Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic Play Franz Ferdinand


“The is no confusion in SPFL football regards the penalty law.  If a defender should possess arms, or even just one arm,  and is playing against the dignified Rangers Of Glasgow, it  is without doubt a penalty. Whenever the honourable brother in black decides.” SPFL clarification statement 

“Miss Sarajevo? Naw, I don’t think we will…” Bono


B.A.BARKAS – 6/10

Four planes in a week, fools! The cost of playing in the A-Team is spools of duct tape, hash, and horse tranquiliser. An uncomfortable trip in the cargo hold didn’t seem to have affected B.A’s flexibility – agile as ever, safe hands, and keen to distribute quickly. Need the rest of them on his wavelength…


A city overflowing with exotic baked delicacies seemed right up his baker’s alley. And aside from his instinctive fear of goal lines, he must be commended for a consistent solid game that saw him snuff out their preferred right-side threat with sharpish defensive work.

And in attack he was more adventurous than recently – think an Ayrshire burd after reading Fifty Shades Of Grey for the first time; Greggs was getting into unusual areas for him and attempting tricky insertions with crosses hit earlier than his nurse recommends. However, his final ball often still remains as questionable as a Bear with a diploma.

ALAN LADD – 6.5/10

Boy, Big Shane can defend with commitment; well it is his job. Carried it out well under the glare of the battling centre-back’s natural enemy – a fussy gimp of a ref with no flaming clue what he was doing. Surprisingly, Shane stayed on the park and held the fort well.


A victim of a carefully planned assassination attempt by a slashing jihadi agent who swiped Nir’s shin and ankle early on, leaving him crumpled and eventually transported off around the pitch on a stretcher. The recriminations will be state-level.

AJER – 6/10

Challenging night as the viking youth faced a stick-or-twist situation; normal surging runs curtailed by the presence of fleet-footed forward-mid opponents, primed to spark us on the break. So he remained under the reins
of Alan Ladd and played within himself; took one for the team as he kept his positional discipline.


Again. Eh? Him? ‘Half a yard aff the pace…’ When was he ever on the pace? He’s no cheetah – Broon’s a rhino. And
for a lot of this game he was also the entire midfield. Absentees around him meant Broon took on the captain’s burden and forged on alone. While you were salivating at the bursts of Calmac guile and Christie endeavour, thrilling at Pingpong’s explosive cameos, Broon was stage-managing. Breaking up their hope, snarling down their impertinence. It’s about mental domination as well as physical on turgid evenings like this one; and he was our one player who fulfilled everything asked of him for every minute of the game. Again.

PINGPONG – 6.5/10

Run, Forrest, run. Said the barstaff to Jamesy. With no flash to light up the night, we get a buzzbomb in place – and if only we’d utilise him more we might kill off grinding opponents earlier. I don’t mean continually play to him – we try that in any case; I mean play to him EARLY, give him a ball into space, knock a few directly ahead of him,
turn their defence. As it was tonight, we played the attrition game and saw the best of Pingpong when their fullback was as tired as some of the backroom workers in the Thai bars he won his table-tennis-without-the-bats championships.

 His pace is gold if we can utilise him properly.

CALMAC – 6/10

A curiosity – a possession-filled match without the domineering presence of Calmac. It looked like he drifted absently more often than not and our dynamic midfield axis stuttered as Broon presented on the ball in positions
Calmac would normally pop up in. He fluttered into life more in the second period and helped pin them in; it
seemed it took him the best part of an hour to find his mojo, and a solid footing in the game.


Hit a breathtaking, swerving, dipping peach of a strike that no keeper in the world is getting near; embarrassingly, it was a pass out to Greggs that all but passed out the stadium.

The comical highlight of the first half, actually.

But he was destined to repeat that feat, facing the correct way, in the second half, twice – one perfectly-creamed screamer skimming the bar that would have been a spectacular opener, and then a low cutter which the
keeper spilled for our winner. Frustrating display from The Saviour Of Man once more as he spun and
danced and flattered to deceive, until – much like Calmac – grew into the game and brought a more telling influence to proceedings.


Not even Scooby Doo and the gang could fathom the mystery of the disappearing Elshaggy. Aside from snapping off our first attempt on target on the 40 minute mark, and popping into the winning goal move, I kept waiting for him to peel the mask off an reveal himself as the classy match winning vanqisher of Riga and Hibs. Sadly he remained incognito and wandered the pitch like he was a half-glimpsed spectre in a haunted fairground. Awww, Raggy…


LOL, Eddy’s finished, not interested, chucked it… Or possibly just swarmed by a merciless cadre of defensive death commandos every game he strives Han Solo up front in. And of course, ‘doesn’t smile enough’ or ‘look’ interested. Yeah…

You know the thing with dynamite strikers? They all really need some decent service; somebody to light the fuse. And we kept our nitroglycerin way too cool with diabolical support. What kept me in hope was the moments produced when, miraculously, somebody would pick Eddy in space – we got the Elshag set-up dink just
before half-time, and some flicks as the second half got going. Then… He spins out the box, lays off to Elshag and in one sweeping curve, follows the move into the six yard box to stab the winner in after Christie’s
spilled shot.

Turn up the heat and he’ll bring the house down.



Angry Paddy re-enacts the Seige of Sarajevo with two defenders and the goalie. I like his aggro-levels; low tolerance for tomtuckery.


A Muthutuckin’ win bonus for a five minute muthutuckin” stroll around a warzone. Daym, mu-thu-tucka.


Mossad protocol dictates that when one agent is down in the field another must instantly take his place. So you may not have noticed the switch but Hat came in like a ghost from the east and the nonsense stopped; solid and
forceful and looked like he might be getting over his CL aberration. So unlucky not to score with a beautifully-taken volley from a corner.

LENNONY – 7/10

Ah, Riga… so fond in his memory we get a repeat of the Lennony Euro hustle featuring a toiling lone striker and cautionary ball-retention trumping maverick soccerisms.

There will be plenty critique of his methods, and most of it will come from those under no more pressure than making sure the porn pop-ups don’t interfere with their pirate streams.

But Lennony’s pressure is somewhat more demanding and intimidating, and he got the result and we got the second-prize of the Euro groups. It’s getting there that counted and what we’ve seen for the last two wrist-slitting
Thursdays is percentages-focussed Lennony getting his job done efficiently – and saving his job – without a nod to aesthetics or gallery-pleasing.

And that’s fair enough.

OVERALL – 7/10

As they say in Dundee, ‘It’s ain’t pretty but I’ll ride it all the way until the glamour turns up…” And so once more we closed our eyes, girded our loins and won ugly. Against an ugly team intent on keeping it ugly and looking to sucker-punch our beautiful Hoops.

This is how good teams get it done – no spectacular on-field suicides as is our want two CL qualifying seasons on the trot – just eeking out a win and no shenanigans either way. I think it’s called professionalism. We won without incident or trauma, we move on to more appetising occasions. Me, you, the players, the management – we’ll all struggle to recall this one and Riga by the New Year; wouldn’t be surprised if Google forgot about it too.

UEFA provided the night’s main entertainment by appointing an utterly incompetent twat as ‘referee’ – like some French mime artist attempting a montage of a soccer official, awarding fouls for slips, non-contact, and artistic impression. They also moved the game 100 miles to another stadium after declaring Sarajevo’s home ground – which we played in last year – unfit for fans. In the middle of a pandemic. When there would have been no fans anyway. Brilliant. There’s a good chance we might be drawn out the hat in the Champions League at this rate.

Anyway, a Euro-win for the glorious Hoops. What’s not to like…

Go Away Now.


READ THIS...FK Sarajevo 0 Celtic 1 – “Phew. A relief to hear the final whistle tonight,” David Potter

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

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