Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v The Harkonnens


“They puts the lotion on their skins or else they get the hose again.” – Buffalo Phil, ‘Silence Of The Bams’

ROXIE – 7/10 – YOU weren’t. But HE was – Cool as cucumber. I’m still trying to recover from his casual footwork a yard out in the closing minutes as a frothing, infected Harkonnen closed him down. If anybody loved – or deserved – that victory more, I’m struggling to name them. What a way to end your career –
vice captain (Jamesy is Captain Of Vice, for clarity), lauded by the support, legendary status all but cemented,
and unbeaten by the Forces of Darkness in final and title-winning season. Joe will get us over the line, if it’s the last damned thing he does.*

*actually, it will be.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 5.5/10 – Juuust… Passmarks for winning the 50-50 cruncher that set a tone, for a few minutes…But he was – or seemed – apprehensive on the ball, neutered by reluctance to forge up the park, and almost comically, criminally gifted them the ball from OUR corner late on that resulted in five minutes of pressure and five years off our lifespans. Not his best, but not without the usual 100% for the jersey.

Fabio Silva of theRangers shoots but misses a chance during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park  on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

WAYNE GRETZKY – 6/10 – A mixed bag for The Moose. Scunnered, wounded, yet indefatigable. Cantwell’s sister caused him a few problems with movement and general effeteness, and should have scored after flouncing past him at the far post. But AJ will stick at it, if not quite on it. Took a hit for the red card that would have ended many a game right there. Reminded me of the unpunished ‘challenge’ on Andreas Hinkel by the lanky Ulsterman back in 2010. This time, over a decade on, justice for the good ghuy. Talking of justice…

OF JUSTICE – 5/10 – The Fear. Ropey and indecisive. Liam back on edge; possibly spooked by the early scare of being ambushed at Greggs’ backpost, but he did get in a fine headed interception at that moment. After that incident, however, he was trying to pick the hesitant, clever pass when the quick, simple ball was on. Too often. Get back to basics, kid, you deserve that champions medal.

GET CARTER – 7.5/10 – The pass of the day – a Hail Mary from deep to pick Daizen out for his eventual winner. Showed his quality on the ball in that moment; head up like Zidane amid the fury. Remained the level-headed rock in a flimsy defensive unit and got the team over the line, matching the majestic tigerish Tony with the intense focus of a grizzly catching a salmon in those torrid added minutes.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor celebrates at full time of the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

CALMAC – 8/10 – An animal! The skipper gets wired intae the Harkonnens and exerts such brutal mastery over them that they now refer to him in hushed, mumbled tones as ‘The Dominatrix’ . It looked like he’d brought his own ball to the park to play with for long spells and had them chasing it like scraggy hounds after a hare. Deserved a goal of his own too, just to rub it in, and deserved a bigger lead going into the death just so he could showboat them down the River Styx back to Hades. We await that sumptuous Calmac exhibition on Lisbon Lions Day, Hampden in the Sun, 25th May…

THE BUILDER – MOTM 8.5/10 – How good is this kid? Good enough to miss a penalty with the
championship in sight and still run out a Harkonnen-skelping-match-winning hero. Devastating on-point afternoon as he replicated Atletico Madrid at home with his movement and killer instinct. How he found such
space at the edge of the box time and time again is a tribute to his natural footballing instinct and a compliment to the coaching that’s synchronised his game perfectly for maximum impact.

Forget the pen – it was a Samaras 2009 (?) moment and our future goalkeeper* was their outstanding player, although his wages – as far as I saw on X this week – are paid by the barely-literate aggressive relative of Baron Harkonnen.

The Builder is a bhoy who’s been a joy to see develop (steady, ladies) into a future world-class midfielder in the ‘unconventionally non-athletic in appearance’ Pirlo-esque school of cultured footballers mode. And today, augmenting that class and sophistication, he good-old-bhoy smacked the Harkonnens right back into
their place…

*Yes, go on, Joe – for the yuks, bring your fellow Englander net-minder him from the Dark Side. I’ll do the exorcism.

HAKUNA HATATE – 4/10 – Wow, the Reo effect. Unfathomably poor match for this confirmed
Harkonnen-skelper, who defied my tenner at 40/1 for a double and a sneaky fiver at 500/1 for a hat-trick; put in his poorest derby outing and cost me a full 12 hours in the pub…An awful four involvements in a row in the space of a few first-half minutes summed him up – poor touch, wayward passing, gifting possession. Just one of those days, unaccountably off it, and I’m surprised he lasted so long.

Daizen Maeda celebrates after his cross leads to our second goal during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024.. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

LORD KATSUMOTO – 7.5/10 – The madness and the wonder of the HATAMOTO! – ‘Guardian of the banner’
as declared by the Green Brigade. Yes, yeez have… Certainly now that I’m bingeing ‘Shogun’ on Amazon…Dyed his hair grey for the day in tribute to the Sandman, terrorised them with perpetual motion, and capped it all by bending in the winner from an impossible angle, before starting intimate relationships with a steward and few delirious punters in the crowd. For which he was booked by Gollum, the homophobic bigot.

Daizen Maeda celebrates. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Two further strikes ruled out for offside before his battery ran out and Tavpen managed to stop those choking crying fits usually seen in dribbling entitled weans. For all his eccentricities of play, I absolutely love Daizen and you should too, unless you’re a PC Football Manager virgin who opines across social media on his ‘paucity of final-ball finesse.”…Off you pop.

KILLER MUSHROOM – 6.5/10 – A torrid time for the hulking Harkonnen central defence as the skelping
snapper shifted them around like a feng shui consultant with ADHD. But nothing quite broke his way apart from a scorching moment when he was denied by Buttman after a terrific move. Probably should have
buried it, on reflection. I thought the second half was made for a Kyogo hat-trick; nope, the Harkonnens got off lightly.

JAMESY – 7.5/10 – Man, the dilemma around Jamesy and ravaging the Harkonnens. I’ve given him a 0 before, iirc, after a career-low Covid season outing. But today? Jee-sus rejoiced. The viagra kicked in early and the
moment the whistle went there was a Forrest fire on the wing. ‘You’re not Abadass…” whined Barasic as nightmares resurfaced.

“Naw, but I’ll pump ye anyway, fella,” retorted Jamesy as he skittled past him outside, inside, teasing and pleasing, and all but scoring himself with his non-performance leg as he gave us a Harkonnen-skelping, flashing performance for the ages. A joy to watch him shuffle at pace and bemuse the knickers off
the assembled prey… Oo-er, missus. There’s only one Jamesy, the Prestwick Pele; may his loins gird for eternity.

And. That’s. What. She. Said.

LUNDSTRUM – 10/10 (inverse MOTM) – He’s the most historical thing about the Harkonnens – a simpleton
plucked from the 1950s soot and smog of an industrial hellhole factory shift, who careers around in classic pretendy hardman style; reminiscent of a seedy pub bouncer who’s always got a bag of speed in the pocket of his ghille and a borderline teenage slapper in the passenger seat of his surplus pimped-up BMW. “Awroight luv? Want in for Nowt? Foive minutes round the back…” Today, all the promise he’s shown flourished in probably his last Paradise outing. Killer instinct in the box, serial-killer instinct out of his box, blowing up in fabulous style to leave his mark across the Celtic support in perpetuity. Thank you for those gratifying memories, John, you big vacant  witless cretin. Hail-hail…


TONIO IWATAO – 6/10 – Japanese Ronseal. Did exactly what it says on his tin – messed ’em up, closed ’em down, steadied the embattled centre of midfield.

TONY THE TIGER – 7.5/10 – Endangered species? Not this tiger. In fact, today a kangaroo mouse. The right mhan for the right time. Tears in my eyes as Tony, one of us, re-invigorated tired limbs and minds around him, fulfilled the prophecy and pointed the way – Muad ‘Dib, the voice from the outer subs bench, rollicking into the most tense atmosphere since 9th May 1998 and slapping Harkonnen after Harkonnen that dared to try and spoil the party. If you ever saw a player deserve a new contract for just 10 minutes on the pitch, it was the magnificent Ralston today. The Lisan Al-Gaib, healing our souls as torment beckoned.

DUNCAN IDAHO – 5/10 – Ya big dumplin’. Score! Exit Kyogo, enter the latest Harkonnen-Skelper, and then finally fell the perfect Kyogo chances… He didn’t take. The anguish. My nerves. Is it over yet? It should have been…

TAKINTE – 6/10 – A little late to the party? Maybe ten minutes, but an instant threat with a terrific shimmy blocked at the last. Unfortunately we’d become leggy and focussed on preservation and couldn’t service
him enough. I suspect he’ll blitz them in the Cup Final, however.

THE SHNAKE – 8/10 – Too much gurn and not enough churn? Back to ‘Brendan’ on the Rodgers Rate-O-Meter, even he dropped the plastic polish as the match wore on and we wore down and the fates conspired…Maybe he waited far too long to make the changes as a third of the team failed to ignite all cylinders, as he really should have been joking and laughing for the final half hour had we been clinical. Yet, he grimaced and called the shots and the players took up the mentality and ultimately did the business.

Criticisms aside for the way he’s gone about dismantling certain tactical nuances and neglecting certain players’ strengths – the main ingredient of victory today was the group’s mindset. And that’s down to his experience and nous transferring to the team. Now he’s nearly there – nearly meeting demands, maybe achieving some redemption, showing some humility; certainly winning back goodwill as the Celtic difference engine finally synchs into gear…. Now just win the league.

Match official Willie Collum arrives prior to the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MIBBERY – 3/10 – Eyes wide shut – the Stanley Kubrick movie starring Tom Cruise and the bangable Nicole Kidman that enshrined forever the Gollum Rangers penalty award that he never even saw until Dougie Doggelly opened Sportscene with a big grin and the immortal lines, “Guess what we got again at Porkheid today, fellow orangjees?”

But this lunchtime, Smeagle took charge, it seemed. And the wicked little acolyte of the apocalyptic nailed every big decision, even refuting the nefarious penalty VAR summoning from the Zombie youth coach and leaving sneaky Steven with – appropriately – blue baws. To VAR’s credit – yes, you’re actually reading this – even ludge master’s apprentice McLean was too embarrassed by the Lunkstrum assault to let it go and hailed Wee Wullie to the gogglebox through a veil of tears.

Despite a late flurry of Celtic yellows and dubious fouls to facilitate the Harkonnens’ last reprise, this may go down as the one derby in a century that we’ve seen clear and correct pivotal calls made. This acid must be good…

OVERALL – 8/10 –

38 minutes in – We’re champions!

40 minutes in – Aw naw.

45 minutes in – We’re champions again!

55 minutes in – Aw naw, Matt…

95 minutes in – Flamin’flamin’ahggggnoooooflamiin’flamin’keepitout!

97 minutes gone – Yas, we’re champions again! Never in doubt…

I hate football. From joyous celebrations to ‘Jeez, just get it over with,’ was the angst-ridden vibe after they pulled that goal back. Then the flaming second half lasted longer than a Dune film. A Celtic performance that lacked only one element – GOALS. All season the troubles we’ve caused ourselves have been due to not killing off the dross; due to the tactical tweaks and newly-implemented gameplan.

And there were the Harkonnens, the mouthy, deluded Harkonnens, flat on their backs, outplayed, frustrated, dreading humiliation, bleeding out right in front of us and we somehow couldn’t twist the blade. There were a few absentees from this Celtic masterclass, as detailed above, but the Bhoys who turned up on the day
certainly turned it on. It was both harrowing and joyful to see them tear apart the slaver-empire blue ranks with some crisp and sexy pure football, and it seemed destined to be a massacre after the dam broke.

Yet witchcraft came to the fore to hamper our ambitions, if not to prevail. And the frolicsome slaughter became a solemn graft to make the finish line. Perhaps we’ll get that chance at humiliation on Schadenfreude
Saturday, 25th May – a day for remembering legends and Harkonnen-skelping to a double in their name.

THAT will happen on the back of a single point. One last point from two last games of a turbulent season.

Unless, very possibly, the Harkonnens fold like Jimmy Bell prepping Satan’s First XI’s kit, and deliver the punchline themselves. Not unlike big bad Johnny Lindisfarne today…So to summarise… This day of days was played out in front of the King Of Kings. Unthinkable that we could falter in the presence of a deity. Thankfully, mirroring the New Year Derby, the Bhoys put on a show for the great mhan and saw out a historic modern
victory to honour the greatest of old.

Henrik Larsson looks on prior to the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

May you all sleep with smiles on yer faces and awake to the sun with anticipation; that morning tingle’s the imminent arrival of a hard-won title. Unless of course, you’re Jamesy…

Go Away Now



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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

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