SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC v SPAWN OF VOLDEMORT…
ROXIE – 7/10 – You need a girl on her game when the spotlight swings her way, and today we knew we had security after a smart first-half save from a tricky zipped cross-shot. Second period, he exerted the command and decision-making of an experienced pro, not missing a punch, good anticipation, quick of this line and quick to let this defence know the score; reassuringly boss-like.
JURAN JURAN – 6.5/10 – He’s getting there, in bursts of quality. Pacy countering up that right flank gives opponents nightmares, flashing feet and a thirst for penalty-box action turns low-blocks into skittled chaos. We’re not seeing consistent energy over the 90 yet, but the feeling is that he’ll work to a mid-season World Cup peak.
GREGGS THE BAKER – 5.5/10 – A pass for persistence. But unlike the 2 sausage rolls of his I had for my hangover breakfast, he was far from hot. Every pass took a nick, most touches were heavy, thought process seemed a millisecond off. Just one of those games that transpires to be as frustrating as that Raquel Welch wrapped in clingfilm dream that accompanies 5 Guinness and Stella cocktails. Salut, Mick Duffy…
GET CARTER – 7.5/10 – A good big test for a big mhan. Decent forwards to add variety, and a few maroon corners to focus the concentration. He handled everything well, and aside from the physical – in particular took the defensive honours with a fine sliding interception on a dangerous low cross as the attacking Minis got as excited as Alfie at a fat hoor’s hen party.
BIG MERCEDES – 7/10 – As above, we got to see what he was made of up against willing opponents. And there was an air of quiet confidence about him, even under pressure. Not conceit, just a natural instinct to sharped the senses and get the important touches and physical contact in at the optimum times. Also showed his ferocious attacking threat. If you sat in the Jock Stein upper, that is…
CALMAC – 8/10 MOTM – To the bitter end…Seemed isolated in the middle most of the game as his compatriots faded in and out. But the Keymaster will tick over until the clock stops and even as the side lagged heavily after the break, he popped up everywhere with a header, a tackle, a simple pass, and an occasional sublime moment to keep the Celtic heart beating (guileful clip to put Reo in late on).
It is players like Calmac who provide the incredible consistency that wins championships; fireworks go off around him and elicit oohs and ahhs but he’ll remain the central fulcrum, like the goofy genius kid making patterns in the air with the never-ending sparkler, who saves the day long after the spectacular moments have burnt out.
THE BUILDER – 6.5/10 – Driftwood in the rapids early, just about raising the roof with a few skilful cameos. However his probable influence faded later on after being thwarted by the save of the game, and he ambled off much like Andy Halliday’s missus – not quite fulfilled.
EDDIE TURNBULL – 6/10 – Rolled back the years first 20 minutes as he relived Edinburgh derby glories, plenty of possession and stuck the knife into the Gorgie pigs with a deft inside pass to the marauding Maeda to set up the first. Like others, though, he failed to regain sharpness after the interval and was hooked, appearing rather confused as to why some of the Famous Five around him seemed to be of Japanese origin because he thought they lost in the war. Will be tucked up with his blanket and a Horlicks watching the history channel’s ‘WWII In Color’ series as you read this.
NOTEBOOK – 7.5/10 – His songwriting skills were never in doubt, and he can shake those hips like Elvis. All that was missing today was him finishing a rousing number that had the crowd on their feet. But – story of our game – that last chord fell flat despite his best efforts to conjure a finale with his dancing feet.
MR.KOBAYASHI – 7/10 – Kyogooaaal strikes in a manner that now looks to be his trademark – a simple-looking execution of some very intelligent movement that leaves him in ridiculous amounts of penalty-area space to do his thing. Called offside more than a Radio One DJ on tour, as much to do with the hesitancy of his team-mates to play him in quick enough as it was the dubious leanings of the standside linesman with the flag erection, Mason Boyne.
LORD KATSUMOTO – 6.5/10 – Mad for it first-half. Probably the most annoying Celt to play against as the Replicants full-back found out when he realised “Just fucking stop, will ye?” fell on in comprehending Japanese ears and he got done by a great run and pace to lay on Kyogo. Should have killed them with a duff point-blank header before the break. Expected mayhem never transpired after it and he relented honourably to his number being called.
HAKUNA HATATE – 6.5/10 – Looking sharp and hungry and might have scored (should have?) to top-off an energetic appearance off the bench which had flicks and tricks and the enthusiasm we needed.
SON OF JACKIE – 7/10 – Like Dad, doesn’t he always score? Popped a header over he might have done better with, lost out to a fine save but, like a top shagger, managed to get a late handjob he’ll count as his own to make the foreplay worthwhile…
MOOEY – 6/10 – Can he play like Tommy G or Tommy B? Well, there was a moment around the 80th minute, iirc, when he killed a high ball with the touch of both, and drew many nods of approval; tidy and smart with his cover and a little skill on display make him an interesting prospect.
ABADASS – N/A – Brought on for Coventry? Felt like he’d been sent to it after hanging around the wing for about an hour before the ball was worked to him. Got a few more scrambled involvements but underused while we coped with the Cousins’ 64-corner spell.
ANITA DOBSON – 7/10 – Worries? None. Never appeared more than mildly disapproving as we lost rhythm and made his customary changes to recharge the effort. In other managers, you’d be grumbling about complacency but Ange’s disposition shows faith in his system and players, moreover, transmits such onto the field of play and instils more calm around a misfiring Celtic in such circumstances; past times, we’ve noted panic can set in quickly as underdogs get a scent of green blood. Not so, now – his sides don’t stop.
MIBBERY – 3.5/10 – The Clancy Drew Mystery today was the you-know-what wi’ the flag, old main stand-side. Grandaddy hid in a shipyard in the Pacific no doubt, and Kyogo got the stars and stripes waved at him every time his blonde bob blew in the direction of the Lions’ stand. Clancy on the other hand gave us a chuckle and incited ragin’ Zombie conspiracy theorists all over the blue-nose web with a double-double booking flourish to end the Clones’ weekend in hilariously synchronised 9-man fashion with their slaver-worshiping overlords.
All of zombiedom adopted burstin’ maroon faces in sympathy; let the anal-ysis commence and the verdict be ‘cheatin’ sellic bassas’, despite every card being by the rules. Nae dignity, man…
OVERALL – 6.5/10 – Plenty of bite from the start but we became The Lost Bhoys when darkness threatened in a flurry of over-zealous maroon in the second-half. See what I did there, 80s vampire movie classics fans? Disappointing slackness and turgid rotation spannered the works, with no final ball, and we lost a bit of a grip. These things happen, and a timely reminder to the players that there will be games such as these to hustle through isn’t a bad thing. We still created enough chances to win comfortably and never suffered from not killing the game thanks to some well-organised set-piece defending.
YES! SET-PIECE DEFENDING! WELL-ORGANISED! Had to write/read that twice, and loudly…
Postecoglu Celtic are a different beast, one with a sting in the tail who’ll not let you rest, so once more we did late damage to settle the issue and nerves. Also, when you let semi-decent sides like the Deliverance Cast take a nibble, you at least get to noise-up serial-killing Steptoe’s apprentice Dennis Nilsen as the anguish of losing to the Celts again after a window of opportunity overwhelms him. So, every cloud and all that…
Go Away Now