Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v Granton Star

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC v GRANTON STAR…

UNIQUE ANGLE – Celtic TV’s Unique Angle from last night’s 4-1 win over Hibs at Celtic Park in the Scottish Premiership with the goals coming from Oh (2), Matt O’Riley and Luis Palma.

“It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid
Of ugly Bears and their fat burds, on parade
Cos we are Glasgow Celtic
And we are full of jhoy
Raise your scarves for ‘Walk Alone’
And sing for the bhoys…

Beat the Zombies, let them know it’s Christmas time
Beat the Zombies, let them know it’s Christmas time
Beat the Zombies…
They don’t know what Christmas is, at aaaalll..”

– Bham Aid Xmas charity single launches.

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – 16 minutes and 44 seconds – took Joe that long to get his first touch, which was a trap with his studs 30 yards out. Sold for the goal by his defenders, but highlight of his game was a 40 yard pass through to Matty, a deep free-kick walloped as he ran up past surprised Hoops yelling, ‘I’ve played against Pirlo, I’ll flaming have it!”

 Luis Palma of Celtic celebrates with Greg Taylor during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park Stadium on December 06, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10 – Lungs burst? Greggs got the flu but still showed up for work. Hear that, ya shiftless bar stewards? Bhoy’s choked like a deranged dug, sniffling like a neurotic harridan at the end of ‘Titanic’ and yet still makes the effort to clock-in for a measley 10 grand a week…All-energy and no service or end-product for his admirable time in the game. Now it’s slippers, lemsip and a Walking Dead binge in the quarantine cell to prepare for the 30th. Keep him away from the rest!

WAYNE GRETZKY – 7/10 – Back in the old routine – bombing up and down the flank like the Canadian ice truck we knew from last winter. Won a pen, made numerous surges to chaotic effect.

OF JUSTICE – 6/10 – Another calm head game from the placid ginger Gael. Not much required than to maintain discipline and shape and provide a secure foundation. Job done well.

GET CARTER – 7/10 – Marvellous first half when he showed superhuman ability to cope with marking FIVE men at once; not everyday you come up against Tavares. Bonus was, their inspirational vocals spurred CCV to greater heights as he came within a Queen Camila’s baw-hair (yes, probably…) of scoring twice. Disturbing event of the night was realising Paradise was missing a big burly angel after the break (see what I did there, four surviving Tavares fellas?). Fingers crossed.

TONIO IWATAO – 8.5/10 MOTM – Learning Japanese certainly paid of for Tony tonight as the Skelper Of Barca showed what plastic surgery and five years in the gym can do for a fallen bhoy’s career. Been a while in the making but, finally, Tomoki shows the J-league form as he delivers a complete holding-mid performance from solidity to efficiency with opportunistic creativity thrown in. Wasted one pass all night and his only other mishap was knocking the last kick of the game into the side netting when he deserved a goal to ice the mochi.

This type of player, established in that position, producing this week-in, week-out, allowing Calmac and Matt to roam is an extra-dimensional bolt-on to the team function. As added components go, it’s a title-winning one; Here’s hoping.

CALMAC – 7/10 – Busman’s holiday night for the skip, freed like Nelson Mandela to lead his people to liberation. Well, shifted up a few yards but the sentiment was there as he skipped about like bambi on coke (a-cola, kids; just say no…), head filled with frivolous creative thoughts rather than morbid game-management routines.

THE BUILDER – 7.5/10 – He’s a quiet lad. For about fifteen minutes. Then he bust onto the scene like Starsky And Hutch and shot up the bad guys with a combination of perfectly-timed runs, handsome heid, cool finishing and exquisite touches.

Mikey Johnston during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on December 06, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MIKEY J – 6/10 – Top of the bill was the Mikey Show. We anticipated a rousing home-field return from Sunday’s match-winning sub and it got off to a fair start as his directness won the goalscoring corner. However, despite decent interactions and promising thrusts, linking well with AJ, his comeback claim was overshadowed by the delightful wing-play on the opposite flank…

Luis Palma scores his team’s third goal from the penalty spot during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park  on December 06, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

BRIAN DE – 8/10 – Lovely swarthy guile and grace as he demonstrated why we picked up a game changer for sheckles when we usurped his services from right under the penniless Zombies’ snouts. The shift of feet and deft slipped passes are no guarantee of anything but coy sand-dancing entertainment; it’s when you can combine the silk with the blade that assassins are born…

His final killer ball tonight with his standing left for Matty to put the game beyond Hibs was perfect; repeated again soon after. And confidence is a virtue, as they say – Parkheadlife! – reserved for the habitual Honduran who can step back up to the penalty spot he missed from and ping it high into the net with casual aplomb. We got ourselves a star. Next step: Skelperdom awaits.

 Oh Hyeongyu celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park Stadium on December 06, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

OH BHOY – 8/10 – Bhoy, Oh, bhoy. He’s all about the book Jane Austin wrote: Presence And Punishment. Hibs got Squid-Gamed by our hungry Korean kid. Stole one to show he’s not scared of big CCV, then rickrolled their centre-half before sweeping low past Marsh. That scoring record got blunted by Rodgers The Rotter when he was hooked before a nice hat-trick but he’s surely a shoe-in – or thigh-in – for starting at Killie’s spiky lino on Sunday?

SUBS –

 Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hibernian FC at Celtic Park Stadium on December 06, 2023.. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

KILLER MUSHROOM – 6/10 – Tortuous moments in front of goal continue for the wee mhan as his half hour frenzied work-rate ends with a scoop over and the drought extended. Don’t worry, aibo, the Zombies are coming soon.

TONY THE TIGER – 6.5/10 – “Left? Where the hell is that? Eh, awright…” So Tony the utility king gets slotted into the Greggs’ space like a surly gorilla sat at the chimps tea party. And what does he do? Kick with his right, cut inside onto his right, tackle with his right; and he does it marvellously, and toughly, and you’d never think he was anything but…A right back on the left…

THE NATIONALIST – 5.5/10 – Who the hell’s this again? Did we not see him as an extra in Blackadder Season 1?Well, seemingly wearing slippers of that era, big Nat fopped about like a 15th Century courtier, got skinned and cost a goal. Took him ten minutes but he did manage to settle down and look more comfortable on the ball. Well, when I say comfortable, I mean grenade-juggling comfortable.

MARCO POLO – N/A – The Aussie Wish Clarke Gable gets some more minutes and we get to remember that other winger we knew we had but couldn’t place.

SAINT BERNARDO – N/A – Charged about for a wee while, woofing at Beaton.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on December 06, 2023.. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

THE SHNAKE – 7.5/10 – Well, I’ve been sending him a note tied to a carrier pigeon every day for months about Tomoki letting Calmac push forward but the damn birds kept getting wiped out in Glasgow airspace by Kenny Miller in a low orbit. But tonight we got to see the fruits of such a formation and it can only be hoped he keeps it in mind for the tough games to come over the festive weeks.

Only gripe tonight is why Lagertha – Sweden’s defender of the season winner – and Apollo Creed aren’t getting gametime ahead of Nat – a loan option who’s back down south after Santa’s offskied. Probably, ‘EPL’ phish reasons…

Match referee John Beaton awards a penalty after a VAR consultation during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hibernian FC at Celtic Park on December 06, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MIBBERY – 5/10 – Swallow hard, Johnny, suck down that penalty decision. Yet, he’s a professional MIB, and managed to book the Celtic skipper and also carded Palma for signing for us instead of his beloved, so there’s that…

Hyeongyu celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic  and Hibernian at Celtic Park on December 06, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

OVERALL – 8/10 – A spankingly good spanking for the heroin heroes which could have been double. No faffing about like Perth, just focussed players getting at them from the first whistle; exactly the way we like our Celtic served at Xmas. The only detriment to the satisfaction of the evening’s entertainment was the atmosphere, mostly I suspect absorbed by Pistol Pete’s layers of fat, giving cricket pavillon vibes when subs come out to warm up to a crescendo of polite clapping which will resonate worldwide…

Honestly, Pete, get the buzz back. I’ll settle for that even before the roar; but the corporate sterility will cost points in the long term and these Bhoys deserve the Celtic noise. Amusing final note that Hibs are sponsored by Bevvy.com, which is what step on the program? Sad to see Smackheid.com lose their branding rights but will keep an eye out for Baccy.com getting in next season ahead of Vapers.com for any Euro games. Just imagine – in about 5 years they’ll be proudly bearing ‘Linda McCartney’s Vegan Sausages’ across the merch…

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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