Sandman’s Definitive Ratings: “You’re not Celtic any more; you’re not even close”


Photo: Jeff Holmes

BANE – 6.5/10 MOTM by default. – Pinky-promise finger super save after half an hour of inactive baws-chilling in the lonely away end. Must have thought he’d done his bit right there to contribute to a vital win. Oh, how he didn’t laugh later as he stood rooted while another set-piece calamity left him with no chance….

GREGGS THE BAKER – N/A – Spent Sunday afternoon introducing the concept of bread to locals. Then lasted five minutes before the bubonic plague he’d contracted sidelined him.

(Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

JONJO O’NEILL – 4/10 – Thought he’d stepped into Brig O’ Doon. Played like the bizarre nature of the team performance was infectious. Couldn’t find a final ball either, in tribute to PingPong. Who, incidentally, now looks as if he can, going by Leverkusen highlights; like he’d found some wacky professional coaching regime over there or something…

RAQUEL – 5/10 – Immediately made Queen of Dingwall and declared Bride of Crom, the Great Worm. Affected by the seeping malaise around him as his seniors gave him a taste of what it’s like to complacently surrender history. Far from blameless as he was caught under the flight of the winning goal, and slack with passing. But he’s not the bhoy you expect to have to look to in order to get a result against Coonty.

AJER – 4/10 – Far enough into the North that he could cover himself in woad and make sacrifices of scantily-clad maidens and woodland creatures to the Allfather without a local batting an eye; In fact, they call that, ‘Sunday’. Not a lot to do, but failed in what there was – organising properly, and caught under the ball #2 at the winning
set-piece. And could not inspire with forward rampages due to packed midfield.

(Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

BROON – 3/10 – Entitlement? Broon swaggered about like an ex-pro filling in at a junior pre-season friendly. Domination and control are why he’s there, yet proved unable to exert either. Out-jumped for their goal, appeared baffled when he should have been appalled his orders were neglected. His Will To Power seems to have gone with his legs. Yet why did he even start when that Man of Soro has proven a worthy successor?

CALMAC – 4/10 – From impressario to the guy who pops up to ping the triangle at inopportune moments. Opposition like this were once relished by Calmac as Sunday-roast carving practice for his calculated precision, dissected with his array defence-slicing plays. Tonight he just blundered about, more Leatherface than Lecter.

ROGIC – 3/10 – Wandering swagman in search of a billabong, got lost in forest of teuchterbassa trees. See what I did there, Oz? More than you…

Photo: Jeff Holmes

EDDIE TURNBULL – 4/10 – Back in the passenger role when we required a chauffeur for French Eddy. As  expected, up against a determined press of snarling journeymen. But that’s what you’re paid to do in The Hoops – and find a way to be better than them, not shackled like they do with outsiders in the Dingwall Toon Square, and have horses’ manure thrown at them for talking into their ‘magikal hand-slates’.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

CORPUS CHRISTIE – 5.5/10 – In purgatory. Or, attacking midfielder/ supporting striker, or dearknowswhatjustgonearEddy as the Celtic tactic board defines it. Just do what Eddy does, they told him, so he did – and missed a sitter that hit the orbiting Kenny Miller. In fairness he did look sharper than most but still infuriatingly insincere about it all, and shoots like Mr.Magoo in a centrifuge.

FRENCH EDDY – 3/10 –  Le Matrix is Eddy’s favourite movie, and he provided the glitch in it, somehow failing to bulge the net with anything but himself on the half hour. It was an ominous sign from the deserted legionaire, and like Beau Geste he seemed to disappear off to the French Foreign Legion soon after. If he’s any brains, he won’t return…


Photo: Vagelis Georgariou

DREXL – 5/10 – Well, Drexl gets a pass for effort and refusing to take part in the hide-and-seek game the rest were playing; showed up for as much as was going, remained clumsy in his execution, though. Still wears that hairstyle they refer to up there as ‘the witch-doctor look’.

GRIFF – N/A – On for Griff’s equivalent of a full season’s effort. Smacked a late free-kick forlornly over the bar; course you did, Griff. If only you’d taken this stuff seriously a few months back…

ELSHAGYONLASSIE – N/A –  Another departing cameo, another taste of why he wants back to England. Close with a header that produced a fine save.

(Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

LENNONY – 0/10

‘Hmm, okay, who deserves a run up front with Eddy? Ajeti, Klimala, or Griff? I can’t decide…Right, enny-meeny-miny…Christie.’ One striker and a floating nuisance against a side with a single long-ball gambit. ‘Why change a winning team,’ has always been Lennony’s mantra.

LOL, no it’s not; had ye…

No, it’s actually, ‘Keep repeating the mistakes of the past in the slim hope it’ll be different next time.”

Ross Coonty – 12 goals conceded from corners, worst in league. So we take most of ours short. We can’t defend a set-piece, nor can we execute one.

Who’s managing this, Lennony? Who’s paying attention to detail? Who’s doing the research? Who’s derelicting duty…

…Nobody, we booked six buses, right?

You stopped chasing this historic title long ago, Lennony. Alarmingly, now you’re just straw-clutching in the hope everyone gets so disillusioned with the shambles they forget you’re still in charge.

OVERALL – 0/10

Ah, the tempo, the zest, the hunger and desire; Wasn’t 2017 great? Yes it was, but that’s no reason to play the 2017 midfield again.

You’re not Celtic any more; You knew what was required, but you couldn’t raise yourselves to do it.

You’re not Celtic any more; You let yet another team of un-nameables get gallus in place of trepidation.

You’re not Celtic any more; You play in moody patches of hopeful interaction, devoid of basic, learned patterns of play drilled on training grounds.

You’re not Celtic any more; what a disgrace you’ve been from top to toe. What a lack of self-respect and unprofessionalism has been shown to the famous Hoops, encapsulated in the ponderous angst of tonight’s miserable struggle to resemble anything close to a Celtic team.

Another must win, and another diabolical failure. 18 points behind THEM with 8 games to go in the season of a lifetime where legends could have become immortals. Instead, we get players going through the motions, wishing for the end of a tortuous campaign in which they’ve been paid handsomely to self-harm and dismantle the hopes of impassioned generations.

You’re not Celtic any more; you’re not even close.

Go Away Now.


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

1 Comment