SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC v QUISLINGS…
“Be resolved that honour is heavier than the mountains and death lighter than the feather.” – Memoirs of Yasuo Kuwahara, Kamikaze pilot. A rubbish one, evidently.
ROXIE – 7/10 – Solid but little in way of stops to make. Yet, on a night like this, that commanding presence talking the defence through a second-half struggle was of understated importance.
TONY THE TIGER – 6.5/10 – Tony the mediator. In full knowledge of Juran Juran’s wishes, he did his part with a wicked whipped cross to set up the winner then took his bow as he limped off to have his bionic limb attended to and freed up the RB slot.
JURAN JURAN – 6.5/10 – ‘I want to be right-back!’…”I’m from Oz. Everything’s upside down. Far as I’m concerned, you are right-back. Now, stfu, and get out there…” And he did. Then Santa made his Christmas wish come true half an hour in. From then on, JJ didn’t disappoint, mixing it with the uglies and revelling in the victory.
STAR LORD – 7.5/10 – How alarming. Mouth dry as his name appeared on the teamsheet. Then comprehension as he appeared on the pitch sporting a haircut that indicated he’d spent his recovery time watching Peaky Blinders. You don’t mess with the Peaky Blinders and Star Lord’s taken his unconventional English lessons seriously to the letter. Swaggered about looking like Arthur Shelby with a hangover and
laid one on anyone getting in his way. Unexpectedly in the thick of it as we faded second period but there he was, stalking our box with a shotgun and cigar hanging out his mouth. Great game.
RAQUEL – 7/10 – Fighting dinosaurs eventually rubs off on a prehistoric gal, and we saw more of that new ro’bust’ side to Raquel tonight. Continuation of her recent dominant presence was comfortingly apparent at every contested ball until injury, or a glamour-shoot appointment, forced her off. Fingers crossed those silken thighs are okay.
CALMAC – 8.5/10 MOTM – Back in the groove like Deadmau5 at a trance gig, took total control of the midfield first-half, prompting like a drill Sergeant as we probed for openings. Then, after the break, when we mysteriously fell out of things, the other side of the skipper came to the fore and he was a Tasmanian Devil, popping up everywhere to cover and block and govern in a necessary fury that saved the day. Outstanding.
ROGIC – 7/10 – Gliding like a surfboard across a maroon wave, more admirable than his artist’s feet was his movement. Constant drift had their backlines shifting and pockets of space opening up. But Oz and Eddie together means a possible lapse when energies lag, and that’s exactly what we got and Hearts capitalised upon. However, surprisingy, it was Oz The Resurgent latterly, producing some gifted moments and coming close to finishing off the contest. Adds an element of divine sublimity to our attacking waves. Bhoy’s a player.
EDDIE TURNBULL – 6/10 – He hates the Hearts. Seeking revenge for the Famous Five, Eddie T was among them early, playing wallie off Oz and Notebook like he did in the crumbling slums of Auld Leith back in the day.But his touch and weight of pass seemed a minuscule off – maybe more used to a laced-up 50 pound leather ball than a contemporary balloon. Then became a bit of a nuisance to US while we toiled, unable
to pick out a teammate or make a killing blow. Frustrating night but got out of it intact and nothing a boot up the backside won’t sort.
JAMESY – 6/10 – Sticking it to Hearts is second only on his sticking-it list to empty pint glasses, so we expected a stormer. Unfortunately a sprightly start was curtailed as Jamesy scuffed an open goal
onto the post from seemingly impossible wang-length. Then late-on as we sought to relieve the agony, he was foiled by his old stalwart when he really should have scored. Again. Yet his presence on the wing and kinetic bursts into the game offer us another dimension crucial to Angeball. Suck it up and tuck it in to go again, Sunday, Jamesy.
NOTEBOOK – 6/10 – Skipped about a lot looking dangerous but, like some others, not as totally in the moment as he’s been recently. Always lively, always looking for the chart-topping moment, but the stadium held its breath tonight in the wrong way as he became centre of attention for a worrisome pull. Get those Xmas lists
written now – ‘Fit Jota’ at the top…
MR.KOBAYASHI – 7.5/10 – “Ha! Furuhashi-San mess you up!” he screamed at the Hearts travelling goon show. Or ‘Wannabees’ as they’re commonly known. Moving beyond the speed of the offside law he latched onto
Tony’s zipping cut like a Zero onto a US warship at Okinawa and inflicted lethal damage. Just reward for the wee mhan’s tireless movement and perpetual endeavour as he jousted with Hearts’ battle giants, taking
punishement without protection for the ninety. Sayonara, Jambo thugs.
FIELD MARSHALL – 6.5/10 – The kid done guid. A cold entry on a firey night, but he’s
game for anything and was under a lot of pressure as they played down his side continually, double-teaming him like Jamesy and wingman on a night out. But kept his head up and his engine burning, contested everything, and helped win the day.
MIKEY J – 4.5/10 – Ach, Mikey. Floated on, floated about, no danger of being swallowed by a Dune sandworm as he just sand-danced around ineffectively far too many times, often squandering good possession.
BLOCKCHAIN – 6/10 – Always reliable, so no real panic when he appeared to replace Raquel. Added calming presence and security to rival anything Bernard Cribbens can offer.
ANITA DOBSON – 7/10 – ‘Sake, Ange. Had a right tete-a-tete with Dirty Den Gollum in the hallway at the foot of the Queen Vic stairs as nerves became fraught. Felt like he’d made 67 substitutions by the end of it all, must be wondering how many fit starters we’ll have for Tannadice. Angeball was a delight first-half as we rotated more passes to extend our lead at the top of the Wuruld Champeen Passin’ Hing Table, or something. But the top-heavy cultured approach got sabotaged after half-time as Hearts scrapped their way back into it. He’ll be delighted with the points and rueful at the resultant casualties. Angeball did win out versus Robbieball, eventually, and the Ange points hunt rolls on to Beanotown.
MIBBERY – 5/10 – With “Beat that, Booby!” still written in lipstick on his lower back from ‘celebrating’ Wednesday night’s late penalty award with cohort, Jangly Beaton, Bobby had a tall order to fulfil. It wasn’t to be, though the signs crept in as ‘play-on’ became a meme for anytime a Bhoy gets thrashed, keep it
going. Tried his best by refusing to book a single Jambo except manager Robbie Neilson for failing to change outfit before rushing to Celtic Park from his day job hustling cabbages at Paddy’s Market.
OVERALL – 7/10 – Phew, just… Phew. A must-win game after the witchcraft in Junkietown the previous night overshadowed anything Harry Potter encountered. Hearts came to town as Hearts always come to town – ugly as sin and griping about the fall of the British Empire or something; most of their support turn up late after taking the Bounders’ Tour at Mordor pre-match to get their ‘battle-fever’ up.
Was more embattled-fever as the Hoops threatened to swamp their staunch resistance with some swashbuckling swordplay in a first half that deserved more than a single rapier-thrust of a goal. But we yet again did not kill the opposition despite having the boot on their throats for long periods of the match.
Failing energies and injury interruption faded our dynamism and it became an disproportionate exercise in dig and guts to see us through.
But the Bhoys got there, though not unscathed. Precious points as we ticked one off the December slog and grit the teeth for the next calendar window to open.
Go Away Now
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