After a weekend when the best UK headline was reported from the Ayshire Daily News – “South Ayrshire golf club owner loses 2020 presidential election!” – Real Mallorca, after a slow start, which saw the visitors Ponferradina in control for the opening 20 minutes, move up into the upper reaches of La Segunda into an automatic-promotion second place, four points behind league leaders Espanyol after a 3-0 win on Sunday night.
Having weathered the opening storm Mallorca got back into the game and against the run of play took the lead in the 21st minute. The ball broke to Mboula down the right, he passed to Galaretta (who seems to improve every game) who had two touches before setting up Dani Rodriguez who rifled home the opener 1-0. That goal settled Mallorca down and they dominated the remaining minutes of the first half, so much so that with 42 minutes on the clock Mallorca doubled their lead and it was that man Dani Rodriguez again. Just before Dani scored, Manolo Reina pulled off a blinding save from Yuri to keep Mallorca’s clean sheet record intact.
Once again Mboula was involved in the second. His cross saw Dani hit a 20-yard screamer first time past a helpless Caro in the visitors’ goal 2-0 at the break.
A couple of years ago an unknown midfielder came to Mallorca from Albacete. He was called Dani Rodriguez and arrived at the Son Moix unheralded and unheard of. Coming from Galicia he played for Deportivo La Coruña but never got a regular start. He then became a footballing journeyman before finishing off at Vicente Moreno’s Real Mallorca. On Sunday Dani Rodriguez almost single-handedly unblocked a Mallorca side who were struggling to find any rhythm, it was as if we’d fallen asleep. Dani, who has a fantastic engine and is without doubt one of the best box to box players ever to pull on a Mallorca jersey, was our match winner – and some! Nicknamed “The Tiger of Betanzos” (his home town in Galicia), he is now our leading goalscorer with five and is becoming our fox in the box, showing our recognised strikers how to score goals.
In the 53rd minute an attempted clearance by a Ponferradina defender took a wicked deflection and Antonio Sanchez headed in the third. Substitute Amath then had two efforts, one hit the bar, the other was well saved as Mallorca missed at least three chances to run riot. Near the end coach Luis Garcia Plaza took off Raillo, Mboula and the omnipresent Dani Rodriguez as all of them had been booked by another card-twitchy referee.
SUMMING UP: Real Mallorca made it nine clean sheets from 11 games as coach Luis Garcia Plaza again rang the changes. This game started in the shadows for Real Mallorca but ended up with our most comfortable victory of the season. Next up it’s a tricky away game at Girona on Saturday afternoon at 18:30 when Mallorca will be without their centre back Martin Valjent who’s away on international duty with Slovakia.
On Sunday the coach gave a few minutes playing time to 15-year-old Luka Romero who recently stated he wants to play international football for Argentina after Spain tried to poach him for their cause. He turns 16 next week and it’s now up to Mallorca to offer him his first employment contract in order to retain him. Last season he became the youngest player at 15 ever to play in La Liga when he came on against Real Madrid. Of course we want him to stay on the island to help our cause but keeping him won’t be easy. President Andy Kohlberg said earlier in the Summer that if a big club are interested it would be very difficult for Lucas’s parents to turn down an offer which Mallorca couldn’t match. As we were leaving a packed and ecstatic Mallorcafé on Sunday night we saw Luka walking home on his own. Things are about to change for him big time very soon.
PS Lots of irate Mallorca fans took to social media after the game to vent their feelings about a number of politicians, patrons and local dignitaries sitting in the directors’ box, one presumes on freebies. 12,000 fans have paid for part of their season ticket and none of them are allowed in but the chosen few are – not good!
AND FINALLY, Reuben and Miriam had been stepping out for some months. One evening Reuben treated Miriam to a slap up meal in a top restaurant and afterwards they walked home under the moonlight. Reuben dropped down on one knee offering up a tiny box which contained an extravagant engagement ring. “Miriam, honey, I never thought I would ever feel this way about anyone. I would like to spend the rest of my life with you, raise a family and grow old together. I have a decent job but soon I will be wealthy. My Uncle Yitzhak was a banker and is very, very rich. I’m his only heir, he’s in poor health and not expected to live past six months. We can share his wealth together. Miriam, will you do me the honour of becoming Mrs Goldberg?” To his disappointment, Miriam asked for time to think it over. The following week Miriam became Reuben’s aunt!!