Rumours of the return of Samuel Eto'o to Real Mallorca appear to be greatly exaggerated.

10-05-2004Archive

Real Mallorca, without a league goal from open play for over ten hours face unbeaten side Lugo on Saturday evening. The Galician outfit presently lie in third place and are the league's joint highest scorers with 13, compared to our woeful tally of two. Their leading scorer is a player called Joselu who's netted five times and was offloaded a year ago by our then managing disaster Albert “Chapi” Ferrer. In the corresponding fixture last season, we lost 2-1 in the Angel Carro stadium in April. We've also lost in our three previous visits there.

Once again the newspapers, TV and social media have been full of stories regarding our serious goal drought, with everybody having an opinion on the problem. It doesn't look likely that we'll score many against Lugo as coach Fernando Vazquez has been shuffling his defensive cards, practising all week with a five-man defence in an effort to thwart Lugo's goal threat.

Definitely missing is the league's best goalkeeper, Roberto Santamaria, who's pulled a muscle in his back. He's only conceded three this season so far, mainly because our defence has been so good. His place will be taken by club captain Jesus Cabrero. The 35-year-old veteran is a more than adequate stand-in, he had a fantastic second half in the 1-0 win over West Brom in August. Also not travelling is midfielder Juan Rodriguez who'll miss his second game with a hamstring strain. His place could well go to young Arsenal loanee Pleguezuelo.

Nowadays stats play a major part in most sporting events. In our case tomorrow's eighth game of the season comes almost 15 years after our worst start to a campaign. In 2001 we had an Austrian/German coach called Bernd Krauss and he was in charge during our first ever time in the Champions League. It was blatantly obvious then that we couldn't compete at the top level in both the Champions League and La Liga so our league form suffered big-time. After just seven games we'd only scored a single goal - a Samuel Eto'o effort away at Athletic Bilbao - and we languished third bottom. It seemed back then that we'd never hit the target, that is until our eighth game away at Sevilla.

Goals from Campano and an Engonga penalty saw us hang on for a share of the spoils. At last we'd broken the barren goalscoring spell and let's just hope the same can happen tomorrow in our eighth game of the season. Samuel Eto'o scored his first goal for Mallorca in September 2001 going on to hit the net 48 times in his four years stint at the Son Moix.

According to Twitter, he's now being mentioned on social media as a possible striking option in January. Samuel, who's now a multi-multi-millionaire at 35 years of age has been playing in Turkey for Antalyaspor but has fallen out with the club's president, saying that people don't respect the ex-Cameroon international because he's black. Samuel had a brief spell as player/manager but has failed to lead his side to any kind of success with just one point from a possible 12.

Now things get a bit Hans Christian Andersen-ish. It was said that a local top sports commentator, club director of football Javier Recio, and club ambassador and ex-player Ivan Campo are all trying to persuade Eto'o to come back to Palma in January. He always said he wanted to end his career at Real Mallorca and probably would have come back sooner if we weren't in the second tier of Spanish football. I wouldn't imagine for one minute that Real Mallorca could match his current wage salary but maybe he'd come back to help us out. Just his taking to the pitch would put another three or four thousand bums on Son Moix red seats. It's probably only us fans getting delusional but you never know: Eto'o in and Vazquez out? Mallorca's general manager Maheta Molango denied the rumours at a press conference on Thursday. “It's the same type of story which had it that we were signing Italian legend Del Piero earlier this summer as our technical director. There is no truth in any of these rumours.”

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