Real Mallorca play three games in seven days, starting on Sunday with an away fixture against Llagostera at 5pm. This tiny Catalan club have had six promotions in a decade. The Costa Brava side lie second bottom and have 22 points, 20 of them gained at home. They signed a non-descript numpty called Fofo from us in January and let’s hope he doesn’t come back to haunt us.
Mallorca will stay on the peninsular, returning the 117km to Barcelona. They’ll stay there until Tuesday, training at Espanyol’s Ciudad de Football complex, then make the trip to Huesca and play the game called off by inclement weather three weeks ago. It’s been snowing heavily in the Aragon region these past few days, so let’s just hope that the game goes ahead. Coach Fernando Vazquez, his backroom staff, and twenty-two players flew out from Palma airport today. It’s reckoned Real Mallorca need seven wins from their remaining 15 games to make certain of staying in La Segunda, so both these games are vital, as is Mirandes at the Son Moix next Sunday 5pm.
Team selection for the coach will be most important, with the good news that two players will be returning to action. Joan Oriol (whose brother plays for Llagostera) could bolster the defence and there’s a chance the much-missed Michael Pereira will make an appearance wearing a mask to protect his on-the-mend broken cheekbone. Vazquez has a conundrum with regard to who to play in goal. Timon Wellenreuther has served a three-match suspension but Vazquez was far from pleased when the German received his marching orders against Bilbao Athletic a month ago, calling the 21-year-old German youth international "unprofessional." Thirty-four-year-old Jesus Cabrero hasn’t done anything wrong as Timon’s replacement so he could well get the nod. He also said the reason why striker Ortuño hasn’t been selected for the past two games is that he has an attitude problem on the training ground. Toys thrown out of prams comes to mind!
Bad news is the absence through a broken toe of David Costas at centre-back and Joan Truyols will likely keep his place as Costas’ replacement. Another absentee is Oscar Diaz although he’s expected back next weekend.
Our general manager, Maheta Molango, doesn't seem to have stopped since the new owners took over in January. The Duracell rabbit’s got nothing on him and he’s been busy this week talking to Collerense football club in Coll D’En Rebassa, trying to help them raise 30,000 euros to get their women’s team through this season. He was also on "Radio Marca Mallorca" after the local media weren’t happy with the way the Palma side performed in their 1-0 win last Saturday against Oviedo. Molango said: "Our team is in the second division and we have second division players. I’m not interested if we play well or not, winning is the most important issue. It’s down to us to start moving back up the league, sealing our permanency in La Segunda."
Last week’s appearance by new owner Robert Sarver and his associates went down well with the majority of supporters. Scenes of them dishing out plates of paella to the fans were unprecedented; I’d never seen any other owner or president of Real Mallorca doing that before. Sarver’s No. 2, Steve Nash, was the star of the show. The ex-NBA superstar trained with the team and even proposed to his girlfriend whilst visiting Fornalutx (she said "yes") and the local press loved him. The American party commented on how beautiful and diverse the island is and they can’t wait to return. Now that the new consortium has taken over, and providing Mallorca avoid relegation, it should be a very interesting summer.