tired and our pressure took its toll? No. Once more we reverted to that sinister loss of drive, zest, and hunger which has debilitated many performances this season.
Crucial ones. Like today. Now the wriggle-room has evaporated like the hordes during the second 9IAR – and of course since they spewed Covid in to the world.
As WE all expected, Celtic are up against it, on and off the pitch; we can only hope the players who think playing for Celtic is a relaxing cruise realise they’ve booked up for a holiday in hell if they don’t get their collective fingers out sooner rather than later and show us the winning mentality required to fill the Hoops. Wake up!
EPILOGUE – BOBBY MADDEN
I wondered how long it would take him to get with the program. Well, we got to mid-November before his chronic masturbation over 90s Rangers (RIP) DVDs manifested itself into the manic reality of Operation Stop The TEN. And today his cup of mutant jizz spilleth over. Deny the Celts justified claims we’ve already seen dished out to his beloved this season, in multiples, and award a pathetic non-penalty against them. Then ‘Balance’ it out after the damage is done. They’re not even trying to hide it any more. His initiation into the Damien Dallas Goat-Pumping MIB Club is complete.
Saddest thing is, we took it like pussies.