SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ THE LEGO GRAVEYARD…
“He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.” – P.G. Wodehouse
ROXIE – 7.5/10 MOTM – Saying he was responsible for keeping us in the game – against Livi – is one that chokes
in the throat, similar to hearing your great-gran had a German boyfriend called Adolf and your grandad was born out of wedlock some months after she broke it up and came home…It’s an undeniable fact that, ridiculous as it seems, our keeper was our top performer. By a distance. Kept out Jamesy Forrest’s family black sheep with a great drop and touch, but took the breath away with his ‘Check these flaming guns’ stop in the first 45 at a point-blank header; memories of Craig Gordon’s injury-time wonder-denial to prevent a Man City winner in the 3-3 CL match. That’s Man City, English champions. And we got a draw. Not flaming Livi, West Lothian cluggers, who beat us. But the big guy is exempt from criticism here. Outstanding signing.
JAMIE FOXX – 5.5/10 – 3am, Glasgow nightclub:
“Hey baby, I’m a Celteek player, you know?”
‘Yes, my Dad’s the manager, and you’re playing this afternoon, by the way…’
“What thee feek?..”
And so, one year on from being criminalised by the halfwits in the Scottish government, a reprieve is handed to our wayward bad boy by the new boss. He might’ve felt it was a joke in poor taste but to his credit he found the inverted full-back role to his liking and remained constantly involved, showing good feet and support going forward. The reprieve should be extended.
RAQUEL – 3.5/10 – Nothing plastic about Raquel, but she cleary feels uncomfortable playing on it. The inherited jinx of the Star Lord position struck again as she got rolled and dumped by live-wire striker for the winner. A yellow followed, and a very good save prevented an equaliser from her head to balance up the misery. A bad day to pick to make glaring defensive errors.
GET CARTER – 5.5/10 – Never lost that suspicious look on his face as yet another defensive partner blew up beside him. Tried when he could to surge towards their lines but space was at a premuim and a unit his size was never going to just bludgeon through unseen; might have proved useful at set-pieces if we could cross a ball into the box.
JURAN JURAN – 4/10 – Look, you’re playing in your proper position today…And it looked like he was shocked for most of the game. Certainly, we never got the expected quality or match winning contribution he’s capable of.
McCARTHYISM – 3/10 – Composure is his game. So we sacrifice some dynamism. More a pivot than a gyre. All well and good until we’re unexpectedly behind and he hasn’t got the energising effect we required to redress the balance. Influence expected from him disappeared second-half; he looked confused, mostly.
TURNBULL – 4/10 – Just not turning up in the way we know he can for these games. Skinned in the build up to their goal. Toiled with a rueful grimace when this was made for him to destroy them with devastating poise. His
positioning was questionable, falling into their lines, being swamped rather than dropping in and out to face them up; final ball and deliveries almost Corpus-level phish.
ROGIC – 6/10 – Everything good about Celtic; those cultured kangaroo paws beguiling at times, always turning and searching for openings; wish he’d occasionally say, “Fheck it, mayte,” and smash one. In fact, maybe he could’ve heard us screaming, “Smash one! For God’s sake!” But too often he counted on the competence of his team mates to enhance a move he’d initiated, and all they did was mess it up…But should never have been subbed; with that extraction from the war-zone, our major weapon for unlocking their defensive block was disarmed.
ABADASS- 3/10 – Ate too much fish during Yom Kippers. Looked out of sorts and poor of touch on that criminal surface. Terrible failed cutback early on when a simple knock to Oz would probably have given us the lead. Also became isolated wide right and couldn’t get the better of their stoic full-back often enough. Managed to stay on for the 90, bewilderingly.
NOTEBOOK – 5/10 – Another wing-wizard bemused by the synthetic magic carpet he was asked to bedazzle on. Problem is, however lively he appeared the end product was negligible and choices he made ineffective. This was a game made for his quick feet and directness but he resorted to cutting inside and back rather than gamble on a tear-up or two, so our attacks became predictable. Could have mixed it up a little, tried, a different corner, but faded.
AJETI – 6/10 – Bah, he raged like captured mountain man in a wooden crate but failed to throw off the shackles and nick a precious goal. Close a couple of times but the service to him was mainly stunted and irregular, and lacking in real quality. Gets a pass though, for his attitude remained positive and expectant to the grim death.
BITTON – N/A – The return of the quiet assassin. Very quiet. Nothing of note added.
MAN OF – N/A – Thrown in to inject some energy, finally. Did so, helping drive us on a bit. But too late for major impact.
MIKEY J – N/A – A third winger on the park? Yes, peculiarly, but despite adding some nifty footwork, no potency to
save the day.
ANITA DOBSON – 3/10 – Well, the honeymoon’s over. We’ve had some exciting moments but today was like discovering the new wife’s passport has a ‘Mr.’ crossed out under previous names. Angeball got buried on the carpet bowls surface. His brave and interesting selection looked fine until they scored with their first attempt, then proved rudderless and one-dimensional.
Whatever he’s learning as he goes along needs some back-up plan for nightmare scenarios like today; a back-up plan which must be swiftly implemented, as any of us watching could have told him – we’ve got a lot of previous at Livi and none of it augurs well.
Half-time might have been the auspicious point in the contest to change it around and give them something new
to think about when they came back out geared-up to hold us off. But the system remained in place and Livi were
prepared for just that. Any expected onslaught evaporated.
Changes were too many too late, and questionable, well by me anyway, upsetting any chance of sustained rhythm to keep pressure on. Clock’s now ticking on the goodwill, Ange – there will be rumblings across Celtic Nation after such a shambles; many things forgiven in your circumstances but same-old, same-old at joints like that won’t be tolerated. Better find the mojo again and make it stick.
(And as requested a rating for the referee, should be interesting – Ed).
MIBBERY – 7/10 – Delivered probably the quickest yellow to an opponent we’ve ever known. A few late decisions worth a frown but, really, abject Celtic gave him and easy ride. Chuckling away to himself, probably…
OVERALL – 1/10 (For Roxie) – The Cursed Earth. Judge Dredd had to patrol it in the 80s, an apocalyptic, toxic wasteland. And here we are 40 years on, toiling and suffering on a toxic, cursed pitch; yet again a slaughterhouse for Celtic ambitions.
No matter the personnel, we just cannot play there. It’s bewildering, infuriating and utterly despairing. It’s also
pathetic – the mental recoil when we go a goal down is a disgraceful mindset for any side wearing the Hoops; they should be rolling over attempts to bully them into submission with continual pressing.
You contend that? Then name a Livi player. The big guy at the back who superbly won everything? The nippy striker who applied the killer blow? The sub who looked like Scotty Sinclair, just to rub it in?
Journeymen playing out their skin, accepting the challenge without fear, giving it their best. For some reason we turn up there and Celtic players forget who they are, what they are, and why they’re there. A team of simps, looking around for someone else to bail them out.
Credit to Livi for a battling, intense display that got them their first win of the season. Yes, that’s right – pumped by
every other workmanlike side they’ve faced, until we rolled up. Credit to Motherwell, also, for upsetting the mad-house.
And Celtic? One away win in twelve? What a chance blown to gather some serious title momentum. Not fancy a scrap on a plastic rug on a temperate Sunday afternoon? Just Fleck right off with that.
And fhock thee Diaz brothers too.
Go away now.
Sandman. Phissed. Not phished.