Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Champions v Sinners


“Blood, sweat, and respect. First two you give, last one you earn,” The Rock. (Yeah, unbelievably.)

ROXIE – 10/10 – An emotional wreck. Couldn’t focus on the game for tear-blurred vision. Choking-up every time the ball went near him. And that was just my match experience. From the moment
he appeared on the screens, his weans in the tunnel with him, to the walk-off like big Oz before him; finished me. After that I got to enjoy the game. For a couple of minutes. Beforehand, nothing to do for Joe around the unstoppable goals bar relish his final epic moments in Paradise. And when there’s a fantastic GB tifo tribute dedicated solely to you, then you know you made it all count in the finest football arena on Earth.

GREGGS THE BAKER – 7/10 – Looked far more assured and in-tune than during recent struggles. Had plenty to do that suited his busy, busy bee style and showed up well in every area of the park.Deserved an acclaimed assist for a delightful floated ball in to Reo, who unfortunately lifted his volley over. Idiot…

TONY THE TIGER – 7.5/10 – Levels. Tony has them. A stalwart in the shirt. Nothing suits him more – or fires him up more – than unarmed combat, as the Zombies got a taste of last week. He got plenty through the 90 today, gave and took it, then showed there’s class in them bits too with the
delivery of the season for the lunatic Honduran’s winner.

RAQUEL – 3/10 – The nightmare – glorious chance spurned within minutes, shops a pen/goal through miscalculated bluntness, then aggravates his ongoing shoulder injury and departs in
misery. Dream trophy day disintegrates. Goddamn. Get well soon, m’bhoy.

APOLLO CREED – 8/10 MOTM – 15th minute (go check, pedants…) 0-1 down, sluggish. Suddenly, in the space of a few moments, Rocky’s stepped in, stepped out, stepped it up – two-touch, sharp, direct passing, stimulating the midfield, firing up the tempo by a multitude of degrees, shaking us into focus, and we’re off…Allied that vigor to some rugged defending against robust mobile strikers. I’ll say it again – he could be terrific alongside CCV with an extended run to develop understanding. CL terrific, to give us a puncher’s chance in the Big Show. (See what I did there fans of pugilistic movie franchises?)

CALMAC – 6.5/10 – The Skipper’s day. Playing within himself, just wanting the 90 to go by so he could get his hands on the prize. And didn’t he and the big mhan lift it well? Now rest, and prepare for one crowning skelping.

HAKUNA HATATE – 6.5/10 – Getting there. Another step up the quality scale after Wednesday’s scrappy effort on a threadbare snooker table. More product for his toil today, might have scored a goal of the season if he’d controlled a volley better, but set one up anyway with a precision ball from an overlapping run, for Kyogo to end a sweeping counter.

THE BUILDER – 7/10 – The league’s most gifted kid defies the bitter citrus sports’writers’ – hello  hack lurkers! – with yet another impactful outing. Once he’d slammed in his umpteenth goal of the season – from MIDfield, note,  media groupies – Matty dropped into his groove and prepped a lunchtime footballing salad for us featuring some peachy passes seasoned with deft touches.


KILLER MUSHROOM – 6.5/10 – In his heid. In his boots. Therein lay the title, and what better way to emphasise that with a final killer strike in his trademark style – zipping into the box like a viper with bite to match. One final step to slay the Lovecraftian monstrosities next weekend and we can say the wee Japanese assassin is our finest since the King Of Kings abdicated his golden throne 20 years ago this week. And I’m still not over that yet. Right?! *sniff* Leave me alone…


TAKINTE – 5/10 – Lacking some confidence? There’s a player in there, demonstrated by creative clips and footwork, but we need him to flourish. More promise than present, so far…

BRIAN DE – 6.5/10 – He’s a bit mad mental and talks to God. “Just likeaw ma burds. Eventually…” said Jamesy. But at least Louis finds inspiration in his entreaties to the almighty. And the heavens certainly answered his prayers today after a mercurial game of magic and mystery. The last Amen was his, nipping in at the last to sprinkle top quality Central American ching over the communion wafers and kick the title party into gear.


DUNCAN IDAHO – N/A – Best 5 months of his life capped with a Champions medal. May have won a pen if he had been smarter when the attempted bumming from Bealdermort’s wee cousin, Gogicbox, came in. But, whatever, I’m sure all this beats Norwich reserves.

TONIO IWATAO – N/A – On. Smile. Sweat a bit. Get a medal. Arigato.

SAINT BERNARDO – N/A – The O’Reilly twin comes from Lisbon, so a sunny Glasgow must have been confounding. Still, he managed to run around like a happy-go-lucky dug for quarter of an hour.

BANE – N/A – Baney will be on the razz tonight again, toasting his clean sheet; guaranteed.

OF JUSTICE – 6/10 – Held it together well as the game teetered in the balance. But… Playing a ginger Irishman with a hangover on a scorching sun-kissed afternoon; disgraceful, Rodgers.

THE SHNAKE – 7.5/10 – A redemption day in Paradise for the returned prodigal. Got another win through sheer persistence to method – much like this title. Then had his moment on the mic, which he kept a reserved cap on, and resisted a climactic, ‘get it up ye!’ to his doubters and critics, of which there have been many more than any Celtic manager this century has had to contend with.

Shame on you all…


MIBBERY – 3/10 – They’re almost forlorn at this stage, resigned to another summer of anguish and weird sexual tension down the ludges as the ‘reparation rituals’ take place. Maybe there will be a final flourish next week, but today my only worry was injuries, of which nothing crucial was facilitated by the American High School movie nerd with the whistle.

OVERALL – 7.5/10 – It’s a beautiful thing, this Celtic. Another victory dug out to hit 93 points, some fine-tuning for the season’s schadenfreude finale in a week, epic pathos as the big goalie took his last – and premature imo – Paradise bow. Legends come and go and are born at this club. And the
heartfelt adoration leaves an indelible mark upon their souls.

Just ask them – from the greatest to the pretty great, from Henrik to Joe, the attachment they feel to the support leaves them forever a fan, and us sobbing like a Zombie looking at a league table. The game today etched the season upon the ninety – struggles, setbacks, expectations. Flair, fault, failure, then joy and emotion at the last. Through it, faith, belief, hope and high drama, villains, and ultimately heroes. Such a sweet outcome to the main event.

The copious jhoy that flooded the stadium and Trongate with Celtic souls and mass euphoria just
leaves as all wanting more. Even Santa got in on the act, auditioning for Pope with the finest blessing since Artur Boric exorcised the Copeland Road end.

The big prize is gone, won by the good ghuys – the CHAMPIONS – safe and sound in the trophy cabinet it calls home. What’s left? A trinket with which to torment. I love a good epilogue to a raucous story. Let’s see if the universe’s scriptwriters possess a wicked sense of humour next weekend. Schadenfreude Saturday’s coming to the big screen. Pass the popcorn.

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

1 Comment

  1. Raymond Duffy on

    I don’t get the sympathy for Kuhn, how you can give pass marks (5/10) is beyond me.
    In all the time I’ve seen him, he’s only attempted to get to the bus line twice. EVERY other time, he cuts inside, tries a wild shot or floats an attempted cross. Talented, certainly, maybe excessive nerves, but the team can’t carry passengers, especially with Europe looming.