After a week when I was given a copy of Heston Blumenthal’s new cook book – How to spend four hours messing around in the kitchen just to boil an egg! – Real Mallorca have a difficult away game at 9pm tonight in Seville when they play Real Betis in their Benito Villamarin stadium.
If there’s ever a good time to play the “Beticos” then it’s now as they haven’t won in four games.
Tonight’s match is the first time we’ve played them in La Liga since December 2012, when we won 1-2 (those were the days when we actually won away from home!). As usual, coach Vicente Moreno will probably select the same winning team that started against Alaves last Saturday. The only debate will be who he’ll pick at left back, will it be Leonardo Koutris who came on for the injured Ghanaian Lumor against Alaves? He’s now been passed fit so will probably get the nod.
Mallorca’s precarious league position means that we’re going to be in and out of the relegation drop zone as the weeks go by, and it’s imperative that we get as many home points as possible in the remaining six games to be played in Son Moix. Ideally we need to shake off the “monkey on our back” with regard to fixtures played on the road.
Today sees 2,546 days since the last time Mallorca won a game in La Liga away from home. March 2013 was when we beat Granada 1-2. On January 14, 2018, Mallorca, then leaders of Group III in Segunda B, lost their first away game against Peña Deportiva Santa Eulalia, Ibiza.
Vicente Moreno’s team arrived on the White Isle on an unbeaten run of five wins and four draws. That defeat is today remembered as the entrance to a black hole for Vicente Moreno, a black hole he seems unable to get out of.
The numbers show no mercy, 41 games played away since Ibiza and only six wins, 12 draws and 23 defeats. The deterioration away from Palma began in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign following that defeat in Santa Eulalia. The problem got worse last season in La Segunda.
The reason we reached the play offs was our almost impeccable home form. However, away we won only four. La Rosaleda Malaga on April 27, 2019 was the last positive “fuera de casa” result.
It's now nine months and two weeks since a Leo Suarez goal saw the team victorious.
Moreno and his charges have an endemic problem which started in Segunda B, continued in
La Segunda and has noticeably worsened in La Liga. Therein lies the reason why the team is at the wrong end of the table. No other side in the top five European leagues has such dire away form.
Ex CEO Maleta Molango issued a poignant farewell statement the other day on social media: “The four years we spent together will remain forever in my heart and my family.
“The two consecutive promotions from Segunda B to Primera in just two seasons as well as the epic play-off night of June 23, 2019, were some of the happiest moments of my life.
“I will be eternally grateful to the club owners headed by Robert Sarver for the opportunity he gave me. I have no words to thank all that I have learned from, each one of the coaches, sports directors, players, employees who helped to make this a solid and sustainable club. “Can I also thank the Fundacion, Peñas, Alfonsinos, veterans, legends, sponsors, partners and the media.
“The fans of this great centennial club deserve a special mention, thank you from my heart for the love and support.”
It was reported on Wednesday that Valencia COULD make a move to sign our Slovakian central defender, 24-year-old Martin Valjent, as replacement for their long-term injury casualty Edequiel Garay, who’ll be out for six months. Valjent has a buy-out clause of 15 million euros. Valencia can only sign and register a player from a Spanish club and the selling club are NOT allowed to sign a replacement. If Valencia pay the buy-out clause and the player wants to move on, there’s nothing Mallorca can do about it. It’s hard to see this situation as anything other than contempt for the less glamorous clubs in La Liga. In a league already dominated by the ruling class this crazy rule is the latest to make clear who matters and who doesn’t.
Valjent is likely to reject any move, he wants to stay and help get Mallorca out of trouble. The ruling highlights a lack of fairness of a regulation which is unfit for purpose and in need of urgent reform.
AND FINALLY, a horse walks into a bar and orders a pint (as they do!).
A donkey is sitting beside him and says “Hi, you’re a big lad, did you ever win anything?” The horse turns round and answers “Yeah, I won the Derby on the flat and the Grand National on the jumps. How about you?” The donkey thinks “How can I match that impressive career?”
He goes to his phone and brings up a picture of a zebra and shows it to the horse, who responds “What’s that all about?” The donkey replies “That’s me when I used to play for Juventus!”