Real Mallorca and Leganes played out an instantly forgettable and drab 0-0 draw at the Butarque stadium in Madrid on Sunday night. Mallorca played this match in front of just 4,000 people and I wonder just how clubs like Leganes manage to hang on. In a first half bereft of chances the home team at least tried to create openings whereas Mallorca lacked ambition, especially in attack where once again we were toothless. Leganes looked dangerous on the break but their finishing was terrible, apart from a Borja effort near the end that rattled the bar.
Referee Arcediano Monescillo did everybody watching this game a huge favour when he blew for full time. On the way home from my local, I asked myself should a 0-0 result be considered a pain or a pleasure? A success or a failure? After all, Sunday’s bore-fest meant Mallorca are now unbeaten in five games, kept another clean sheet and for the last 15 minutes on Sunday we were reduced to 10 men. But it’s up front where we have major worries and how Chapi Ferrer can say the present team is good enough to win promotion is way wide of the mark. With our new exciting injection of capital we have to take what striking options are available in January otherwise it’s another season of La Segunda misery. It should be the case now after 10 games that Real Mallorca start to take shape in their push up the league but we’re not, we’re stuck in a rut, and it looks to be that the coach is running out of ideas. Once again his starting XI was peculiar to say the least. In the absence of the suspended Yuste, the simple answer would have been to replace him with a like-for-like, either Sastre or Sabater, instead Ferrer brought back the totally out-of-sorts Coro and he was again on the periphery hardly getting a kick. Thankfully, our defence has been solid this season and again on Sunday they had a tough time near the end containing a “tails up” Leganes attack. Somehow they held on, with centre half Aveldaño having his best game since arriving from Argentina in the summer.
SUMMING UP : The big talking point before this tedious affair kicked off was the sudden appearance of a company called Syntellix on the front of the Mallorca jerseys. (For some reason on Sunday, we played in black with black-and-white striped socks. Why can’t we play in our normal red and black, especially as the home team were in white – no colour clash there then.) The normal sponsors, Air Europa, are now relegated to the bottom of the shirts at the back. Syntellix turn out to be a world leader in the field of bio-absorbable metal implants (!) and are based in Hanover where our president/owner Utz Claassen hails from, and he’s the chairman of the board. That looks like more new Mallorca jerseys going on sale at over-inflated prices.
The ball spent most of the game in the middle of the pitch and at least two guys in the bar I watched it in had dozed off (probably due to a heavy lunch) long before the end of play. Reading social media later on Sunday night, one local fan was particularly scathing, saying “This Mallorca side tonight looked lop-sided and the only one guilty of this is the coach Chapi Ferrer. He shouldn’t be allowed to stay one more minute in charge of our team.” In my opinion, the players don’t look fit and Araña who came on as a substitute near the end slipped on the turf (after just 10 seconds, could that be an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the quickest injury ever before even touching the ball?), twisting a previously injured knee and had to go off. With Ferrer having already brought on his three subs we had to play the last 15 minutes with 10 men. There’s no way Araña should have been brought back before he was fully recovered from last season’s injury. Ferrer picked Coro for whatever reason and he looks totally useless.
Mallorca now lie in 18th place, three points off the bottom four on 13 points, but also just three points from the play-offs. We next play third-placed Zaragoza at the Son Moix on Saturday night at 8.15pm. This crucial game is our biggest challenge so far this season and let’s see just how much we’ve progressed when we come up against one of the promotion favourites.