Real Mallorca’s chief executive, Maheta Molango, had one of his more unpleasant tasks to oversee on Monday night when he announced at a press conference that interim coach Pepe Galvez and his assistant Alfonso Perez Muñoz were being relieved of their duties after just six games in charge. In that time, Mallorca won just once, losing three and drawing two. With the club now in intensive care (the relegation bottom four), it’s been necessary to bring in an experienced coach who has the know-how to motivate and get teams back up the league.
Returning for a second spell at Real Mallorca is 61-year-old Galician-born Fernando Vazquez who was in charge between 1999/2000. His first task as he arrived for training this morning (Tuesday) was to raise team morale after a devastating last-minute home defeat to Valladolid on Sunday.
Vazquez has loads of experience coaching in Spanish football and his appointment means Real Mallorca have now had eight coaches in two years. The club has had a major buffeting through warring factions in the boardroom but when Utz Claassen became chief shareholder, he steadied proceedings over the past 18 months, after Real Mallorca had virtually been torn apart.
Vazquez has coached a veritable Who’s Who of Spanish clubs - Oviedo, Mallorca, Betis, Las Palmas, Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid, Celta Vigo (where he gained promotion in 2005/6), Deportivo La Coruña, who he also coached to promotion two years ago - as well as Galicia's football team.
His time at Mallorca was memorable, albeit short-lived. We finished the 1999/2000 season in mid-table, but it was in Europe where he will be most remembered by local fans. After finishing the season in third place, we started the European campaign in the Champions League qualifying rounds. Coached by the recently departed Hector Cuper’s assistant, Mario Gomez, Mallorca lost on away goals to Norwegian side Molde, so we had to make do with the UEFA cup. By this time Gomez had to leave as he didn’t have the proper coaching qualifications and Vazquez arrived. In Europe we beat Sigma, Teplice, Ajax Amsterdam, Monaco, then went out to Galatasaray at the quarter-final stage. Vazquez always used to cavort around the running track at the Son Moix when we scored a goal but he is most definitely a coach who can get us back up the table.
He always gave the first impression that he looked more like a school teacher than a football coach and, in fact, is a professor of English back in his native Castrofeito. After coaching Deportivo to promotion after finishing runners-up in 2014, Vazquez was given a new contract. However, in July, after some statements in which he criticised the club’s signing policy, he was relieved of his duties. At Monday’s highly emotional (and tearful) press conference it was announced Galvez and Alonso will stay on at the club in coaching roles, and there was even talk about them going to Vancouver White Caps which is also owned by Mallorca’s new consortium. Pepe thanked the club, players and fans for supporting him but unfortunately results hadn’t been good enough. Galvez couldn’t hold back the tears and said how he loved the club and always will do. Molango said: “Alfonso and Pepe are two fantastic people but the reality is we must distinguish personal feelings from reality and we have to take decisions for the good of the club. We need a coach with more experience of the second division and who has been through the turbulence we’re in now.”
Fan’s View wishes Pepe Galvez and his successor, Fernando Vazquez, the best of luck. We just have to stay in La Segunda, at least for this season, and Vazquez should be just the man to get us back on track.