After a weekend when I heard about a new word doing the rounds : “Spursy” – it means to consistently and inevitably fail to live up to expectations or, to bottle it ! – Real Mallorca showed a desperate lack of ideas in a 0-0 draw against Real Oviedo in a game with hardly any chances.
The visitors Real Oviedo had, like last week’s away opponents Sporting Gijon, done their homework with their defence pressing high up the pitch.
We had little or no idea how to break them down. The only piece of positivity to come from the result was we had our 20th clean sheet of the season.
The 0-0 draw was a doom and gloom outcome for us disgruntled Mallorquinistas on Saturday night.
Then everything changed on Sunday afternoon when sixth-placed Ponferradina upset the apple-cart by beating Almeria 2-1, who drop into third spot with 56 points.
Mallorca somehow remain in top spot with 61 points, three more than second-placed Espanyol with 58.
They were the only candidates for direct promotion to win at the weekend. Fourth-placed Leganes lost against Fuenlabrada (53 points) who are in fifth place with 52.
Our game on Saturday was described by one local reporter as being one where nothing of any note happened.
Real Mallorca are faltering despite hanging on to top spot.
Second-placed Espanyol put four past Logroñes (three goals in six minutes) without reply even with 20 million euro striker Raul de Tomas being absent through injury.
We created precious little in the game and the only time we came close was in the 6th minute when a Mollejo header was punched clear by Oviedo’s ’keeper.
Mollejo showed some neat touches but was booked in the first half and didn’t appear for the second. Abdon Prats replaced him and he did his usual thing – getting stuck in.
However, without our leading scorer Amath Ndiaye, who withdrew from the squad on Friday with a muscle strain (and could be out for up to a month), we were toothless in attack.
Most of our forages forward in the first half came down the right flank courtesy of Joan Sastre. He put over several great crosses with nobody on the receiving end in the 18 yard box.
On the other flank, Cufre was another player whose form has dipped. During the game, coach Luis Garcia Plaza used all five substitutes at his disposal including left-winger Jordi Mboula and Brazilian misfit Murilo but both their contributions can be filed away under testimonial !
Salva Sevilla, who turned 37 on Thursday, was again our guiding light and saved us from certain defeat near the end. He cleared a header from Grippo (his brothers Chico, Harpo and Groucho watched at home on TV !!) off the line in the 86th minute with Reina beaten.
Time was running out as we forced a succession of corners, all of which came to nothing – a disappointing end to a poor game of football in which we showed a desperate lack of ideas. With twelve games left, Mallorca are in a mini-crisis not helped by what’s coming up on the horizon.
As we enter an April labyrinth, coach LGP has been critical of the fixture list where we are the only side in the entire category forced to play three games in six days, starting away at our “bogey” team Fuenlabrada (the only team to have beaten us twice this season) next Monday at 9 pm.
They had a great result 0-2 away at promotion candidates Leganes. We play them in Palma on April 1, then Las Palmas (A) three days later.
Due to international call-ups this coming fortnight we’ll be missing four players from the squad and we have five players on an accumulation of cautions, one booking away from suspension.
SUMMING UP : I’m not asking for electrifying, breath-taking action every weekend but we are top of the league and should be playing like a team on a mission – automatic promotion.
The normally reliable Dani Rodriguez had another nightmare game.
He’s fundamental to the cause and he was so out of sorts, one of his shots went out for a throw in and he was substituted in the 77th minute.
Salva Sevilla again was our main man but looked lonely in the midfield engine room. We need his partner in creating chances, Galaretta, back next Monday night.
I had a quick poll after the game in my quest to find out what’s happened regarding Lago Junior who was on the bench ready to come on.
He’s off to play for the Ivory Coast so he can’t be all that bad. Of the nine people (long time Real Mallorca fans), I asked the question “Should he have come on at some stage of the game ?” All of them said “Yes without a shadow of a doubt.”
Lago’s missus Fabiola Parralo has been answering the same question on Instagram saying the coach is directly to blame for his lack of game time.
“It’s LGP’s decision.” She went on “My husband plays where they value him and that’s for his country the Ivory Coast.” All we are saying is give Lago a game.
AND FINALLY, an Australian story. A lawyer boarded a Jetstar flight in Perth with a box of frozen crabs and asked a blonde stewardess to take care of them for him. She took the box and promised to put it in the crew’s refrigerator.
He advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for them staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner than he was a lawyer and proceeded to rant at her about what would happen if she let them thaw out.
Needless to say, she was annoyed by his behaviour.
Shortly before landing in Sydney, she used the intercom to announce to the entire cabin, “Would the lawyer who gave me the crabs in Perth, please raise your hand ?” Not one hand went up...so she took them home and ate them.
Two lessons here (1) Lawyers aren’t as smart as they think they are; (2) Blondes aren’t as dumb as most people think.