Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v Leith Marauders

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC v LEITH MARAUDERS…

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B.A.BARKIS – 6/10

Surprisingly little to do despite Hibs achieving a few shooting positions and posing an aerial threat. What he did manage was another clean sheet and moving towards better understanding with his defence which is occasionally exposed. Because they don’t speak Greek.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10

Still attempting to get over his irrational fear of opposing bylines; tried munching on one of his yum-yums while walking towards the line all week in training – that seemed to be working in the first half as he charged up and
down the left almost possessed, linking with Calmac, but second half he got the fear again and his game remained half-baked. Like his bacon rolls.

BITTON – 7.5/10

Do we have to find space for this man? His composure and ability to play quality football from the back is invaluable. His sheer abrasiveness gives no quarter to uppity opponents – whips bulkier players around like a racing snake with a rabbit. What a conundrum for Lennony when you see his brilliant link-up from defence to release Pingpong in the second half; Game-changing ability.

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ALAN LADD – 6.5/10

Big Shane’s a stopper. A man of great blocks who thinks nothing of punching a horse to greet the day while he walks the ranch downing his breakfast Guinness. But he’s not a footballing central defender we can rely on to build play; maybe having that responsibility is causing deficiencies in his concentration – a weakness we’ve seen almost exploited on a few occasions as forwards sneak in behind him, completely unnoticed. He needs to address that, quickly. Meantime, don’t visit any gay bars, Shane.

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AJER – 7/10

Viking lore states ye move before October or stay and smite the Bears. Looks increasingly like Young Ironside will remain to enhance the Lothbrok legend at Paradise/Valhalla. No doubting his professionalism as he gives 100% to the hoops and battles, breaks and surges. Let’s hope it lasts another 9 months.

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BROON – 8.5/10 MOTM

Eleven Lionel Messis get pumped week in week out. Eleven Ronaldos likewise. Successful sides need a blend. History is exfoliated by lyrical waxing, great toughness is deified in decades hence, yet… often cursed in its day.

Interestingly, in recent sketchy performances, Broon has been the steady one, doing exactly what it says on the Broon tin. Those decrying his presence must realise his character is a major, vital part of the recent Celtic glory. His work is done partly on the pitch, some in the dressing room, and mainly in the heads in the of those around him. Feeling embattled mentally, twinkletoes? Poor game? Look towards your skipper. Feel the mettle. Gain fortitude. Lift it.

Take the heart out of the side and you discard the drive and mindset of winners; Put some prettier footballer in his position and you clap your hands and cry, ‘Yay!’ as we get run all over and kicked off the park; good luck with that.

Today, Broon was again Broon – the finest Celtic Captain of the century. THE will to power behind the TEN. Lashing himself to the mast and steering his crew to another win. Battling, covering, motivating, almost scoring, closing down a very capable Hibs midfield…. You don’t like the aesthetics, then go watch through a mirror… Broon won. Celtic won. He was CONTROL.

Broon is Hal 9000. And he’s not opening the pod doors for anyone, Dave.

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CALMAC – 8/10

Bentley made him. Purring over just nicely, turning on the power when required – sparked in the first with a trademark lefty outside the box, close twice more, a rotating footballing engine. You watch him like you watch a tank of exotic fish; with mild wonder, appreciation and comprehension of his value.

PINGPONG – 8/10

Pace, pace, pace – you can’t beat it, can’t defend against it and can’t get enough of it; if we can just coach in a killer final ball he’s the wingback/winger of the future. Until then he’s exciting and tantalising to watch’ like a beautiful stripper who leaves the thong on. And I’ve left that metaphor open for gender interpretation in the
name of equality…

CORPUS CHRISTIE – 7/10

What’s up, Corpus? Was moving well first half, great feet to set up the 2nd goal, toughing it out in midfield, bouncing over their beast, looked a match-winner then failed to emerge after the break. Being Sunday, I initially presumed he’d an omnipresent church booking (across the globe all at once…) but hope it’s a rest and nothing
sinister. His Da’ will let us know.

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ELSHAGYONLASSIE – 7/10

Quiet (his default, really) but when those moments come along that make the difference, he was on it like a beetle bonnet (no, I’ve no idea where that came from…) and, showing even neater footwork than Christie – Fred Astaire to Sammy Davis Jr – polka-poked the shot that forced our second goal from the rebound.

Then he once again went into suspended animation until appearing from the ether to seal the deal. Class, but bizarrely absent for spells. I’m guessing its a well-honed ruse to baffle defenders; if we forget he’s playing – and we’re watching with multiple cameras and wide scope – God help defenders as Elshag emerges from the mist like a pirate ghost from The Fog (original, Jamie Lee Curtis – great rack) to plunder and slay.

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AJETI – 7/10

The Yeti struck, snapping in the keeper’s parry and snapping his hamstring in the process. Through gritted teeth we await the verdict. Eyes on the 17th, keep him tuned.

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SUBS:

SAM JACKSON – N/A

A muthutuckin’ win bonus special for this daym Muthutucka – how he likes it; a wedge of Benjamins for swaggerin’ on an poppin’ around some junkie muthutuckas without workin’ up a muthutuckin’ sweat. Sweet!

KLIMALA KLIMAX – N/A

On briefly, tore around as per usual like an exotic energised replicant edition of Broon.

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EDDIE TURNBULL – 7/10

So impressive for a man of his venerable age. Confused at first as to who to play for, he soon noticed Smith, Johnstone, Reilly and Ormond were missing and Hibs were playing in a kit of an abstract colour not known on our current spectrum – a kind of disturbing Trainspotting toilet bowl hue; ‘Urban Junkie’.

So he played-up for the green and white jerseys and looked impressive – fitted in well, good movement and dangerous – papping in a few testing shots. Linked well with Broon. We’re being careful with him due to that horror knee injury last year. But given he’s already had two hip replacements and a pacemaker fitted and copes fine, I’m thinking he’ll figure more in the near future. Great showing today; there’ll be a few tales told in the care home tonight. Or undertakers.

MAN OF SORO – N/A

Five minutes to bring them woe and give us a show. Looks… Promising.

FRENCH EDDY – 6/10

Two subdued games in a row. Does he care? Pah! C’est le-uns who weel suffer soon, ah weel bet on eet!

LENNONY – 7.5/10

Naw, yer no’ gettin two up front. Cry me a river.

And so the Celtic twitter space crashes into a an angst-ridden fury of misspelt recrimination. Before kick-off.

Then his tactics fall into place, we play well and dominate a Hibs side who gave the bestest teem inra wuruld a scare last week. So, like Thursday, the method is trumped by the outcome. And today’s method was smooth
and pleasing on the eye. We’re still operating at 75% capacity due to niggling striker woes; fingers crossed everything heals and we get the early fireworks mid-October.

Before that funday Sunday we relish Lennony’s next foray into Europe; the Twitttertwatterati await with a clipboard full of copies to be pasted…

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OVERALL – 8/10

It was a day to beware. A day of exciting possibilities for those born to darkness, and Bobby Madden was at his most priapic, getting Motherwell out of the way early with two classic non-penalty-penalty awards to
catch the big game in the Louden later.

And how the clouds will gather for them, portents of a coming thunderhead as the Celts begin to rev-up. Still unsettled, we looked more like a cohesive unit today than Thursday. Hibs attempted to exploit weakness (that needs addressing, JK…) by getting in behind us too often. But we did recover well.

Going forward, boosted by Broon’s dominant mood, the creatives found freedom and wriggle-room and we carved out some lovely openings. All-in, a 3-0 victory against a Hibs side on the rise was a perfect response to the week’s critics. 6 wins in a row. On the way to a practice TEN by October’s end.

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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