Real Mallorca in their centennial season remain unconvincing after a lacklustre 0-0 draw against Numancia on Sunday. It was a glorious evening for playing football but unfortunately the game didn’t live up to expectations.
Numancia came to Palma on Sunday as league leaders and fans were asking just how they’d got into that lofty position. They looked an average side who gained a draw against a Mallorca team who couldn’t finish and didn’t have a “Scooby” when it came to the final third of the pitch. The fact that we’re the lowest scorers in La Segunda with a paltry two goals (one of them a penalty) and simply can’t create enough scoring chances is worrying. Another adversary for us is the state of the Son Moix playing surface.
Towards the end of Sunday’s game the pitch was cutting up badly, which isn’t exactly conducive to good football.
We used to have one of the best grass surfaces in top-flight Spanish football but now trying to find a colleague with a pass is more difficult because the ball is bobbling all over the place on what resembles a paddy field.
Timon in goal was by far our man of the match. The only thing I can comment on is that he needs to clear his lines more quickly. Time after time he walked slowly to pick up a stray ball and he needs to be told that his distribution must be quicker.
That’s taking nothing away from his five-star performance on Sunday. Our defence was adequate: Costas, who only arrived from Celta Vigo a week ago, looked flustered at times but should be a good loanee. Yuste in midfield didn’t have his best game but as I explained after the game to some friends, he hasn’t had a pre-season after having a shoulder operation. Not having a pre-season fitness regime under your belt means a player isn’t normally up to speed until at least Christmas.
Mallorca had opportunities early doors with both Yuste and Brandon having attempts but our attack on Sunday was non-existent. Both Pereira and to a lesser extent full back Oriol put over telling crosses, but there was nobody on the end of them to put the all-important finishing touches. Our strike force was poor against an average Numancia side which, although on the back foot for most of the game, still managed to have more shots on target.
A virtuoso performance from 19-year-old German goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther kept Mallorca’s hopes alive.
There are not many professional European leagues these days which have a 19-year-old rookie as their No. 1 goalkeeper, and the on-loan from Bundesliga side Schalke youngster has now become one of the fans’ favourites.
It seems strange to see a goalkeeper as man of the match but that’s just the way Mallorca are playing at the moment. We’re firing blanks upfront and need to start scoring otherwise we’re in trouble. Our next three games are all against teams who came up from the third division last season, Gimnastic Tarragona (A) next Sunday 5pm then Huesca (H) followed by Oviedo (A).
After Sunday’s result Mallorca are in 18th place on four points, not the best place to be in as the islanders fight for promotion in their 100th birthday year.
Lots of Mallorca fans have been going on social media saying coach “Chapi” Ferrer is too defensive and appears to be unable to get any reactions from his players. Time will tell. I remain positive, it’s still too early to expect a team of new players to suddenly “gel” but I suffer the same frustrations as the majority of Mallorca fans. We must put away the chances that are provided predominantly by Michael Pereira. On Sunday we missed at least four golden opportunities, but at least next week we should have Italian striker Bianchi back after suspension. I’m sure he could have scored one of the many chances spurned on Sunday.