Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Hyperborea


“We have money to spend – 18 shillings, 72d; almost £20.12 in new money – a good amount for a Rangers manager, I think, and when I get up in the mornin’ and feed the pigeons I’m really positive about the summer trip to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach with it, and the future of the market stall. Parkloife!” – theRangers Manager, Ian Beale, outlines his close season Jolly Boys’ Outing plans.

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – Save of the game from his own defender as he excellently anticipated Star Lord
calamity and front-ran the mess-up. Phew. Then he just played sweeper-keeper as we mostly, yet toothlessly, dominated.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10 – Whoosh! And with a flash of quality from his standing leg, Greggs appears in a game that had been passing him by and nearly scores a stunner. No space for his inverted presence to exploit, he kept to the plan, but was sidelined by injury; let’s hope the knock is transitory.

STAR LORD – 6/10 – Ross County’s main dangerman; Great run behind the defence to latch onto a through ball and unlucky not to clip it past Joe for their opener…Once we’d opened our eyes again and climbed back over the couch, the shaky Star Lord moments were confined to a couple of wild slices, but mostly he got his head together at a venue that’s not been kind to him.

GET CARTER – 7/10 – Got the battle he likes against their thundering battle-giants and revelled in keeping those berserkers – and Star Lord – at bay. Won most duels that counted as we held onto the lead, distributed the ball well as ever; exactly the type of controlled defensive leadership required as the creatives ahead toiled.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 7.5/10 MOTM – He’s a moose in a man-suit. Powerhouse fullback play today in the McGrain mould – physical and threatening, making lung-bursting supporting runs but also gilding his involvement with terrific deliveries, at least one of which deserved a finish. Can’t ask your fullback to do much more against these low defensive blocks and competitive, boisterous opponents. We have a habit of our right-back performing well at this venue, match-winning in fact,  just ask Tony.

CALMAC – 6/10 –  Calmac runs on Lithium batteries. Fact. Elon Musk is using him as a prototype for the new Tesla – ‘the McGregor Roadster’. Here he was asked to reprise his ravaging of the Spanish galacticos in the frenzy of Hampden, up in the tranquil savagery of a highland sabbath morning. What we got was predictably metronomic Calmac leading by example for an hour until the week’s heroics caught up with him and he couldn’t quite exert the influence and presence he’d have liked. Still, captain does what the captain does – inspires his men
to dig out the win.

THE BUILDER – 5.5/10 – The epitome of Celtic’s day – Matty not quite able to get his feet right or pick
the pass, perfectly in tune with the side’s overall disjointed shift; Almost but never quite.

TONIO IWATAO – 6.5/10 – Big responsibility, but he’s got big shoulders. “Just play it cool, Trig” was his mantra
after bingeing on Only Fools and Horses during the fortnight off to crash-learn English. So we got what it says on the 10-minute Geisha Girl Bondage Voucher lardy wee Alfie Morelos is receiving for a signing-on fee – efficiency and discipline. Might have lost his way early second-half but there’s a focus to him befitting his national
stereotype and wasn’t long before he was back on it, keeping things simple, occupying space.

LORD KATSUMOTO – 5.5/10 – Not a Daizen Day; limited space, wasteful of few opportunities; always the 100% commitment but sparkling form hopefully best saved for the coming vital clashes. Got to give it to him for a beautiful ‘Platoon’ moment as he collapsed at the post when Kyogo screwed the pooch.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE – 6/10 – All that work finding and creating space, forging out the big star moment, the stage all his, the audience awaiting the memorable quote, the oscar-worthy clip, and what does he do? What’s Japanese for ‘wasted it’…?

NOTEBOOK – 7/10 – Yes. No. Yes. No.Yes… Yes! Nooo… On it and off it but always at it- effervescent Jota up in
the heelan’s frustrating and upifting in a flurried 90 minutes of the best and worst and unluckiest of him. But he’s nearly there, as I’ve hoped for months – approaching peak songwriting momentum just in time to rattle out some springtime hits. Easter weekend number one coming up?


OH BHOY – 7/10 – Quite simply, almost nailed a goal of the season contender with a swashbuckling take, turn, run and strike that deserved a goal if you ever saw one. Also a flaming nuisance for the defence. Look forward to major involvement next time out.

EDDIE TURNBULL – 6.5/10 – We hope for impact from the elderly maestro (deceased) against stoical opposition like Coonty and we got it – unlikely winner of a fine tackle on the flank to retrieve the ball and show composure to instigate the sealing goal.

DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA – 7/10 – “Ar-gen-tina! Ar-gen-tina! Ar-gen-tina!” Memories for wee D10S as the away end rang out a 1978 classic to laud his outlandish South American showstopper of a slash that made a silk
purse out of the sow’s ear of a game. Bhoy’s a baller, Latino style.

HACKY SACK – 6/10 – Just oozes danger every time we get him on the ball. Lookout Zombies, he’s due a stormer.

VALUE ADDED TAX – N/A – A cheeky wind-up for the Zombies as he plays a few late minutes to remind them what they never pay.

ANITA DOBSON – 7/10 – Reshuffle, dynamism-light but faith in his tried and tested methods to see through a game he called all week; tough, turgid, but got the grind he asked for and the points to match. He knows the game, and the game is long. Macro picture now for Ange, CL looming on the horizon, bloods up, barbie coals warming, Fosters chilling, Sheila’s shopping for a new bikini and the summer kangaroo boxing tourney’s being drawn. Countdown to legendary status well down the line. And now The Snake has left the club he loves, watch the SMSM practically insist Ange goes there immediately. Yeah, good luck with that, illiterate simping goons…

MIBBERY – 1/10 – VAR malfunctions, Kirkland’s Vietnam flashback involves a hacked-off arm and a bearded American GI, Wullie has a stroke and points to the home-end penalty spot before realising his meta-mistake is live on telly and incontrovertible. My jaw drops. Fat Malky, already down the tunnel ragin’ at the amount of foreigners on the park, misses, it all. Ange too, nearly – in there making up half-time shark-meat sandwiches before hearing
of the miracle. And then Jota unleashes the power of karma. 1-0. Amazing. Imagine the seethe…

OVERALL – 6.5/10 – Penalty! Course it was; straight arm, shoulder height, Andy Walker tumbling out his pram flailing after the toys he’d chucked, Zombies everywhere chibbing their whores, smashing up their crackhouses…These things even themselves out, we’re always told, condescendingly – well, we’re still due another two at least going by this season’s VAR debacles. So it was sweet as Ryan Kent thinks he looks in his new Easter Bonnet to marvel at Diego stepping forward and rifling in the second just when we needed it.

Although, the sniggering imp on my shoulder was actually hoping we’d hang on for a ‘controversial’ 1-0 just to ramp up the anguish across Vermintudeville and set them eating each other on their hate boards like FollowFollow. Speaking of which…Dingwall’s a sinister, deviant mess… And the town he’s named after always
seems a sticky, tricky venue to take points from.

True to form , we couldn’t find any and it was evident early on that the ball wasn’t going to run for us, that they were going to bust a gut in search of Scottish Premiership survival, and our players seemed a tad rusty after the international break. Mix all that with the absence of a pair of midfield destroyers in Mooey and Reo and the conundrum spelled, ‘struggle’.

But struggle is also part of this side’s makeup and they got through with three precious points to maintain the gap going into the Easter showdown. Five wins is what we need for an invite to the Big Boys’ house-party and we’re going at it like proper champions despite the incessant pursuit of the mongrels of Govan gnashing at our heels like the deranged devil-dugs they are, MIBs loosely holding their leashes and urging them on with every snide nod and wink they can muster.

Saturday next should be a time for the Hoops to click back into shape and form with the perfect timing of a… Well, a resurrection. And a crucifixion.

Go Away Now


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

1 Comment

  1. Rabbie Burns on

    Starfelt never was & never will be good enough for us. Imagine if CCV or Joe Hart weren’t there to bail him out time & time again .. I dread the CL games if we don’t improve his position.
    Maeda also doesn’t deserve to start before Haksa or Jota (in his preferred/best position). Maeda runs fast & for a long time .. that’s it!
    oRiley has fallen way off what he did last season. I don’t know what or why, but he’s doing himself no favours.
    Bernabei doesn’t look the part either .. yet! makes too many wrong decisions