Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Mother’s Ruin

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ MOTHER’S RUIN…

“The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy. Like two sets of bigots taking two points off each other, for example…” – Friedrich Nietzsche ‘Beyond Good And evil’ (1886).

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – This showgirl’s got footwork… Empty chests all round as ‘Harts’ leapt into mouths while he auditioned for strictly in his own 6 yard box. How we LOL’ed…. Eventually… Then displayed that priceless commanding presence for the rest of the game. Safe hands, reassuring for defenders.

TONY THE TIGER – 6.5/10 – Solid and competitive – the Tiger who’s earned his stripes. Great supporting runs for the malfunctioning Abadass, some killer balls across the box, not exploited. Handled their electric winger very well after early skinning.

STAR LORD – 6/10 – Inside he’s screaming ‘Don’t pass to me! Don’t pass to me!” Outwardly, thankfully, he’s now implemented some kind of psychological containment field for his anxiety, so that it doesn’t manifest in physical calamity. He’s probably got his invisible Racoon to thank for that; it talked him through the game well today, and our arse-cheeks clenched fewer times than usual. A shame, because he’s been useful for buns-development; however, I’ll take the trade if he keeps it up…

GET CARTER – 6.5/10 – With him, it’s his job… No nonsense, cultivating a fearsome reputation among burly strikers as he bounces them at will. Got a number of tests today and came through each moment winning; kept us looking like a decent defensive unit for probably the first time this season.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo of Celtic jumps for the ball with Stephen O’Donnell of Motherwell during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

JAMIE FOXX – 7/10 – Well, let’s hear it for the Scote-ish Guvurnment’s fitballin’ escaped-goat of choice. Fine match, linking really well in his bendy-full-back role and some of his defending was right on the tickly button; exemplified by a late one-on-one where the fleet-footed attacker tried to stand him up and beat him to get a shot it; Jamie played it perfectly, blocking him off. Was right on his game – and consistently reproducing that, we have a quality left-back, ladies and gentlemen. Question is, can he?

CALMAC – 8/10 – International superhero with an unquenching thirst for playing football. And playing it with exquisite poise and prompt. Metronomical magic from the start today; sometimes a joy to watch. Then he carelessly misplaced a pass just as I was noting his excellence, so fleck’m: half-point docked…

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

EDDIE TURNBULL – 7/10 – He’s as old as that Fir Pit we signed him from, and played like it all first half – scrappy and breaking down. But, as those around him raised the level, he shook off the Edie Ennui (See what I did there, fans of Franco-English and Edie Sedgwick/The Cult/Edie Brickell?) and wandered into the game. Then, like the comet that screwed the dinosaurs, he unleashed a celestial missile of catastrophic destruction. Fair play to the ‘Well keeper who watched it fly in with puffed cheeks; the international goalie language of ‘Screw that…’

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Tomas Rogic of Celtic battles for possession with Kaiyne Woolery of Motherwell during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Tomas Rogic of Celtic battles for possession with Sean Goss of Motherwell during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

ROGIC – 8.5/10 MOTM – Well, he did it last season here in the autumn and we thought it was his swansong. But there he was again, obviously pumped on sushi and geisha chicks from his midweek trip to Japan, running off the saki in style. Sublime and subliminal; the vision and the disguise – the pass of the season to unleash Notebook for the opener. Those beguiling feet tantalised us – and them – all his time on the park; when he does one of those languid yet agile pirouettes and emerges from a tight situation head-up with the ball at his will, my tummy goes all tingly like when Raquel Welch fights dinosaurs in a fur bikini. He’s a proper football player, dear people, almost a rare commodity.

ABADASS – 4/10 – Every cross looked like he was trying to kick a helium balloon at a giraffe’s heid on a windy day. Eventually gave up and spent the second half slipping in Tony for a shot at getting a ball somewhere in the vicinity of a hooped shirt. Was definitely the weakest link today.

NOTEBOOK – 7.5/10 – Wham Bam! Thank you M’am – swashbuckling first-half got us the critical lead at this cesspit. So impressed the main stand of gurning hillbillies that every hairdresser in Motherwell is booked out next week for ‘streaks’. Faded like a Ridgeley career in the later stages but his impact had been major.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Celtic players enter the field ahead of the second half during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MR.KOBAYASHI – 5.5/10 – From his Far East match-winning hustle to Mission Murderwell, Keyser Soze’s fixer will never be denied, despite the service to him being on a par with that at the Gallowgate’s ‘Residence Premiere’, the Bellgrove Hotel. Plenty of movement, but all in the wrong direction today; just one of those games where he was continually in the wrong place at the right time.

SUBS:

BITTON – 6/10 – A marked security about the middle as his murderously calm demeanour took the pressure off Calmac and meant we could focus on ball-retention to see it out.

MIKEY JOHNSTON – N/A – An appropriately 80s cameo for an 80s arena.

SON OF JACKIE – N/A – Would he? Could he? Score in front of the travelling support? No, he unselfishly tried to play-in a team-mate as the goal loomed. And his father disowned him.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

ANITA DOBSON – 7.5/10 – “OH MY GOD! OH DEAR GOD!! IT’S ANGEBALL AT MURDERWELL!
DOES HE HAVE ANY FLAMING IDEA WHAT WE’RE LIKE THERE??!!” Was the collective measured response to the team-sheet. And it did seem a very open approach. Basically, like going commando in a mini-skirt down Motherwell high street; you wouldn’t make it past Greggs before a frenzied pack would be on you, girls…

However, local recreational customs aside, Angeball seems to be improving each week – the players appeared more comfortable, disciplined and brave. Some of our breaks were electric, save only for the final ball letting us down too often. So he gets out of two of the trickiest SPL ZX81 Computer fixtures like Neo in the Matrix – in control of his destiny and now looking a real, real threat to the establishment. Keep on, big fella.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 16: Angelos Postecoglou, Manager of Celtic speaks to referee William Collum and Graham Alexander, Manager of Motherwell during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Celtic FC at Fir Park on October 16, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MIBBERY – 3/10 – FAIL!!! LOL!!! Even trying to level-up as we lead and throw on a new Boss Mason to counter us and break up the rhythm was useless against The Green Force. Gollum retired in frustrated tears before half-time, greetin’ on the sidelines about fast-moving Hoops causing hamstring strains. The Heelin’ haddie that replaced him refused to play the handball rule on presbyterian principles, denying us a few which laughingly backfired on him as they screamed for a late pen. Most pleasing of all was watching the lot of them bent double spewing* in the centre-circle at full time as news from Mordor leaked through.

(*hypothetically)

OVERALL – 8/10 – Motherwell, a confused hamlet in Scotland’s industrial sink, with a stadium that is the Bet Lynch of football grounds – oversized away stand sits like a gaudy beehive atop a ramshackle claret and amber makeover mess disguising the timeworn skankiness of it all. Terrible dilemma for the home support today as their ‘big’ team was scheduled to kick-off in Govan against their ‘other’ team at the same time. Choices, choices, who to watch for the Motherwell Casuals/Ultras – infamous neo-nazi saluting shitebages…But at least they still managed to display a Butcher’s apron in team colours, the flaming tragedies.

Which set it all up for the afternoon’s most satisfying and rousing moments as a swelling, epic chorus or two of ‘Go Home Ya Suns’ underscored their early departure to toast the Reptilian egg-layer at their local hate-pit.

All, of course, facilitated by a dynamic Celtic performance, full of edge and verve. Such a problematic fixture after an international break carries deserved gravitas but the Bhoys handled it as well as any Celtic side in recent memory. You could even claim it was a comfortable 2-0 at Murderwell. Against probably the best home team in a few seasons, not afraid to attack and utilise their pacy forwards.

So, all-in, that was welcome – something pretty unusual and also a very, very good sign. Erm, fingers crossed and a disclaimer on that by the way…

Go Away Now

Sandman

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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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