Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Mick Mole’s Gaff


“Usually, people who come to Holland to get ridden would go to the Amsterdam red light area. Not so, these ‘Zombies’ – they preferred Eindhoven for a good pegging as their Champions League dreams disappeared, like tears in rain.”

– Rutger Hauer (also deceased).

Rangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Ibrox Stadium Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers speaks with goalkeeper Joe Hart following during the cinch Premiership match at the Ibrox: Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

ROXIE – 8/10 – The blades were blunted. Knives out for big bad Joe all summer, but he’s made of Kevlar. Thwarted all of their latest antichrists in turn – Fruitcake Desserts, Lameass, Danni Minogue, and Phish Spice. A clean sheet on the day the roof might have caved in – and will, literally, at the Hate Pit soon enough – and the Twatterati can lay off our monolith of a number one; ten million bucks saved.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 7/10 – A solid and quality offering from a Bhoy not fazed one bit by swathes of screeching demonic entities. Strong, purposeful and calm – provided a major paradigm for the makeshift backline to replicate.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 5.5/10 – Couldn’t do anything right, not even take a shy properly. Ramping up the angst on today of all days, but he was 100% at it despite his traitorous feet refusing to ping a decent pass or get his positioning right.

Rangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Ibrox Stadium Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers left and Anthony Ralston following the cinch Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

LAGERTHA – 6/10 – LagerDWELLkie – clear foul, until the Zombies get the age-old rules changed to allow man-before-ball contact – but a lesson he didn’t learn properly as she was mugged in the second half too. Yet, she stood up to the sheer ugliness all around, got her focus spot-on and felt her way around the congestion to get the telling moments right when the heat was on. Viking shield-maiden resilience.

 Photo by Kirk O Rourke//Shutterstock – Cyriel Dessers of theRangers watches the ball with Liam Scales of Celtic during the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox 03 Sep 2023 

OF JUSTICE – 8.5/10 MOTM – Let’s hear it for the Bhoy. You read his name on the team sheet as ‘Heaven’s Sake’ (aye, right), but the name they’ll be toasting tonight is Liam ‘Skelper Scales. The last man anyone hoped would be thrown into this menagerie of the damned became the last man standing as the blue-arsed fleas swarmed relentlessly around our box for a good half hour. He was ginger Ash v The Army of Darkness and his boots were his chainsaws; repelled and held, positioning and timing as precise as you can hope for in the fury of such matches. Sometimes these fixtures throw up unlikely heroes – Sammy, Paddy – and today the fall guy became the tall guy. Marvellous.

theRangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Ibrox Stadium Celtic s Callum McGregor and Joe Hart celebrate the win after the cinch Premiership match at the Ibrox on Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

CALMAC – 8/10 – What an incredible footballer the skipper is and amazingly the Zombies gave him time and space and free rein to boss the first half and almost put the game out of sight. Control, control, control – he exerted it, the Bhoys followed the lead and dem Zombies dey got a lesson. We should learn a lesson too – protect Calmac, give him opportunity, and we’re a totally different proposition.

theRangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Ibrox – Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates with Matt O’Riley after scoring the onlygoal of the game during the  match at the Ibrox. Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

THE BUILDER – 7.5/10 – Everywhere he needed to be. Covered a hell of a lot of…well, Hell… Set up the winner and managed to add in his own footballing nous when the moments came. Second period was all about fortitude and steel, and since his first encounter with evil back in Feb 2022 that’s the one thing that’s belied his placid demeanour and enhanced his silky skills – the kid can dig.

EDDIE TURNBULL – 5/10 – Well, there’s always one… He did use his zimmer to provide a few obstacles in the middle but those ancient legs didn’t have the sprightliness to free space to create anything. He remained a presence without bite until hooked. As was kind of forewarned. But the Shnake will persist, sigh…

LORD KATSUMOTO – 6.5/10 – Roamin’ in the gloamin’… And rustlin’ up those Zombies. Daizen knows the score when it comes to these clashes and that tireless foraging for scraps infuriates the Zombies and their agitated hordes. Electric pace was utilised more as defensive endeavour but when released, he terrified them. Daizen did produce a classic Daizen moment when he chose to try and smash some gurning mingers in the face in the Occupied Broomloan with a cross rather than kill the game off.

KILLER MUSHROOM – 8/10 – What to do about Kyogo? Wee Mhan getting gallus and trying to score a double-pointer early on with a fancy – that’s what happens when you let him play ‘Heiders & Volleys’ with Tony Ralston at training. But after that it became a game of ‘Wembley’ and first goal wins. Goldshin’s huge arse played a major part as Kyogo used it brilliantly, applying Japanese innovation – after being denied by it blocking him on the line, he then lurked in its shadow, unseen, to pounce on Matty’s header through and the finish was school playground glory.

Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates after scoring during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

ABADASS – 6/10 – In flashes, he scampered and put a flutter in their black hearts – should have set up the opener after latching onto Calmac’s glorious inside pass and producing a perfect cutback. May also have finished the tie had Butman not got a hand to his strike. Overall; useful.


THE ALLFATHER – 6.5/10 – Composed and intent when he appeared, and gave us more in the cameo than Eddie T managed all his time on the park.

YING – 5.5/10 – No fear, and bendy legs. Should have had a soft pen just for yuks, but the VAR finally bottled it.

OH BHOY – N/A – Got some time to crash around as Jurgen watched on appalled with the medieval environment and general primitive Britishness on show to revolt his cultured Germanic sensibilities.

TONY THE TIGER – N/A – Completely offended by the obnoxious environs, Tony came on and battered into every Zombie he could see, inluding sticking the heid into their DOABs: dirty-orange advertising boards. Easy, Tiger…

DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA – N/A – No problems with coping in the intensity of the final minutes. Kept his cool and nice and deliberate with every involvement despite being double-teamed more than
Lana Wolf.

THE SHNAKE – 7.5/10 – Don’t do it, Buck Rodgers, don’t…But he did. That teamsheet nearly brought a few breakfasts back up and it looked like an exercise in immolation. Yet, by dint of fortune or sagacity it became a lesson in faith and reward. Somehow, those selected Bhoys got through a torrid time and came away with a win and no concession whatsoever.

Except for two moments of schadefreude as the rules ruined their wicked schemes…Some say he’s a lucky, some talk about levels of game knowledge, man-management, and tactical nous. But he’s the most-winningest of Celtic managers in this fixture so I’d say today was a mix of all, and talk of executions are adjourned in favour of celebration; both the result and the manager’s stroke of serendipity.

theRangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Ibrox Stadium Celtic players appeal to referee Don Robertson after Rangers Kemar Roofe scores, but the goal is ruled out for a foul in the build-up during the cinch Premiership match on Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

MIBBERY – Flabbergasted/10 – They actually did it – applied the rules correctly under the most extreme pressure. Of course it was a foul, but the mountains of fervant orcs had already started mounting each other by the time the VAR swallowed hard and summoned the Don to the monitor. Would he have the bottle to apply the obvious? Jings, yes. And then a feather hit me and put me in A&E.

theRangers v Celtic – cinch Premiership – theRangers players appear dejected following the cinch Premiership match at the Ibrox on Sunday September 3, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

OVERALL – 8.5/10 – What a Beautiful Sunday; the after-match air always sweeter when the circumstances are difficult and the outcome unexpected. The state of us going into this, the uncertainty, the discord and general malaise that has accompanied the past fortnight – NEVER will the Zombies have a better chance at early-season glory. Yet here they are, stuck with another unwanted imaginary trophy according to Mr.Mole – the ‘Better Chances Created On The Day’ Cup, apparently. We could also give them the ‘Obviously As Expected’ Shield to add to their metaphysical trophy room but there’s probably no space left beside Schrodinger’s Bike.

Mike Beale, Manager of theRangers, reacts during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic FC at Ibrox on September 03, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Once our Bhoys entered their Baptism Of Filth and took 15 minutes to get over the awful stench, we looked strong and focussed. Played our best football of the season in the half hour before the break, dominating the midfield, crowning it with that injury time screamer winner. Second-half we conceded too much ground, invited them on more than they deserved as Calmac waned and was crowded out.

But that’s where the enlightening moments of the day came to the fore as the backup defence overcame their much-vaunted ‘glittering’ frontline. All that glitters is not gold, dear Zombies – mostly it’s silverware, and you’ll find it in the Parkheid trophy cabinets. Where it belongs. Where it stays.

Sam Lammers of theRangers reacts after a missed chance during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic FC at Ibrox  on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Tar ar la tagtha. Again. Riiiight Roon yeez.

Go Away Now.


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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. A makeshift squad motivated to get the win against the odds.Perhaps the naysayers will button up and let B R manage as he sees fit.
    The season starts in earnest after the break when he hopefully has a settled squad to select from.
    Scales has shown the benefit of having a natural left footed central defender to call on who could cover at left back if required.
    Hail Hail.