Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v Rossafarian County, Man


“Ye ugly, creepan, blastet wonner,
Detested, shunn’d, by saunt an’ sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her,
Sae fine a Lady!

Gae somewhere else and seek your
dinner, On some poor body.”

– ‘To A Zombie’ by Rabbie Burns

ROXIE – 6/10 – Ah, y’all were bemoaning his age and guile when he got caught under a corner first half. Yet, when the chips were scattered around the joint at the death, the old mhan of jhoy was the rock of ages, finding the nous
and agility – and bravery – to pull off a points-saving stop; not to mention the superb recovery to smother at the feet of an onrushing yokel. At both those incidents he was more exposed than Jamesy at a glass-collectors’ convention so questions need asked about our defensive set-ups for corners and laughable attempts to ‘close out’ games.

DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA – 5/10 – Well, the kid matched the missing Greggs for industry but was missing his gifted left boot when openings arose. With this position right up for grabs we could have expected more, though when he roves around their final third he still looks a decent threat with his skill level.

Alastair Johnston celebrates scoring the only goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Ross County FC at Celtic Park Stadium on January 27, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

WAYNE GRETZKY – 6.5/10 MOTM – Foot like a traction engine. Well, like a tractor…On such universal off-days you always need someone who’ll fight for the cause and come up with something special. And The Moose put in the most consistent 90 min after getting us off to a flyer before the wings were clipped. So let the right-back wallow in the glory of being able to tell his grandchildren he was once a Celtic match-winner with a 30-yard screamer; just don’t check youtube, kids…

OF JUSTICE – 4.5/10 – Shaking Liam, nearly letting This Old Hoose collapse from under him as he unusually found himself out of touch and timing, rolled by marauding heelanders, and too casual in posession. Takes comfort in the fact he was not alone.

Simon Murray of Ross County vies with Cameron Carter-Vickers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Ross County FC at Celtic Park on January 27, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

GET CARTER – 5/10 – The big mhan back and… Not 100%, obviously. Even his monolithic presence couldn’t dispel the air of fragility our defence had all game. And Ghod knows where he was when they hit the bar from practically inside the net as their twin central defenders flummoxed ours.

CALMAC – 5.5/10 – Skipper? Wherfor art thou? Intermittent apparitions of Banquo’s Ghost Calmac does for worrying omens foretell, a Shakespearian tragedy doest brewest. Let his influence be attested by those venerable souls who rode with hi…Oh, for heaven’s sake, the prose here’s gone as bizarrely off-course as Calmac’s afternoon did; Wandering pointlessness for the most.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

SAINT BERNARDO – 4.5/10 – Jeez, hold that fee. Skelper malfunction from the moment he Van Vossened (right in line with me that night, right next to the disbelieving Zombies, what a moment, lol…) an open net then teed up a chance for them at the other end. Could not find his touch, mostly; promising moments fizzled out and he, like us, spent much of his time on the park ruefully shaking his head.

THE BUILDER – 6/10 – George Square or the Plaza Mayor? Ye whit? Assuming the bhoy has a fondness for Bear-on-Bear cage fighting it appears he might be in the Hoops another few months. He’ll need to cut down on the frolics, though, because his back went early and set our hearts a-fluttering. He recovered but couldn’t quite reach his handsome best, summed-up with his ever-so-close free-kick.

BRIAN DE – 4/10 – “Here, ya stuttering run-up muck, read my lips – ‘N-no m-more f-f-lam-in’ p-p-p-penalties f-for y-you, ya m-muppet”. – Tommy, ‘Goodfellas’ (1990).

KILLER MUSHROOM – 4/10 – ‘Rye hrate ru, Brennan Rajas. Maka me get knacka fa flamka nutan. Fuccarunna arse aff, git nada sereveez. Fak dat.’ How’s the English lessons on TikTok comin’ along wee mhan? ‘Jus frine…’

ABADASS – 5/10 – So much promise early on then faded with the collective towards ineffectual anonymity. Let’s hope this isn’t the memory he leaves us with…


James Brown of Celtic vies with Nicolas Kuhn of Celtic during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Ross County FC at Celtic Park Stadium on January 27, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

TAKINTE – N/A – Welcome… To hell. Pull yer socks up. No, not like that.. The Germanic lovechild of Paddy Roberts and KT, thrown into malfunctioning misery, unable to add any debut cheer.

EDDIE TURNBULL – N/A – Forget which way yer shooting, auld yin? Coonty’s most dangerous player last ten minutes as he initiated a number of dangerous attacks for them…

MIKEY J – N/A – Still here? Still ahead in the queue? Am I on acid? Did I step through a portal to 2017?

APOLLO CREED – N/A – Thankless task of wading into a fight that should have been counted out long before his presence; didn’t offer much more in terms of stability as the nerves shredded in stoppage time.

THE SHNAKE – 4/10 – System? What flaming system? The system of playing has-beens ahead of eager youngsters? A week of young Vata drama and we get Mikey and Eddie T before Rocco and Odin? Conservatism and game-management heavy when we know ruthless slaughter is always the answer against SPL low-block dross. Lucky man to see that out as his methods get questioned once more, now hounded by a dogged rabble of Zombies seemingly composed of sinister-looking ex-cons and probationers on the run from interpol, who are grinding out results and threatening to dismount the Rodgers Rodeo. Can’t imaging he’ll be too happy with this dung-show on his CV either. What with the Liverpool vacancy coming up…

MIBBERY – 5.5/10 – Sneaky. Averse to booking snarling ginger Zombies (well known) for A) conceding penalties, B) aggressive behaviour towards the Celtic captain, or C) continuing to be a muppet for the rest of the game. Personally, I think he deserved a booking pre-match in the tunnel for sheer ugliness; how in hell are we going to sell Scottish football as a TV package with that heid like a burnt lasagne screeching out of the screen? So, let the Bhoys struggle and let the battering commence was the earpiece instruction… Saving grace – they amazingly
got the VAR calls correct.

OVERALL – 5/10 – It’s Celtic, the colostomy bag era – as we suffer under increasing pressure from phish. Kicking on from last week’s cup warm-up was the general idea. What we found was bare truth of the moment – a side
lapsing badly, scraping through, wandering about in search of a focus and an energising game-plan around which to galvanise. It was a desperate three points won by individuals and luck; something we were so glad to get away from in the past two seasons as the collective ideals brought dynamic systems into which players fitted like interchangeable cogs; all for one, one for all.

Now it feels like regression – reliance on fortune and hope. Give young men no focus, you’ll get aberrations like today. We got away with it, but let’s be honest – it won’t last and before much longer the phrases of the moment will be ‘saw it coming’ and ‘was on the cards’. Because prescience – the ability to see through time – is a given as a football fan. And we’ve seen enough of this version of a Celtic side to know there’s major slip-ups ahead.

: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Ross County FC at Celtic Park S on January 27, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Will it be football black ice before winter’s out, or will it be the Ides of March? With this feeling of lack of tempo and general purpose the run-in is going to be more psychologically loaded with trepidation than anticipation.

Today the sense was of possible disaster – a grinding, groaning list in the good ship Celtic as a Northern iceberg loomed large. We avoided it, just. But we’re headed right into Northwest Passage territory instead of cruising towards the sun. That Northwest Passage analogy’s going to be the theme of the week as we head North to The Sheep Pen to face a combative side as much in need of the points as we are.

The original Northwest Passage explorers failed, getting stuck, lost, and freezing to death. Let’s hope any
metaphorical comparisons end with a resounding win, but somebody’s going to have to light quite a fire under the
Bhoys in order to ensure that. Pyro at the ready!

Go Away Now



About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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


    • What a waste of writing, a load of long winded garbage.
      Silly player names are so childish.
      Glad I didn’t waste my time reading all this junk.
      Author is a blue nose in disguise, surely no Celtic man is this dim.

  1. Killer Mushroom chat – classic! Davie, just pass by if you don’t like it. Best thing on the net.