Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic v Zebedees


“If Celtic can bring on five substitutes, then (the)Rangers must be allowed five too; With nobody coming off.”

– Scottish media hacks’ plans for rules reform.

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson gestures on the touchline during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

ROXIE – 6.5/10 – Save it Joe! Damn…Another quiet day, another pen guessed wrong; lol at the ballboy asking ‘wtf?’ after their unhealthily excited wee Zombie striker had all his wet dreams come true in one life-defining moment. How’d that work out for you?

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6.5/10 – Drive on, and on, and on… Playing through injury, he still gets the steak bakes out in time and batters at it for the cause. Can’t fault sheer ruthless devotion even if his ongoing niggles hampered finesse.

STAR LORD – 3/10 – It’s like this – the news report comes from the shopping mall littered with bloody hacked-up corpses and amid the carnage some cud-chewing glakit blubberball Texas-Mom is drawling down the correspondent’s mic:

“Yeah, it’s like, even though he started dressing in a Yogi Bear outfit and running around with a meat-cleaver, nobody kinda didn’t not think he’d kinda do this, y’know?”

Yes. Yes, some of us did… Right, Rocket Racoon?

Photo Steve Welsh

GET CARTER – 7.5/10 – Injured? ‘Aye, an anti-tank mine blew off wan o’ hi stracks, but we fixed it up and noo Brad Pitt’s goin’ tae drive him around Germany fur a bit during the International break. There he was, fit and powerful, revelling in the dreich conditions, getting his heid kicked-off and coming back for more. A success among few.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 5.5/10 – Called up to play in the Stanley Cup? Or something like that, because he was wandered a little, mentally – though not as much as some others… – and unusually got caught on the ball/hesitating more than once by some enthusiastic, wiry raver.

Photo Steve Welsh

CALMAC – 6.5/10 – Wherefor art thouh, capi-tan! Stuck in the engine room with unfamiliar sidekicks trying to get the machine tuned-up but not achieving more than perfunctory ticking-over.

THE BUILDER – 5.5/10 – Big chance to get back in the groove for 90 inspiring minutes, but flunked his exam like a kid who’s stayed up all night on the Playstation.

Photo Steve Welsh

HAKUNA HATATE – N/A – Oh Reo. Reo. Let’s hope you’re dancing on the sand again, soon.

LORD KATSUMOTO – 5.5/10 – Daizen damned to obscurity after a promising opening, somehow lost his way with others when it looked set for his terrorising ability.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE – 6/10 – Heid it, ya bam! We know he’s been coasting on his class but he needs told there’s no extra points for scoring fancies, despite the Zombie hacks’ thirst for rule-changing. Could -and should -have scored the goal/goals that would have made this a cruise instead of a rickety ride on Chitty-chitty Bang-Bang.

Jota scores our first goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park against Hibs on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

NOTEBOOK – 7/10 – A wild day of hit and miss – slapping crosses into the stratosphere, then lifting you off your seat with skilful bravado. But even though his hair looked critically injured he never stopped in his frantic attempts to create and forge a win.


Sead Haksabanovic scores our third goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park against Hibs on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

HACKY SACK – 7/10 – A marvel; may soon earn the unwanted tag of super-sub if he continues to appear late and light up the place like a Xmas tree.

DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA – N/A – Came on with the right attitude; looked ragin’ and up for it.

Hyeongyu Oh left scores our second goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

OH BHOY – 8/10 MOTM – Cometh the struggling hour, cometh the… Korean wide-boy to fulfil his hubris and blow away the rainclouds with a school-playground diving-headed ‘winner’ and marvellous Jackie bodysuit displayed in celebration. In games like these you look for the matchwinner to save the day and this Bhoy became a man with a big contribution to the title surge.

ABADASS – 5.5/10 – Was it going to be this wee rapier threat? No. Chances came and went and then he summed up the entire game by tripping himself for a penalty. It didn’t work.

EDDIE TURNBULL – 5/10 – Hibs? But I play for Hibs…And it looked like he did as he lumbered around the middle, bereft of his usual creativity; no wicked moments of guile or devastating shooting, just ponderous ball-retention.

Photo Steve Welsh

ANITA DOBSON – 7/10 – Ange knows the importance of clocking off for the ‘hurry-up-and-qualify-or-forget-it-so-we-can-get-back-to-the-proper-thing’ break so no question the Bhoys would be prepped to dance a merry jig on St.Paddy’s Day weekend. He stood in the drizzle looking bemused at his charges’ efforts to tap back into the Angeball magic and threw everything he could at it to conjure a precious victory, going two up front in late desperation, and it paid off. Phew, mayte, nice one.

Referee Steven McLean in action during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

MIBBERY – 5/10 – Steven ‘With a V, BTW’ McLean on whistle-biting duties and Graham and Gavin in the VAR studio – a pair popular in Bennets for their fruit salad and bondage-swing trapeze act. And what an act; centre of attention, just the way they like it, spiking the emotional volatility with agonising calls. Brilliant spot on Star Lord to earn them the Goldson Award for ‘trivial incidents easily ignored in the run of a game.’

Still, Steve-V dropped all jaws with a double-yellow and was immediatelly blackballed by boolin’ club committees everywhere. So… Weird day. But isn’t every one with them?

Photo Steve Welsh

OVERALL – 6.5/10 – Green v Green – basically – and officiated by somebody dressed as a pint of Guinness; pretty appropriate, or it should have been. It’s Scotland, so no Paddy’s Day Parades like many other major cities in the world because, y’know – ‘them’… They wore some sort of black poppy-seed, opiate-inspred kit and the ref was in.. Pink? Cerese? Yup.

Anyway, man of the match here may well have gone to the squad’s Japanese interpreter – Noydeea Fuxxhesayin – who was tasked by Ange to sit and talk the Japanese boys through the two Trainspotting movies for pre-match research. A dubious notion because Daizen, particularly taken by Begbie, is now running about head-butting folk, shouting “‘Mon then!”, Reo’s talking in a Sean Connery accen and trying to persuade attractive young women to become geishas, and Kyogo just wants to give Spud a hug. Mr.Kobayashi is, well, arguing with amateur movie critic Tonio Iowata that The Usual Suspects is a better film.

So Hibs it was and a must win; aren’t they all? Did we expect them to come to town and take another hiding, or come at us teeth-bared like a junkie missing his stash? As suspected, the dillema was all theirs – conserve their goal difference and keep their eyes on third, or open up, press Celtic and leave yourselves open to evisceration.

They managed an in-between effort, and we got right in between them, smack- hello Renton… -ing down any notion of impropriety and sparking into life at just the right times. A torrid opening spell and it looked like we’d issue a beating similar to the sort they’re used to when their dealers call in their credit.

Then we were gifted a shooty-in against ten men and…Botched it.

One of those games where the ball won’t run and the players won’t gel. Zombies everywhere getting very excited as the clock ticked and the Dark Gods grinned upon the stoical junkies. Then…Oh. And OH YAAAAS! So confine this match to the naughty step and breathe. Perfect three points from an imperfect struggle, but performances can be improved and precious points do make the prizes. And it’s…

Nine with nine to go!

‘Nein!’, screech the Zombies, peeking between their fingers.

Yes, we nod back, with big Jack Nicholson Shining grins, nine until nein…Yeesss…Nein after nine…Yeesss…

And until nine-ish days have passed, and the April thrills begin, it’s sayonara, fellow Celts.

Go Away Now



READ THIS...‘The Bould Bhoys – Glory to their name’ by Matthew Marr

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

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