Real Mallorca suffered another humiliating defeat on the road, going down 3-1 to Cordoba on Sunday. The result puts Mallorca back into the relegation bottom four and quite frankly, after watching this debacle, their league position doesn’t lie. Just what new chief executive Moheta Molango, who was sitting in the stands with his son, must have thought of this horror show is probably unprintable.
On Sunday Real Mallorca, under rookie coach Pepe Galvez, looked like a team unclear of their identity, and the new owners somehow must plot a route out of mediocrity. Molango and his team have first of all to bring in an experienced coach to replace Galvez who now looks completely out of his depth. I hope new owner Robert Sarver has a contingency plan to cover Real Mallorca if they go down to the Segunda “B” because on Sunday’s showing that’s where we’re heading.
Galvez, for reasons best known to him, picked Sissoko down the left wing leaving Thierry Moutinho, probably our best player over the past few games, warming the bench. The game was only five minutes old when an innocuous tackle by Oriol in the Mallorca box saw the referee point to the spot. Fortunately, justice was done as Fidel fired high over the bar, but the first goal wasn’t far away.
In the 17th minute the Romanian and ex-Atletic Balear player, Florin Andone, found himself all alone on the edge of the area and he ran through unchallenged to put the home side ahead. Eight minutes later and the home side doubled their lead with another soft goal, and it was scored by Majorca-born Xisco who was here on loan last winter. He beat off three half-hearted tackling attempts to score in the far corner, Because of his Majorcan connection, he didn’t celebrate.
During the interval Galvez saw the error of his ways and had Moutinho warming up. When he came on for an under-par Pereira we had a better attacking option as Mallorca forced two corners at the start of the second half.
Cordoba wrapped things up in the 71st minute when substitute Sasa Markovic, who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds, scored with his first touch. This goal had the element of farce about it. Our centre-back David Costas, who’s been pretty reliable all season, misjudged the bounce of the ball, it went over his head and as Timon came out of his goal to narrow the angle, Markovic delicately chipped him to score a goal that brought the full house at the El Arcangel to its feet. Game over. Somehow Brandon Thomas pulled one back a minute later, then right at the death Bianchi rattled the bar with a free kick as the referee put us fans out of our misery when he blew for time.
This was a shocking performance from Real Mallorca and it could so easily have been 5-1, as Cordoba missed a penalty, and had a perfectly good goal chalked off. We lacked any sort of creativity and were bereft of ideas of how to break down the home team’s defence. Both home strikers Florin and Xisco scared the life out of our defenders with their pace.
For long periods the Palma side were made to look ordinary, and the new regime has a lot of work to do to get Mallorca back up the league. We’re now a yawning 11 points off last promotion place play-off side Leganes.
So the “Sarver era” begins with one of our poorest away showings of the season and I’m afraid Mallorca will be looking for their third coach of the season in the next few hours, with Fernando Vazquez favourite to take charge as he was in 1999-2000. We need a strong character to turn our fortunes around as Pepe Galvez stands almost motionless in his technical area. He looked shell-shocked on Sunday night. We also need five or six new players as there are too many at the moment running on empty. A lot of the blame for players not giving their all for the cause is because, not only is the present coach not demonstrative enough, but the players are simply underachieving, and that fault lies at the door of the director of football, Miguel Angel Nadal, as he signed 15 new players last summer. Like Galvez, I feel Nadal will be relieved of his duties shortly and will become a director, with Galvez being No. 2 to whoever comes in as head coach.
Mallorca are expected to bring in experienced striker Adrian Colunga on a free transfer. The 31-year-old, born in Oviedo, was released by Brighton in October and has also played for Getafe and Granada, amongst others: too many to mention. He hasn’t kicked a ball in earnest since he relinquished his contract with “The Seagulls” in October, so we can’t expect an immediate impact from him.
Interesting to hear Gary Neville’s comments on the January transfer window. The Valencia coach reckons it’s a ridiculous month for signings: you never see big-name players available, it’s a crazy month. January (for teams like Mallorca) gives them a chance to look back at how they’ve fared in the first half of the season and an opportunity to boost the squad for the rest of the campaign. It’s very likely we’ll offload several players as our squad contains players who have almost completely vanished off the club’s playing radar. But we still need to get some players of a certain quality if we are to have any chance of getting our season back on track. Most of the players available in January are either coming back from injury, can’t get regular playing time at their respective clubs or are surplus to requirements at other clubs, i.e. free transfers. Perhaps Mallorca’s all-time best winter signing was in 2005 when Nunes came from Portuguese club Sporting Braga. He stayed for eight years and became a club legend. Right now we could do with a few like him.
Next Sunday at 12 midday we play Valladolid at the Son Moix. They, after a good start, have fallen down the league to 13th on 25 points, five more than us.