Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v (Mc) Innes & Gunn


“At least when people shout at me in the street – ‘Progress Sweetcorn!’ – it sounds okay. But Steve Davis and Nosferatu? I don’t fancy somebody in the Hoops screaming ‘Arse Plimsol!’ at me for the rest of my days…”

– Pedro Caxhina on The Rangers International (except for Cyprus and Luxembourg) utter, utter, humiliation.

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – Beaten by a hardcore Celt – shame on you son… Yet immaculate in every other goalkeeper task presented. Whiners have to understand – Big joe is the archetypal Celtic keeper; focussed domestically and capable beyond.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 8/10 MOTM – “I WILL play the inverted role…” As he told The Shnake. And now, as we progress into the season, the baker’s tenacity comes to the fore. He’s been his own man in this transition – I noted such back in August – as he’s maintained the Angeball role and forced the prodigal to accept that’s how you get the best out of Greggs. Capped his influence off with a goal, tapping in with his gimp peg to kill the game off, finally. But don’t underestimate the sharpness and nous required to get himself in that position.

. Celtic v Kilmarnock, Cinch Scottish Premiership, – 07 October.  Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

WAYNE GRETZKY – 6.5/10 – Smashing around as has become his forte. Today he had plenty physical counterpoints to attend to, so we never saw him as much in the forward role. But his conservative bent was really the primary requirement as he kept a wary eye on his central defensive duo after Wednesday’s calamity.

GET CARTER – 6.5/10 – Good to see you back, big fella… Sort of…. Wondered how he’d settle knowing the Lazio disaster was on his mind but he was adequately CCV as we know him and did his job with minimal fuss. Rusty, but of course…

Photo Jane Barlow

OF JUSTICE – 7/10 – Another noteworthy display from the new season’s superhero as the kid defies attempts to expose him as anything less than Hoops quality. Once more he was as focussed on those Killie vermin as any rat escaping the sinking HMS Edmiston Drive, and once more we got an admirable defensive outing, though taking a card for his one and only mistimed rodent-skelp.

CALMAC – 7/10 – Tick-tock goes the metronome. That’s ‘Tick-tock’, not ‘tik-tok’ you juvenuile delinquents; referencing a clock with hands and numbers and not a Chinese spy app that lobotomises you with looped, endless, dopamine-heavy metaphysical face-slap video clips of a vacuous teenager lying about making a million bucks from shearing dangerous dugs. Our non-attention-whore leader led by example; kept the troops heads in the game and focussed on the points despite the fascists’ luck of midweek preying on his mind.

THE BUILDER – 7/10 – Not quite impactful as recent games but still a wonderfully inventive presence to have marauding about in that ill-defined role; brings him within match-winning distance and cover duties.

HAKUNA HATATE – 7.5/10 – Ah, the fully-fit ninja assassin will be a sight to witness….What a beautiful goal he scored today, before missing at least a hat-trick. But you can see the fitness, the match-awareness, the savage Reo approaching his old levels as he battles back those injury woes. What a rejuvenated bhoy I expect to see after a few weeks more recuperation (although he’s been called up for the Japan squad along with Lord Katsumoto and Killer Mushroom).

LORD KATSUMOTO – 7/10 – Today, I will be quiet Daizen… And today we got the more calculated – knackered? – Daizen; no tearing about closing down beyond necessity or full-throttle endeavour in attack. What showed was his footballing intelligence more than usual – just making sure he was there or thereabouts defensively and awake to opportunity offensively; and thank god for that as he managed a cultured glance on a corner to set up Greggs and secure the points.

KILLER MUSHROOM – 6.5/10 – Sitters! The wee mhan put on his pokemon boots and we searched for the power-up that would get him on the scoresheet. Perhaps he was a tad overpowered today because even with goals gaping the finish eluded him.

BRIAN DE – 7.5/10 – Take a bow, son – you’re not just a ropey filmmaker with dubious writing abilities (Scarface excepted) – you’re actually the real deal with the ball at your feet and the goal in range…Three in a row as the new bhoy strikes the net with aplomb. Denied his glory moment on Wednesday, Killie paid dear when he looked up 30 yards out and swept in a beauty; so delicious the VAR Zombies scratched around for minutes trying to deny it. This new lad has game-changing abilities in his arsenal; let’s hope they don’t damp squib…


Photo Jane Barlow

JAMESY – 6/10 – Ach, the Kyogo curse strikes the Prestwick Predator and he misses a golden moment to hit another record by scoring in his 499th consecutive season. All over Twatter X – “Jamesy Forrest is rubbish!” Shutup ya wee dhicks; the Bhoy’s a Celtic Ghod.

OH BHOY – N/A – Oh, oh.

THE NATIONALIST – N/A – ‘Get in, shore it up, big man’s chucked another goal away…” Pretty sure that’s along the lines of the Shnake’s instruction. And he did.

YING – N/A – Yang.

THE ALLFATHER – N/A – Naughty schoolbhoy allowed back in to play with the big lads after being a pussy; Cantwell makes terminally-ill mouse noises.

Celtic v Kilmarnock –  Brendan Rodgers during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park.  Saturday October 7, 2023. Photo Jane Barlow

THE SHNAKE – 7/10 – Dont’t fail. Just don’t fail – win the game, the points and sit back for the break. That was his remit; there was not condescension to player’s energy levels and no tweaking of a winning-ish side to chance an upset before a decent recovery period. His main job today was to dispel Lazio nightmares and get the
bhoys dreaming of title success again; achieved.

MIBBERY – 4/10 – You all need to get better at this skullduggery, or perhaps you’ve just conceded the Hoops are worthy champions again? Notable that since the ball-tingling Zombie implosion the MIBs have been less expressive, shall we say, in their determination to thwart the green machine. Almost like they’re looking in a full-length mirror, big sucker-base dildo in hand, daring themselves to stick it on the glass and bend over.

OVERALL – 7.5/10 – Yas, just the exact adrenalin shot we needed after Wednesday’s catastrophe. Never mind the comical Zombies and their Pontins Holiday Camp exploits to shame Peggy – this was the Celtic Hi-De-Hi to the last-chance salooners willing a Euro-hangover downfall. Add in the most probable Zombie-in-a-suit suitor in Deek McInnes, and we had a bit of a task to swat them aside like the dying wasps they are.

But everything went to the letter – or sweary-word – and the game was properly taken care of within the first-half. No drama of the masochist type; no loss of belief apparent from Wednesday’s debacle. For the majority of the game, the Bhoys were at it like proper pros, keen to douse the unholy fire from Ayrshire; they did so, only for it to flare briefly once again thanks to one of our own – David, ya tosser…- but we asserted ourselves again to kill off the game in a manner that will give the bhoys great conviction going into the festive run of games in a few weeks.

And with that, I bid you adieu for a few weeks for historical national tournament qualification – also enough time for some marvellous schadenfreude after the Zombies fail miserably in Scotland’s equivalent of the Gaza Strip; the Paisley Pattern. Regardless, we know joyously that the only occupied territory for the next fortnight will be their heids – by us.

Go Away Now


The Celtic Star presents a night with John Hartson and Stephen McManus at the Kerrydale on Thursday 19 October…

There’s no Celtic action for a few weeks due the latest international break, but you can still come along to Celtic Park on Thursday 19 October – on the anniversary of Hampden in the Sun, Celtic 7 Rangers 1…to join The Celtic Star team live in the Kerrydale with special guests John Hartson and Stephen McManus as we launch Matt Corr’s new book ‘Majic, Stan and the King of Japan’ which tells the story of Gordon Strachan’s first season at Celtic and we’ll have the trophies Celtic won that season there too!

There’s live music from the wonderful Boolavogue and many more Celtic guests coming along which we’ll start to announce tomorrow. Tickets are selling fast so get yours now, just click on the image below and we’ll see you in the Kerrydale. it’s going to be some night and a great Celtic fix during the international break!

Join The Celtic Star at the Kerrydale on Thursday 19 October when we celebrate the launch of Matt Corr’s new book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which tells the story of Gordon Strachan’s first season as Celtic manager. We’ll have the trophies that the Celtic team won that season plus well delighted welcome our special guests John Hartson and Stephen McManus, both stars of that Celtic team.

And we have other guests to be announced later this week plus there’s live music from the wonderful Boolavogue. Tickets are selling fast for what is sure to be a wonderful night of Celtic conversation and music and you can order below…

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

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