SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RANTINGS: CELTIC @ THE PRESUMABLES
“Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”
“Naw, Tony Macaroni. Want some soggy chips wi’ yer pasta?”
Excerpt from ‘How Times have Changed in Blantyre’.
THE WALL – 5/10
Great save with his big clown shoes to stop a killer second, before their…um, killer second for which he was culpable, failing to come and collect a high bouncer and got sucker-dinked by a big bleached dyke. His indecision was also symbolic of the entire squad; they couldn’t make their minds up whether or not to actually turn up this morning and in the end got caught in metaphysical no-man’s land.
AJER – 6/10
The Techno Viking found himself in the invidious position of trying to drive on a malfunctioning midfield and keep the back door shut while also being prompted to get up the park as we tried to rally. He was all over the place, but stayed in the fight until the end, unlike some.
JULLIEN CLARY – 7/10 MOTM
Up against a hulking angry lesbian version of Rutger Hauer who ultimately had the last laugh. But I’ll give the big mincer this – he was in the thick of it for us, taking and giving it out. That’s the sort of committment we required all-round.
He was denied a penalty late on when a rather ugly bar steward – who probably carries rabies – cracked him across the back of his neck with a forearm. Jullien bore the frustrated demeanour of a winner denied, something he needs to impose on his team-mates.
BOLIWOOD – 6/10
Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!.. Kaiser Chief-esque screams from the stands as our Ruby Rhod battled down the left flank. By far from our worst performer – plenty of candidates ahead of him.. – his perpetual enthusiasm for getting forward created some openings but the final ball/link-ups let us down.
Goldilocks with the arms of a howitzer – how we utilised his prowess today, launching a number of throw-ins-cum-crosses into their box and won none of them. He got forward many a time but couldn’t find a dangerous pass/cross when it counted.
BROON – 5/10
Looked like the happiest man in Almondvale/Nutsville/Spaghetti Shithole when we were down to ten -as if the scrap was made for him. But he could not exert his influence on the game. There was no response from his players and the influential Broon magic was impotent. Only Griff may have benefitted from that.
CALMAC – 5/10
One of ours who temporarily looked on it after Corpus departed. Seemed a bit fazed at times by the overgrown velcro he had to pass the ball about on. And what we ultimately got was an aggregate of his quietest performances – a lot of deep touches, pattern-passing, but no game-changing guile that we so desperately required.
CORPUS – 0/10
Corpus, you idiot. did you not remember what yer Da told you about temptation? Don’t give Satan’s wee imps like Gollum the chance to nail a Bhoy. However, you did also give him the erection of his life, which he’s currently trying to get rid of up on Tesco’s roof with a sniper rifle.
ELSHAGYONLASSIE – 4/10
After a slow start – like Thursday – he was another who looked like he might take over the game but was flattering to deceive. By the time he’d shaken his lethargy and started to run at them, ask some questions, we were a man and goal down. Still looks like he needs more fitness work – if we could get his energy channelled positively from the first whistle we might not find ourselves in situations like this.
FORREST – 2/10
After a neat opening burst in tandem with Eddy, his game went by in a flash. And we never saw any flashes of Jamesy at all (Ladies…) And after they flashed in the opener, he was off in a flash. To sum up: flashless.
FRENCH EDDY – 5/10
After a hefty tackle from Livingston battle-giant, his face told the story of the day – not really wanting to be there. Heroic moments slipped from his grasp as the keeper denied him or space was closed down or the ball cleared in the goalmouth by dogged defending. It wasn’t running his way. Left at full-time muttering the poetic French quip for such a day, “va the faire foutre”…
SON OF A GUN – 5/10
On he came and battled and blazed but we didn’t provide anywhere near the quality of service a partnership with Eddy may have benefitted from, thanks to our malfunctioning wings.
SAM JACKSON – 5/10
Throw on a MFa at the point those MFas score again?! M-thu-fa! So any mfin’ influence this MFa may have brought to the mfin’ shindig was a hope against mfin’ hope as them MFas closed up a dam mfin’ yellow wall against any righteous mfin retribution.
HAYES – 4/10
Honorary Jonny appearance, at the site of his last meeting with Dr.Livingston, ten years before he fought in the Zulu war. For the Zulus. Reports described Johnny as a ‘stand-out’. Probably literally.
But our time-hopping warrior stood out today only for a comedy shank out the pitch late on as he endeavoured to sum the entire day’s play up in a mime.
LENNONY – 5/10
Last time he faced this scrapping, fighting, negative yellow mess we stuttered to a zip-zip tie, as they say across the flat earth disc, and we thought that would be today’s worst-case scenario. Yet he set out the same team as Thursday bar big Hat Attack and got… Nothing.
Threw in Bayo to go two up front chasing the match, again got…Nothing. You could argue this was a result in spite of the manager’s efforts, but it’s four points dropped in two away games and he’s not managed to draw the performances form his players to maintain a blistering start to the season.
Does the buck stop with him for this lapse? You don’t get more than two errant games leeway in the Celtic hot seat. From the high of his near-perfect Europa night when every face turned his way had a happy grin, to the worried frowns he’ll encounter for the next fortnight; testing times.
OVERALL – 3/10
So yet again our thoroughbreds are required to produce top-quality footwork on a surface made from Jordan’s old tits. And this is how it transpired – a grim and pathetic collective effort that surrendered three precious points to a team of faceless journeymen who battled for their lives, and the little taste of glory they deservedly got.
Of course Livingston were going to bully, batter and kick their way to anything they could get. Of course we were going to take the ball off them and play rings around them, pick them off and ease home comfortably mimicking that heady triumphant Thursday. Erm…Exactly what the hell was that? Some kind of temporal shift? A glitch in the Matrix?
I thought we’d seen the back of these days when everyone’s mince, can’t kick their own backsides, get dragged down tho the opposition’s level and blow points that could have been won by half-time if we’d bothered to turn up.
Which was the problem – never gave ourselves the chance to reach any sort of level we’ve been at this season. Ambled about the park waiting for the next man to do something. A shambolic collective fail which was
on the cards before Corpus exemplified the lazy start with his clumsy dismissal.
And yet another lesson for this squad – give sleekit MIBs the opportunity this season, you’ll be cursed with more officiating like today; breaking up play with innocuous little fouls, allowing Celtic players to be smashed to the brink of the rules, refusing to card opponents for persistent and dangerous challenges. And when he did throw the cards around, made sure they were evenly split, despite our players being the victims.
Gollum’s a wee anti-Celtic horror and he knows it, and our distinct lack of any verve let him live out a wet dream. So now we head into an international break with the initiative gone, a near-splendid opening chapter to the season sullied by our own bewildering failure to get the job completed in a professional manner.
History doesn’t disappear in a calamitous explosion – ‘Aye it does, Sandman, ask the dinosaurs!’ – no, football history slips away from you on days like these; too many of them and you’ll lift your head to the future one day to find the NINE gone over a foreboding dark horizon.
Go Away Now