Javier Olaizola (centre), Real Mallorca's new coach.

06-12-2016Teresa Ayuga

It came as no surprise to hear that Mallorca’s coach Fernando Vazquez had been shown the Son Moix exit door on Tuesday night and that his time in charge at Real Mallorca had come to an end. After a shocking performance and a 3-0 home defeat to Valladolid last Sunday, Vazquez just had to go: 10,000 fans waving white hankies saw to that.

TV pictures from the club’s training ground Son Bibiloni on Monday morning showed Vazquez ignoring backroom staff and spending long periods on his own, head bowed, taking in the news he already must have known was imminent. A string of bad results and only four wins from 17 games sealed the 62-year-old Galician’s fate.

Javier Olaizola has been the man many Mallorca fans wanted to be in charge as long ago as last summer. He took over from Luis Carreras with just three games to go at the end of the 2013/14 season and kept Mallorca in the second division with a win and two draws.

For those of you who don’t know about Olaizola, here’s a potted history about one of Real Mallorca’s favourite sons. Aged 47, he was born in San Sebastian, coming to Real Mallorca as a right back in 1995 from Eibar. He played in 330 competitive games for the Palma side before retiring in 2004. It didn’t take Javi long to become a firm fan’s favourite and he was club captain after just two seasons.

He helped us win the 1998 Spanish Super Cup beating Barcelona over two legs and led out Real Mallorca at Villa Park in the last-ever European Cup Winners Cup final against Lazio which we lost 2-1.

"El Donostiarra" was almost 35 years old when he decided to hang up his boots but was probably the club’s best ever right back - he had diving down to a fine art. Olaizola suffered a bad knee injury in 2002 when playing against Deportivo and although he made a full recovery didn’t quite go into tackles quite so hard after the long layoff.

He’s been in charge of our youth team and, for the past two seasons, boss of the B team winning promotion last term. Javier was seriously injured in a car crash in Marratxi in the summer but, as you’d expect from a tough as teak Basque, he was soon back up and running.

Unlike Vazquez, this guy will be like a cat on a hot tin roof in the technical area and the term animated springs to mind. He’ll have another ex-Real Mallorca player, Palma-born Julian Robles, as his assistant. At his presentation press conference on Tuesday night, a highly emotional new coach said: "This is one of the best days of my life. Everybody connected with this club knows how I love it and I’ll do everything possible to turn our fortunes around. We’ll take every game as it comes and our first objective is to win at Almeria on Sunday."

General manager Maheta Molango commented that results hadn’t been as hoped and the club had decided a change had to be made. Olaizola’s commitment to Real Mallorca both as a player and coach made him the obvious choice. Both praised the efforts of outgoing coach Fernando Vazquez and wished him good fortune for the future, thanking him for his contribution to the club.

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