Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic at Shaggedyer


“They think it’s all over. It isn’t now! Stupid Zombies…” Kenneth Wolstenholme

ROXIE – 7.5/10 – Joe the magnificent. But for his resistance all winter like a reincarnated Game Of Thrones swordsman, we’d have long since been suffering under the jackboots of the Night King and his zombie hordes (Clementine and his slavering degenerate fanbase, for the slow readers…). So Joe Snow has single-glovedly kept us alive. The breathtaking pivotal moment today was a reaction save, near point-blank, to stop them taking a second lead you knew we weren’t coming back from. Joe’s got a dozen or so games left in his decorated football career and you can count on him living every moment of every one for the cause.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10 – Gurnin’ Greggsy – looked as happy as Peter Lawwell having to walk amongst poor people, as he spent most of the time floundering with the rest. But Greggs’ capacity to keep at it is limitless and the moment he got it right changed the course of the game, with a fine flighted ball for the equaliser.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 6.5/10 – “I’m Batman…” Yet played more like Catwoman first-half, pussyfooting about and appearing out of sorts. Then the mask got cast, true identity revealed – The Moose! – and his game reached caped crusader levels when he finally found his touch, linking with Ying to ramp up some chaos, and played a terrific instinctive ball in for the orgasmic second.

OF JUSTICE – 4.5/10 – The bhoy was in a real groove first few months of the season. Now finds himself stuck in a ditch. Getting rolled by journeymen, getting lax with his passing, ropey with positioning; still got a cultured left foot and remains nimble, but looks stale. Probably a small niggling injury would be best to sideline him and let him reboot to finish the season fresh in mind and spirit, rather than a confidence-draining benching. But he’s going to cost us dearly at this rate of decline.

APOLLO CREED – 6/10 – Looked handicapped by malfunctioning Liam, and was nearly overrun on a couple of occasions. However, he provided a vital physical repellant when we badly needed one and was clean and efficient playing out from the back.

TONIO IWATAO – 7.5/10 – One of the few who gave 90 minutes of the standard expected. Well, not 90 because someone decided he should be replaced… A decision that even invoked a cry of ‘He’s no’ got a flaamin’ clue!’ from the sightless, grandmaster trapist monk watching telly in the ancient monastery up in the snowbound Himalayan town where Tonio grew up.* Great exhibition of DM with positional breakup play and precise passing and support. The indomitable presence we need in there. Just like everyone’s been asking for. All season. Is there anybody listening?

*No he didn’t.

CALMAC – 5.5/10 – Off his game but on his job; surprised the advanced role did not find Calmac playing with greater abandon; found himself running into trouble a lot, playing down cul-de-scas. But he kept his skipper’s head on and the verbal drive was in his team-mates ears until the death.

THE BUILDER – 5/10 – Just not here or there where he should have been. Mercurial Matty never managed to find the lethal drift to hurt them. And his creative spark was absent as he fruitlessly struck damp flint for 90 minutes.


KILLER MUSHROOM – 3/10 – Ach, one chance, one near thing blocked by the keeper. And probably one touch outwith that. Starvation diet continues for our most lethal (pre-Rodgers) striker since Henrik. It’s a crime.

LORD KATSUMOTO – 6.5/10 – Daizen! Daizen! Yas! No… Yas? No… Eh? The human shuttlecock shows the rest how it’s done in the name of commitment and selfless endeavour. Then blows his deserved reward as match-winner with one of the most ghastly inexplicable misses since we saw Michael Mols’ wife…

TAKINTE – 3/10 – About time KT and Paddy Roberts gave their offspring a talking to – he seems to have some twinkling feet there, but is far too passive and ineffective. Particularly in this moment when we need a rampaging destroyer.


DUNCAN IDAHO – 8.5/10 MOTM – From Big Joe to Big Doh! Extremes of the team win the day, and Dunc gets the impact sub of the season award for a miraculous appearance from the Steeltown shadows
to make the Zombies choke on their medicine with two spoonfuls of Sellic sugar, like an inverse Mary Poppins from Cork. Sharp, mobile and uncompromising; a throwback to classic centre-forward days on a day we most needed it. Thumping header, vicious poke, and the afterthought loanee from Alan Partridge FC suddenly has the support asking questions. Well, one – ‘How much?’.

YING – 7/10 – Will the real Yang stand up! Unlikely hero number two emerges with that customary no-mucks-given expression and does what it says on the face – incessant tin-opener feet hustle and abuse their left side, resulting in game-winning chances.

BRIAN DE – 6/10 – A joyous icing on the cake moment and a heartfelt message in prayer for a tragic friend. And of course in the SPL that gets ye booked, removing the Hoops…

SAINT BERNARDO – N/A – On to bemusement, not prominent, as others got the job done while he filled-in.

GET CARTER – 6/10 – Is the big mhan back for good? Let’s hope so as ideas got bucked up around his entry.

THE SHNAKE – 6/10 – From a lucky Man to a flukey man. Saved by his subs who carved out the crucial win by the shine of his chompers, therefore can claim plaudits for his ‘tactical nous’…But we all saw the jaws of death open wide and the title dangle over the pit of despair. That’s a treble-winning squad out there looking more like a chaotic Monty Python sketch. And you’re not pinning the blame for such tepid football on the plush-bottomed yahoos sat in the directors’ box or the players themselves, once upon-a-time focussed and dynamic and all-conquering. Sort it or stroll on.

MIBBERY – 5/10 – Nice try, no cigar. Right to the end they went, nitpicking over the third in the name of goal diff… Sorry, ‘rules application’. Not even with those eyes in the back of his heid could Gollum deny the sickening injury-time blows to his overlords’ dark desires. Cope harder.

OVERALL – 6.5/10 – So after yesterday’s illegal and incestuous cousin-pumping in the Mordor Hate Pit (“Hearts, Hearts, glorious Hearts, Touching our toes for the Govan rats…”) the task for the Hoops was pure and simple: smash those Mothers…Almost impossible to see any light of glory on the horizon in that diabolical first half as we trundled around like Stephen Hawking on Epstein Island – hapless, seemingly incapable of scoring; just hoping for some action to come our way.

Then the switcheroo, and the real Celts turned up for 45+6 minutes of title-saving intensity. When the air reeks of Zombie vomit you know something very Celtic happened in the nick of time, and in our case today it was a cheeky Mick in the mick of time. (See what I did there all you triggered racial-stereotyping Karens? – and I’m allowed to do it in the same way as when black rappers use that word…).

So as the darkest parts of the land fall into a night scored by the sound of teeth-gnashing Zombies eating their own dugs alive, we can view the disastrous performance of the opening half eclipsed by that buoyant second 45, as a bait-and-switch play.

We’d hoped for a comfortable slaughter. But in some way the method of victory here can ignite our resurgence and be psychologically damaging to their momentum; minutes from a cushion of a slip-up they were, and similarly us from a daunting vertical ascent back to the summit. Now our players can anchor their focus on today’s second-half display and reference that going forward. Potent belief in their ability to seize the points like that is priceless. ‘Mon The Hoops’.

Go Away Now


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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


  1. Use players proper name’s.
    The story writer is so childish with how he describes people.
    I don’t waste my time reading the individual player reports with the foolish name calling.
    Where is the respect to each player.
    The answer is back in the writers playground.

    • It’s ment to be comical mate, get a sense of humour…

      I’ve read everyone of his summations and look forward to it most weeks… Dont always agree with his marks but the nicknames are a laugh (if you have a sense of humour that is)..

      Keep up the good work Sandman…

    • Celtic must have improved somewhat if it’s back to giving Sandman some stick. Funny how his are the longest running and most popular Celtic Player Ratings on the go. But if it’s not for you then simply don’t bother to read. HH

    • It is a silly bit of fun. Most fans think it is hilarious, and a few think it is childish (correct) and unfunny. Personally I don’t think Mrs Brown’s Boys is funny so you know what, I just don’t bother watching it. If you don’t like Sandman, then don’t bother reading it. It has been on the go for many years now so it isn’t like you wouldn’t know what to expect.

      It is a bit of harmless fun and with all the shite going on in the world, I think we need some comic relief.

    • Lighten up sourpuss. Your life and soul of the party label has fallen off
      Sandman is hilarious and superb and even the players can’t wait to read what he’s written.