Sandman’s Definitive Ratings: Celtic v Leipziggy Stardust


‘Red Bull gives you wings. Ange now needs wingers. Loads of them.’ – Red Bull altered marketing from last week.

Joe Hart and teammates react after the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park , on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ROXIE – 8/10 – Big Joe’s boot! Big Joe’s baws! Big Joe’s left paw! Did about all he could muster to make up for his
German club-foot disaster. Marvellous solid keeping, but ultimately exposed by a tiring defence and helpless at their goals.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 7.5/10 – Another CL test, another CL badge of honour for the man least likely. Perfect example of focus and channelled endeavour. Played the first-half of his life and might have planked in an historic opener but for sclaffing it into the ground and onto the bar; hoping the Zombies might finally pay out on their crossbar challenge. His intensity level faded after the interval, as did many, and a few gaffs crept in. But take nothing away from his value to the team, particularly against this level of opposition, where he finds ability to go beyond his assumed limitations and give us a new dimension when least expected.

BIG MERCEDES – 7/10 – After last week, he had it nailed, mostly… Addressed his positional traumas from the start tonight, finding the correct balance between commitment and cover early. That manifested in some terrfic stops and blocks and with CCV beside him, it looked for a while that they might not find a way through.

GET CARTER – 7.5/10 – Like Jenz, this big mhan showed what we’d missed with a sterling, competent peformance up against top class pace and guile. Kept himself mentally one step ahead and made every knife-edge moment his. As with Joe, no blame laid at his doorstep for their goals – just the result of runners cutting past tired legs. Plus, he’s too flaming big to point the finger at…

JURAN JURAN – 6.5/10 – On nights like these we get that electrifying turn of pace showcased to remind us why he’s the Croats first choice for the World Cup. We also get reminded that he might just give us a little extra at particular moments when the pressure’s on; Didn’t quite have the final ball delivery at pivotal times. Caught in ball-watching indecision instead of clearing it out before their killer goal, but looked spent by then.

Amadou Haidara vies with Matt O’Riley during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Parkon October 11, 2022.  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

THE BUILDER – 8.5/10 MOTM – Tremendous shift from the handsomest young viking in Glasgow. He had to dig deep and dig fast to keep our two-man midfield presence alive. Looked swamped first half-hour but those quality feet got to work and he grew into the game, tackling, drifting with fluid intelligence so he was never too far from an attack or to cover their counter. Deserved to cap his night with a goal but the damned post foiled him, then later he misfired after working into a sweet position; Thus, summed up the CL campaign in its entirety…

HAKUNA HATATE – 6/10 – Unusually careless on a few occasions for a man of his rep. Industry and intent were there but daft risks got taken with failed flicks and tricks, and it appeared Reo hadn’t kept the fact he was one of only two midfielders at the forefront of his mind; no cover for errors, no mercy from an opponent designed to spring. He was still a better option to see out the 90 than his replacement, with a spectacular goal or two in those boots. But his yellow may have swayed that call.

HACKY SACK – 6/10 – What a damn shame we didn’t utilise his quality better. As he found space in the opening Celtic retorts, everything channelled through him looked dangerous. Topped it with a splendid ball to lay a header on a plate for Kyogo. But beyond the pies and irn bru they cut him off and our tired limbs couldn’t find him in space and he was starved and then shamed by being hooked for Eddie T….

Daizen Maeda and Willi Orban during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park, on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

LORD KATSUMOTO – 6.5/10 – Daizen was easily and honourably our best Eastern star. A classic Maeda madness moment featuring a cross that flew like one of Alfie’s punctured sex dolls had the stands up in arms, but that aside he was keen as ever and tormenting them on the left with that pace and no end of decent nicks and touches. Very unlucky with his head twice and more conviction on a half-volley might have turned the game our way. Much-maligned recently, tonight he was worthy of his jersey.

MR.KOBAYASHI – 5/10 – The movement was there, and as ever the commitment, but the flashes of Kyogo the Gojira of Japanese mythos were a poor replica of the true legend – deadly as a bloke in a rubber monster suit instead of the potent force of nature that smites enemies in a storm of destrutive glory. It’s too late now to
save Japan…

Liel Abada eaves the pitch injured during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park, on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ABADASS – 4/10 – In he came for big moments, and off he went with his only one – crunched out of a game he’d struggled to get into.


SON OF JACKIE – 6/10 – The presence we needed. The missed sitters we didn’t. Even Greek ghods don’t seem immune to the Celtic profligacy disease though those clowns in the VAR circus tent should have pinned a pen on
his second opportunity and thwarted header.

MOOEY – 5.5/10 – Well, he did not bad, despite not exactly the fit for a match of such pace and intensity, setting up Daizen with a fine run and interaction. But he’s not the man to win the game, more the caretaker to see it out and when he appeared I’d have taken the 0-0 right then, given who he was in tandem with…

EDDIE TURNBULL – 4/10 – Man, soon as the zimmer got chained up beside the dugout I felt the Reaper tap our CL hopes on the shoulder as well as Eddie. Simply not the guy to look to for an uplift against the likes of Leipzig. Not possessing of the pace nor the energy levels to catch the flow of such a game. He was going to struggle to make any impact, impotent as Allan McGregor at a nunnery, unless we attained some kind of dangerous set-piece. We didn’t.

JAMESY – 5.5/10 – The sight of Jamesy blowing a sigh of relief on the touchline as he remembered to tuck before he came on lightened the intensity. Question was, could he repeat past glories? Well, naw, but almost
on a few bursts; suffered a bit like Hacky Sack with lack of decent service though tried to get himself involved as much as possible.

DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA – N/A – Promising kid with the Perth glory fresh in his mind might have
been a better option earlier than some others…

ANITA DOBSON – 6.5/10 – Still glowing from Saturday’s barbie-kickstarting glory in the countryside sunshine, he smashed down a six pack of Kanga-Kick energy drink for the inspiration to conquer Red Bull. And…..Decided to go full-Mowbray again. With no Calmac, or Jota. At the Germans. Top Germans. Much better Germans than the
Zombies scared out of the Europa with sheer ugliness; This was a side and coach tuned for Angeball’s venom and they managed to take the sting out of it. At first.

To his credit that incessant, unrelenting philosophy had its time in the game, and he might have expected to profit from it. But when the stalemate became unbearable and legs quivered and his moment of tinkering came…Well, today I felt Ange tried to stick rather than twist. On came two midfielders of single-pace. Big Twist was left on the bench; who’d shown up well last week, who displayed speed of pass, intent, and physical presence at the weekend… And young Maradona, on a wave of confidence, looking to make an impact. Nope, this time the gamble was to not gamble, and away the game slipped from us. For once, you stopped, Ange.

OVERALL – 6.5/10 – The sheer teeth-grinding intensity of these contests is sore on the eyeballs. The anguish of not drawing first blood and feeling that surge of victorious adrenalin is gut-wrenching. Also, almost always insurmountable. As with tonight. The desperation for scoring first all but dissipated into a mesmerising dream-state as Celtic created chances number 345, 346 and 347 (thousand…) of this CL lark and spunked every one
of them away like some decadent French renaissance courtier spitting out grapes and debutantes’ pubes. Again.

In your imaginings of how this CL might play out, never did the sheer volume of chances we have created manifest; Perhaps one or two a game and hopefully snatch something from those exciting explosive moments…But here we are, romping about the CL like hyperacive ADD toddlers rattling around a nursery school brandishing scissors, but somehow – to the oppositions’ great relief – unable to inflict any cuts.

Celtic players react after the UEFA Champions League Group F  match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park  on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Tonight we came off the ropes and took the game right to them and fazed them quite a bit. However, just as we were chiselling another historical monolith to expansive and gallus hooped endeavour our weakness became apparent once more – the lack of real CL-level quality in-depth, and their additions put the match beyond us.

For all that, the Bhoys provided an enjoyment level beyond any we’d get attempting pragmatism at this level of the game. We’re throwing plenty punches but just not landing any that count and we’re not capable yet of going the distance. Yet, I much prefer our dogfights to the insipid damage-control practiced across the city; you’ll learn nothing and inhibit progress if you don’t give it the Celtic go.

And we’ll get another shot…

 Rod Stewart stands in the crowd ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park , on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The CL is done but when Madrid finally got the flaming finger out they left us the tantalising opportunity to take Shakhtar at home next game then go to Madrid in search of a point that might give us Europa football if Leipzig tank Shakhtar in their last game.

You know what to do Bhoys…

Go Away Now


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. It was as you said.
    A class support
    B class ( not in a bad way but let’s face it, at this level )squad.
    Getting on for A class opposition.

  2. Maith thu. Agreed.
    Missing top class striker at this level but they cost millions Hoops can’t afford.
    Big concern is the fitness levels as the game wore on.No lack of effort.
    Leipzig definitely much fitter.Back to porridge on Sat and x win.
    Hail Hail