The Canary in the Coal Mine – Celtic’s Gone Soft, Careless and Apathetic

Out of all the regular features on The Celtic Star the one that polarises opinion, judging from the messages and emails we receive, is Sandman’s Definitive Ratings after each match. For many it is is a major highlight, something that people enjoy and look forward to and is often both hilarious and perceptive in pin-pointing key issues surrounding the game in question or the other stuff that is always going on around the club – particularly it seems this season.

Others don’t get the satirical wit of a writer who was once banned from another site for using sweary words. We incidentally have to tone that and the use of certain words – like the first three letters in Moussa nickname – down but so if you want to get the unedited version it is also available after each game on the excellent Celtic Noise forum. Anyway while accepting that Sandman isn’t to everyone’s tastes we reckon that his Definitive Ratings help make The Celtic Star a must read every day for so many Celtic Supporters around the world.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

Anyway in his Definitive Ratings after yesterday’s desperate performance against Livingston Sandman made a wider point where he pinpoints the key indicating factor in why Celtic have ended up serving up this car-crash of a season.

It’s well worth a read even for those who don’t enjoy Sandman’s crazy copy on an on-going game by game basis.


“Of all the utterly demented toxic mince that’s bubbled to the surface this season, one single admission struck me the most as the telling moment, the smoking gun: Sparky recently admitted he wasn’t fit enough back in August.

“Apologised and said he was getting it together. Sparky’s Sparky and didn’t realise what he was telling us all; well, telling me certainly – he was the canary in the coal mine; evident that if there was nobody on top of him making sure he was fit enough for the TEN, then evident that this regime had gone soft, careless and apathetic through a summer they needed to be hammering home the importance of the coming season…The season most pertinent – the season to secure a historical achievement never to be matched or surpassed.

“And it was assumed, when it should have been desired.

“And now, as once-dominant champions prepare to take the knee – in mid-January FFS – we get the recriminations and rueful admissions of ill-prepared players and we witness the transition of such blasé attitudes onto the pitch as reduced conditioning allows lesser sides of journeymen to nullify our talent.

“All theRangers needed to do was stay fit and organised and focussed; they didn’t even need to outplay us. We underplayed ourselves. Shame on you, Celtic.”

You can read Sandman’s column from yesterday below…

READ IT HERE…Sandman’s Definitive Ratings: Celtic Lite v Living Hell

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

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