Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic shook up Helen Mirren’s defences


Photo: Andrew Milligan

“When I’m called off, I got a sawed off
Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off
You too, bhoy, if ya mess with me
The police are gonna hafta come and get me
Off yo ass, that’s how I’m goin out…”

‘Straight Outta Celtic’ (You’ll Never Get Me…)

by N.L.W.A (Neilz.Lennonz.Wit.Attitudes)

BANE – 6/10 – He’s badass, but he ain’t as badass as the local Bloods and Crips so kept a low profile. Got a kick sometime around the 85th minute and a good block after requisite Alan Ladd goof.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6.5/10 – Busy. Always busy. At times over does it and undercooks it; in contrast to his charcoaled steak bakes. His final ball or early cross remains a crazy roll of the dice in a mental-ward game of Cluedo but his professional approach is admirable in this most amateurishly performed of campaigns. Won the game-sealing penalty with what is becoming his reliable, habitual endeavour.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

AJER – 6.5/10 – Enjoyed the freezing conditions, which prompted ancestral memories and a couple of viking rampages. He’s been a consistent relief of consistency at the heart of an inconsistent defence all season and tonight, again, was… steady. Thank you, Google synonyms.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

RAQUEL – 6/10 – Up against Raquel, the St.Mirren danger man only lasted 12 minutes before popping out a shoulder; a historically common injury where Raquel was involved. Although, 12 minutes is admirable…But poor Raquel was on her back an hour later, a veritabler ankle-snapper from a loose ox charging around in a striped kit.

Referee Robertson exhibited signs of arousal as Raquel writhed on the ground. But as you’d expect from a masonic-goat-meddler they were entirely misplaced and Raquel’s misery went unpunished by card or even warning. Fingers crossed the kid’s shapely ankle recovers fast.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

JONJO O’NEILL – 6/10 – Quietly goes about his business. Some slackness early was shaken off as got the whip in hand and jumped steadily into the game. (See what I did there, National Hunt historians?). Exceptional intervention on half-time made sure we went into the break with heads up. He looks a reliable defender so far; why the hell’s he here?

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

BROON – 6/10 – Never quiet when Broon’s in a mood. Thundered around like a boss, took no prisoners, had Andy Walker bleating for a card with a rattling good tackle; always a sign Broon’s on his game. And although we toiled for a time, he was still the rock required to bounce the opposition’s ambitions. Poor ball to Raquel which put the kid in trouble, though; Not ‘hospital’, but not clever either.

CALMAC – 5.5/10 – Going through the Calmac motions, which usually means a level above others. But this season he’s slipped in and out of anonymity when we’ve expected a pivot for dynamism. Gone again tonight, though more prominent as they tired. Maybe, as my great-granpappy used to quip, ‘The boay jist needs a right guid ride.’.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

ROGIC – 7.5/10 MOTM –  What’s all the white stuff around the pitch? Only time Oz ever sees whiter powder like that is on a hooker’s rear. And he played like there had been some local lasses bearing ‘Paisley aperitifs’ bent
over in the showers pre-game. Vintage Rogic was the first-half difference. And in stunning defiance of his accepted stamina he never let up deep into the game, setting up Corpus, as those cultured feet dragged the opposition around like Morelos hanging out a baboon’s jacksy.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

EDDIE TURNBULL – 6.5/10 –  Covid vaccination doesn’t seem to have affected his fitness. Was wondering if he’d fade similar to previous games but tonight his quality told in the latter stages as gaps appeared and he thrived,
bagging a deserved goal.

THE YETI – 4/10 – Well, he’ll hustle for ya, but there’s a distinct absence of the match-winning ability required of a Celtic striker. Angry as ever, and has a tendency to fall off opponents like he was back home rolling down a snowy mountainside.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

FRENCH EDDY – 7/10 – Mon Dieu, le feckeeng cold… And after the warmth of half-time Eddy decided he’d had enough of trotting around freezing le baws off waiting for somebody to deliver, and put the game to bed with a passage of tremendous play that shook up Helen Mirren’s defences. Great pen, but we still await the perfect strike partner. Whom we may never see…


KLIMALA KLIMAX – N/A –  No 70s klimax in that bitter chill, hairy muffs or not.

ALAN LADD – N/A –  Phew. Aaand relax, it’s over. We won. Clean sheet.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

CORPUS CHRISTIE – 7/10 – Came on, stole a free-kick off Ancient Eddie and smashed it into the wall just to annoy the hell out of people like me and you.Then infuriated us even further by guiding in a beauty of a finish for the third before also getting involved in the fourth. You’re flaming at it, Corpus…

ELSHAGYONLASSIE – N/A –  Managed to smile through the cold. A tourist in Paisley. Fancy that.

GRIFF – N/A –  Lasted five minutes without flagging; Fitness improving…

LENNONY – 6.5/10 – Consistency of selection strikes again. At least we have that. Is he convinced about that selection? No, of course not; why keep his in-form midfielder on the bench when he could try him in tandem with Broon and give Calmac a rest? But that would involve logic, and Lennony’s a man forging through an illogical typhoon of trouble. He’s getting results – 3 wins in a row. But we’re haunted by deja-vu; a manager out of slack as the gallows beckon, a team gone stale, patterns of play unidentifiable and conditioning evidently lacking. Some kudos due for throwing on as many subs as he could to suck the win bonuses out of Pistol Pete…

The job got done but there’s too few battles been won as the war-that-never-was draws to a close. 18 points behind with just one game in hand and just eleven to go. Good grief. I suppose all the mirrors are covered in his house right now.

OVERALL – 7/10

“Ye’ll never flamin’ take Paisley,” I was once told across a Newcastle hotel lobby amid a two-dozen man standoff.

The situation was actually an amusing row between a travelling band of Paisley gentlemen and wandering Invernessians upon which myself and two compadres had stumbled as we checked-in for a weekend of wine tasting and, well, whoring; two of 90s Newcastle’s renowned cultural attractions.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

Confusion due to teuchter not quite translating satisfactorily into ghetto gansta-rap made the pitchforks v semi-automatics contretemps an invigorating start to a few days I’d still like to fully recall before I die. Anyway, Paisley,

Their spokesman was right, however – especially if you’re playing Shitt-Town-Top-Trumps… Pause for Feegie triggering… But it appears now Celtic CAN flamin’ take it.

Yet… Before laser printers, there was photocopy. Google it, kids. Photocopies were never impressive – they often tended to be a pastiche of the more vibrant original and despite multiple copies you never got that authentic feel; as evidenced by the school’s giant photocopier machine burning out when trying to handle a Fiesta mag, circa 1985.

Like that entreprenurial attempt at a business startup, Celtic’s season feels as if it too was left in the hands of a bunch of teenagers standing around with staple guns, hoping to pin the pages together into a coherent, exciting product.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

It just doesn’t resemble the Celtic we’ve known for a good time now. Not sweeping and dominant, not infused with verve and improvisation; we’re feeling our way through games, never looking more than a collective of individuals attempting to mimic a team.

Thankfully, sometimes like tonight, those individuals eventually prosper and another 4-0 on the road might echo glorious recent years’ victory parades. But however welcome it is, it looks too little too late with the pressure off
and many players’ eyes on further horizons.

A win, convincing but never scintillating; At least we managed one of those required adjectives. Will we keep it up for the last dozen encounters? Can we manage both against the dastardly Ones, twice?

The end is nigh. Run towards it Celtic. Go out in a bit of glory.

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 Comment

  1. Hilarious, inspirational, insightful and as dry as a dry thing that’s been left out to dry on a very dry day.. ( captain blackadder)