Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v Shepherds’ Pies


“If Glasgow Celtic choose to destroy you, what business is it of yours?” Cixin Liu, ‘The Dark Forest’.

The SPFL trophy on display before the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at Celtic Park on July 31, 2022 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – Record maker – 250th clean sheet of his career, fittingly clutching the ball as the final whistle blew. About one of the only touches he required, aside from a smart save when his own skipper tried to cheekily nod one past him to keep him awake, and a neat bit of awareness early on to negate a calamity with smart footwork.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 7/10 – All-round splendid effort, displaying incisive interlinking play to ignite attacks and digging in as per usual when the defensive duties were required. The benefits of a summer steak-bake-only
diet are obvious…

GET CARTER – 8/10 – He’s a big mhan and he’s going to the World Cup. So don’t get in his way. Relished his duel with Aberdeen’s resurrected ancient civilisation of Macedonia striker who threw himself around like he was still representing the Macedonia Achaean League against the Roman Republic in 214 BC. Which to many in this country, is also still the case…

But Carter was fixated on victory at no cost and with some clinical defending saw us to it.

RAQUEL – 6.5/10 – Glamorous, but I’m still not sure that beautiful head can make the fur bikini her own. Glanced in the opener sweetly right after the opening titles but then slowed the movie down every time the ball was at her feet; taking more touches than others, and that tendency to dither takes the edge off Angeball a little. Decent though, but not convinvcing.

JURAN JURAN – 6/10 – Saw him, lost him, saw him again, lost him in the sun. Flared into action like he’d been brought in by the Green Brigade only to burn out soon after. His roving was quelled somewhat by the Dons’ lively threat down the left and he was MIA when Jonny The Vanquisher Of Mordor Demons Hayes burst into our box and just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Yet for a spell in the 2nd half JJ showed why he’s going to command a big continental transfer fee next year with blistering attacking play, whipping in crosses and stinging the keeper’s paws himself. Call this one a warm-up for the months ahead.

CALMAC – 6/10 – Wherefor art thou, capitano? Shakespeare wrote that after the first-half; or rather Marlowe did, historical cynics…But Calmac appeared knackered by carrying that big trophy onto the park and hoisting a flag and it wasn’t until deep in the second period he took it upon himself to raise the tempo and get the game to bed, where he soon followed.

Celtics captain Callum McGregor arrives with the SPFL trophy before the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at Celtic Park on July 31, 2022 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

HAKUNA HATATE – 7.5/10 – Iniesta’s favourite player was looking like our favourite too as he seemed the only stand-out of a laboured first-half. Took a nasty clunking from some new Sheep midfield thug called Ramalamadingdong who tributed the departed Fergiesun by attempting to rip out Reo’s spinal cord from the tailbone up as a trophy, Predator-style. Bright, keen and sparking openings, unfortunately Reo couldn’t find anyone on the same wavelength most of the time, bar…

THE BUILDER – 7/10 – Floated around like the ghost of Tommy Rogic and almost emulated the great Oz’s impact with a few deft touches. But ultimately thwarted; smacked a great volley off the keeper’s gloves, though generally looks like he’ll fill the Wizard’s role well.

 Celtic fans outside Celtic Park before the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at Celtic Park on July 31, 2022 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

LORD KATSUMOTO – 6/10 – It looked like a game of ‘make Maeda run’, but don’t give him the ball. Tireless as ever, busting a gut repeatedly but service was scarce and when he did appear ready to make an impact, the laws of physics were defied – thought he was about to smash in a header yet pinged it back the way it came. That’s Daizen – ball can ricochet anywhere off him, sometimes in…

MR.KOBAYASHI – 6/10 – ‘No-go for you, Kyogo a go-go,’ said Batfink, and the mantra you can’t get out your heid from the 80s affected the deadly mushroom up front as he was foiled by admirable defending and his own timing.

NOTEBOOK – 8.5/10 MOTM – After a frustrating half-hour of misfiring, his creative genius came to the fore and we began to tick as an offensive force. However, you might have still marked him down as not being quite on it, like many others, then…

ShakalakaBOOM! Moments like that are what sets aside the supermen from the journeymen. Moments like that, given the scoreline and the match time, are also what sets the Zombies spewing; “Choke on that, ya phish-gargling heathens!” the smoke-trail of the ball spelled out in binary code as it scorched into the top corner.

Moments like that just eclipse anything else you’ll remember of the game.


SON OF JACKIE – 6/10 – The big man came on for a scrap, and got one – with himself. Wryly amusing to see him beat himself up after missing chances at glory – one a sitter that had Jonny Hayes nodding in approval.

EDDIE TURNBULL – 5.5/10 – Showing his age (deceased) as he failed to cap a scintillating counter-attack by sweeping home Notebook’s sublime pass. Not that he looked as though he could even identify the ball as it
clattered around his shins. Called for his nurse to help but by then it was too late and the chance was cleared.

MOOEY – N/A – Scully would have been proud to see his gormless special needs buddy don the Hoops of his idol King Kenny. Whether Mooey turns out to be a baldy James McCarthy or a sane version of Tommy Gravesen remains to be seen.

ABADASS – 6/10 – Did what he does best – livened up the wing, tested the keeper, tested the Jock Stein rear.

TONY THE TIGER – N/A – Let out his cage for a prowl in the last embers of the afternoon.

ANITA DOBSON – 7/10 – He promised, he delivered. Angeball looked a tad rusty but that was down to the misfiring exponents on the park. The boss rolled into a new season as ever focussed and intent on plying his methods. Fearless substitutions rearranged half the team and despite the somewhat undercooked nature of this barbie, he was able to round off a satisfactory day with a few tinnies in the sunshine.

MIBBERY – 3.5/10 – Hotter than hell down pitch-side, so they gave it to Little Nicky to sabotage the Bhoys Flag Day. He never really got that chance, but did manage to miss a few vicious anti-footballing manoeuvres
in time-honoured MIB fashion, costing Celtic a playmaker.

OVERALL- 6.5/10 – Well we did eventually get back with a bang. Started with a tremendous Tifo, ended with a stunning screamer. As often, that early goal dulled the edge for a time as we expected a killer second, they gained a bit of confidence from being let off the hook, and we wondered if things might get tricky. However, this Celtic side know how to win and the 3 points was never in too much doubt, despite both hitmen misfiring – any other day and we’d have racked up 4 or 5.

So we’re off and running and the thoroughbreds are only loosening up for an exciting season ahead. Thrill number 1 ripped into the postage stamp corner (that’s like e-mail, but for yer Granny, kids) and there’s going to be many, many more on the way as this dynamic squad get in synch. Let’s Go! as some thicko once said. Then actually did  fleck off…

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 Comment

  1. A welcome return, started like the Hoops but then couldn’t help it ( or could he ?) with the calamitous “special needs” own goal.
    Ach, catch yourself on.