Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Celtic win at Gangsta’s Paradise

SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ GANGSTA’S PARADISE…

“They got the situation, they got me facin’
I can’t live a normal life, I was raised supportin’
the stripes

Been spendin’ most their lives,
Livin’ in the gangsta’s paradise
Been spendin’ most their lives,
Livin’ in the gangsta’s paradise”

Coolio, on following St.Mirren

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B.A BARKAS – 6.5/10

The Long Wall saves the ball. No he don’t, fool! Appeared stunned by Scotland’s own version of the Acropolis, and the effect of Paisley Town Hall resulted in him failing to keep out the scrambled opener. Thereafter, not a lot to do but anything his way was handled, or footed, comfortably.

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HAT ATTACK – 5.5/10

Has his Euro-nightmare affected confidence? Was so slack first-half he was almost mistaken for a local wummin. Steadied the ship in an uneventful second period, but not the focussed no-nonsense force of will he once was. Mossad will be concerned.

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AJER – 7/10

Forced to take the ancient Viking test of manhood – step over the Paisley cooncil boundary. He did more than that – rampaged around like his ancestors and pillaged them as he drove the team on from opening minutes’ disaster. If he’s playing for a move, he’s racking up the rubles for us. Or lira. Or…Bitcoin?

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ALAN LADD – 7.5/10

From Brighton to Gloomton. He’s used to the law of the gun and fighting a range war so everyday life in these surroundings was no daunting prospect. Takes a big character sometimes to lift a side when the plan has gone out the window early, so tonight was his time to prove his worth and we got it with a snapped header and a grim determination to carve out a victory.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10

Half-baked crosses were the order of the day for our indecisive baker. You’ll never get a decent bun at Easter from him in this form – he’s so conservative at times I expect him to shout ‘rugger’, don an Etonian top hat, and start buggering his opponents.

We need a left wing-back who’ll provide an array of options and not be afraid to sling in a speculative first-time cross now and then to trip defences. This regressive ball-possession from advanced flank positions won’t do much. Dare a little, Greggs.

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BROON – 6.5/10

Despite a fascist-rally background from his Ibrox enclosure days, it was interesting to see a blue-nosed pub regular – referee Beaton – take the BLM cause to extremes and book Broony because a black man ran into him…Broon remained undaunted and unconquered in the middle. Laborious at times with little option but to stare at a wall of zebras ahead and hope the creatives around him could leverage openings. Yet it’s captains like him we need in games like these; he’ll turn up the grind and demand stoic effort. He’ll enjoy embattled comeback wins
like this more than Saturday’s 5-0 romp. The glorious perv.

CALMAC – 8/10 MOTM

You know you need a little extra help when the shotgun’s gone off on your foot; in Paisley, that’s a daily hazard. And Celtic seem to manage it here at least once a season. So in ghost town, who you gonna call? Calmac, of course; our vice captain in a city of vice. Prompted, prodded, guile-ed, and called the shots right to the death. You better believe he was winning this one; And he won this one alright, with his quality.

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CORPUS CHRISTIE – 7/10

Showed Greggs how to cross a ball from the left to set up the winner with a beauty of a dipping fizzer. He was getting right into the rhythm of his game, when along came half-time to reset and we didn’t see the same timing for the remainder. Although, he was in and about them, winning the penalty and mentally sharp but just a little out of synch. Possibly un-nerved by the local crucifixion policy.

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FORREST – 6.5/10

Well, at least the big heid took the headlines tonight, Jamesy…And the wee one stayed tucked and tamed, as was Jamesy by St.Midden’sbeast at left-back, straight out of the Dr.Moreau breeding program.

But let loose, you, me, the SPL, Europe, and glass collectors everywhere know how ‘surprising’ the Prestwick Pele can be, and that one moment of match-winning craft with a guided header was the coming future flash that I alluded to on Saturday. Shame on you for thinking it was anything else…

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KLIMALA KLIMAX – 5.5/10

Tireless hustle but no joy as he was stifled by a defence stuck together like the pages of one of his second-hand 70s ‘art’ mags. Toiled until the hook. Must be said he got zero service, though.

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FRENCH EDDY – 5/10

Sometimes you’re not the messiah, you’re just a villain garçon. Disbelief as he failed to score his 98th penalty in 98 days. When it’s not your night, it’s not your night and from a first half quality save when it looked like a customary slotted opener, Eddy was dogged by misfortune, heavy touches and the break of the ball, culminating in that penalty save. In French, termed as ‘C’est la vie’. In Paisley, known as ‘Witchcraft.’

SUBS:

SAM JACKSON – 6/10

Thrown in to Flock O’ Seagulls some of those gangsta muthutuckas, the Muthutucka careered around and managed not to get his muthutuckin’ ass sent off as he made sure we ran out top jungle cats in their muthutuckin’ hood.

THE YETI – 6/10

The Paisley Bigfoot Patrol was kept waiting until Lennony made the customary ‘On you go and get your goal.’ move. And The Yeti was pretty close to doing so, only foiled by the in-form goalie before being isolated alone up front as we re-jigged to hold on.

PINGPONG – 6/10

The energy injection was late but he’ll go off like a firecracker anytime you let him loose and no exception made here. Scythed down by Manimal at left-back as he gave them pace to worry about.

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LENNONY – 6.5/10

4-4-2? Eh? What about the 3-5-2? What about domination by numbers of the middle from the first whistle that won’t allow them space to break early, force a corner and score? What about the 3-5-2 the SPL fears that guarantees our two strikers service and a minimum amount of openings – enough to win handsomeely – as we saw on Saturday? Why try a fix of what ain’t broke? Why…

Ahh, don’t ask… Lennony shifted the set-up and rotated the squad to suit – and perhaps to outfox Jim Goodwin, though he ended up outfoxing us more. Still, relief all-round and no book dared be open on a repeat formation come Saturday. Just, naw, Lennony…

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OVERALL – 7/10

A traditional early-season struggle in the home of the Paisley Pattern – the name given to Serial Killer behavioural profiling in honour of the birthplace of psychotic homicidal murder. A place now so dangerously plague-ridden they even had the cardboard cut-outs of fans behind the goal socially distanced.

After shipping that opening gift faster than Amazon, Celtic conducted the Paisley Seige – a common news headline after hot nights in Feegie – with near 80% possession but struggled to break down the possessed.
True to local folklore – and the discoveries of medical science’s on-site research – we could not kill what does not live.

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We had no great tempo and it was no great spectacle – without a crowd even less so; at one point the rare distraction of a plane flying overhead could be heard, and the spears and arrows bouncing off its fuselage might
have taken the players’ focus from the game. Broony launched a ball at it, too, if I remember.

But we stuck in and hauled ourselves back from the brink of calamity to get those precious three points. And that was all any of us really wanted. Trust in these players to get the job done – they are winners. And they
want the TEN even more than you or me.

Go Away Now.

Sandman

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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