After a week when footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy disclosed she’d booked a holiday in Ibiza because she thought “We were going there on an air bridge – how was I meant to know it wasn’t a real bridge?!” – Real Mallorca start their pre-season training at Son Bibiloni on Monday under a new management regime when 38-year-old Madrid-born Luis Garcia Plaza was appointed on Thursday night on a two-year contract. He has ample experience of coaching in Spain after being in charge of Levante (whom he won promotion with in 2009), Getafe and Villareal. The past few years have seen him coaching in the Middle and Far East where he had mixed fortunes. His prime objective now is to get Real Mallorca back where they belong in La Liga Santander.
After almost three weeks of cat and mouse, Vicente Moreno finally said his farewells to the club in a very emotional social media missive on Wednesday. He said “The past three seasons have been a unique experience for me and it is never easy to say goodbye to a historic club and all its workers, nor all the Mallorca fans who have always been with us and made me feel very loved. I also want to thank the local press who always treated me with great respect.” He went on “I also want to thank Maheta Molango, who trusted me and my coaching staff, giving us the opportunity to be part of this beautiful story. It is difficult to put into words everything I have enjoyed and felt coaching this team. They have been three intense years in which we’ve experienced many emotions both my family and me.”
He finished by saying that he took many things from the island, “I am left with the joy of promotions with the fans who always supported us. Ultimately we haven’t been able to achieve our goal of staying in La Primera but this club never gives up and will go back to where it should be. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish you the best of luck for the future because there will always be a huge bit of Mallorcanism left in me.” Many Mallorquinistas were unhappy at the way Moreno’s time here ended, especially after he was praised to the hilt by the owners and given a two-year contract extension and with that a substantial increase in salary.
It was interesting to see Moreno had absolutely no comment to make with regard to our American owners. Within a few hours of his official departure, he appeared at a press conference at the Estadio RCDE in Barcelona wearing an Espanyol mask and holding a club scarf, where he was praised for his ability to get sides promoted, which is Espanyol’s prime objective. The “Budgies” are getting a coach who rekindled the fortunes of Real Mallorca and put a smile back on the fans’ faces. One thing he has to work out is how to win matches away from home. In two seasons of trying, we only won four league games on the road.
Unbelievably there are still sections of the “blinkered” local media who are not too keen on the club’s (foreign) owners. One wrote on social media “It is difficult to understand the selfish behaviour of the club’s owners and their stance is a new example of their ignorance in the world of elite professional soccer. The agreement between the two parties should have taken place the first day after the league ended and furthermore staged with a hug between president Andy Kohlberg and Moreno with a press conference included. Contracts in football mean nothing these days, especially with coaches who are fired from one day to the next. Common sense should prevail and no-one can be forced to work in a company against their will.” The item concluded by saying many of the fans were being unfair towards Moreno who in a few short weeks had gone from hero to villain for the majority.
Now the silly season has arrived, all sorts of transfer transaction rumours concerning Real Mallorca have been doing the rounds. Here are just a few and all of them at the moment are pure conjecture. Salva Sevilla may see out his career in the Far East according to reports. Newly-promoted Huesca and Alaves are keen on Aleix Febas. Budimir, Valjent and Baba are all on the radar of La Liga sides with reportedly Valladolid offering a derisory four million euros for Budi. Any player who scored 13 goals in top flight Spanish football is worth a lot more than that.
One player likely to move is Juan Diego Molina, better known as Stoichkov. The Cadiz-born midfielder played for us in the second division two years ago without a lot of success. However, he went out on loan to Alcorcon and scored 16 goals last season, making him the highest Spanish-born scorer in La Liga SmartBank. Now 28, he desperately wants to play in La Liga and Granada (who have European participation next season) have offered three million euros, a sum Mallorca are likely to accept. Take Kubo is to move to Villareal on a season-long deal and we wish him well.
I don’t like to see vultures and jackals tearing our team up and the new coach will have a say on who goes and stays. The good thing is now, financially, we’re strong for a second division outfit. We don’t need to sell our best players on the cheap to survive.
AND FINALLY, an art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the driveway of a pet shop. He recognises the saucer as being extremely old and very valuable, so he walks into the pet shop and offers to buy the mangy cat for £10. The pet shop owner replies “I’m sorry but there’s no way the cat’s for sale.” The collector tells him, “Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to kill all the mice. I’ll give you £50.” The pet shop owner agrees, “Sold!” The collector then tells the pet shop owner “For another £10, you could throw in that old saucer, the cat’s used to it and it’ll save me from getting a new one.” The owner replies, “Sorry, mate, but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold 68 cats!”