Joy for Real Mallorca's players after beating Valladolid.

04-06-2016

Real Mallorca secured their La Segunda place for next season with a comfortable 3-1 win at the Nuevo Zorilla stadium on Saturday night. This win brings to an end a cataclysmic campaign which all of us “Mallorquinistas” are happy to see the back of. The frightening inconsistency throughout the season saw the island outfit drop mighty close to being relegated. We started this game fourth from the bottom and went behind as early as the 8th minute when Villar broke through a static defence to score. Once again we'd started a game nervously and for every tentative step forward we had two lurching strides back.

After kicking off the season with genuine hopes of competing in the higher echelons of Spain's second division, the team's aspirations were slowly eroded to the extent that our very existence in La Segunda became a matter of necessity. Our star on Saturday was local boy Brandon Thomas from Cala D'Or, who scored twice to put Mallorca in easy street, and they went into the interval 2-1 ahead. Many have said for weeks that coach Vazquez should start the youngster, not bring him on during the second half. He proved what potential he has, big time, on Saturday against a Valladolid team who, after they'd scored, looked totally disinterested and capitulated long before the end.

Michael Pereira, in what looked like his last game in a red and black strip, hammered in the third in the 62nd minute and it was all over.

SUMMING UP: Phew! Thank goodness that season's all over. Most games have been like watching an episode of Doomwatch as the Palma side once again hung on to their Liga Adelante lives by the seat of their pants. In Saturday night's three-way relegation battle, fans nervously waited for other results, then in the 86th minute came the biggest cheer of the night as the roof came off the Mallorcafé – Girona had scored away at Ponferradina putting them down and keeping us up.

It was the fans who took centre stage on Saturday, not just the 700 who'd made the trip to Valladolid but the 1,200 who crammed in and around the Mallorcafé to watch the salvation unfold. Needless to say, the place was rocking. With beers and pinchos at one euro each, we weren't lacking any sustenance. I watched the game with fellow Jock, John (dib-dib) Main, accountant to the stars, who was born in Elgin. He commented that what had happened to Real Mallorca this season was a real “shot across the bows” and a wake-up call for all concerned.

Before the game started, panic was difficult to suppress and fear stalked the island. Real Mallorca, a club who should be in mid-table La Liga obscurity, found themselves in a relegation situation in the second division that if it had gone the other way would have been an apocalypse. I was told that after the game was over, the travelling Mallorca fans started chanting “mercenarios” to the players. So what happens now? First of all the future of the coach Fernandez Vazquez will be made public. General manager Maheta Molango said after the game: “He has a contract until this time next year.” So without giving too much away it looks like he'll stay on. I know that won't appease many fans who don't like his coaching style and crave for B team coach and club legend Javier Oliazola to take over.

It's expected there'll also be a new president as Utz Claassen who, for one reason or another, hasn't been seen at games since March. His vice-president Monti Galmes is expected to take over. Herr Claassen has done very well out of Real Mallorca, buying it for two million euros then selling it on for about ten times that. Director of football Miguel Angel Nadal will be another casualty, he's been keeping a very low profile since the new owners took over in January.

There'll be a massive root-and-branch change in the playing staff, with priority being a new creative midfielder and a striker. We've been a classic case of a team sleepwalking into trouble. Big signings (by Segunda standards) like Bianchi under-achieved and the squad will be re-jigged in the summer. Also our fitness levels must be better; we looked well leggy in many games. The new owners appear to have deep pockets and crucially a willingness to underpin the wage structure that fits in with La Segunda rules, although Messi won't be coming.

After it was all over, car horns were being sounded all over Palma and a few danced in the fountain opposite C&A. You would have thought we'd won the cup again. What a night!

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