The Valencian side are cast adrift at the bottom of the table on 8 points

The Valencian side are cast adrift at the bottom of the table on 8 points

07-01-2022T. AYUGA

After a week when congratulations are in order to the Chinese nomination Tu Yu Yu for the Nobel peace prize – and also for being the hardest person in the world to sing “Happy Birthday” to ! – Real Mallorca raise the curtain on the second half of their La Liga Santander 2021/22 season with an away game at basement club Levante tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm.

The Valencian side are cast adrift at the bottom of the table on 8 points and are the first team since Sporting Gijon to remain win-less after 19 games. They’re also on their third manager of the season and should be easy pickings even for a mis-firing RCD Mallorca.

However, Levante are fighting for their lives and will be dangerous opponents. Our form on the road this season has been patchy at best but surely we’ll get a result come 4 o’clock in what’s another six pointer ?

Last Sunday night’s bore-fest in the Son Moix against Barcelona was a truly terrible game. The laziness of some of our players beggared belief and the first half performance caused a wave of pessimism never before witnessed under Luis Garcia Plaza’s coaching. Just why he put out such a weak starting XI against a Barcelona side ravaged by illness, suspensions and injuries only LGP himself knows.

We began this season really well with pundits all over Spain heaping praise on the team’s performance. We started off drawing at home to Betis followed by back to back wins at home to Espanyol and away at Alaves. The month of August came to a close with the Palma side in a comfortable top half of the table position. Since then it’s been a bit of a disaster only two wins in 16 games, at home to Levante and a shock 1-2 win at At. Madrid.

The performances of players like Battaglia, Mboula and Fer Niño have been more than questioned. Also the lack of minutes by Salva Sevilla on some phases of games have caused us problems in mid-field. We haven’t got a leader/captain in an outfield position and I’m not one of those fans who believes a goalkeeper should be team captain. Our strike force have been abysmal and we have without question one of the worst goals for stats in La Liga. The signing of a guaranteed striker in this month’s transfer market is our No. 1 priority.

Take Kubo for all his undoubted class hasn’t exactly set the heather on fire; between injury and now Coronavirus he’s not been able to build up a head of consistency.

Goalkeeper/captain Manolo Reina is making more mistakes than usual this season and our goals against tally has suffered.

There is however a chink of good news this past week. Mallorca qualified for the last 16 of the Copa del Rey by achieving a morale-boosting 1-2 victory against La Segunda promotion chasers Eibar on Wednesday evening. Again, the first half was shocking for us as Eibar went ahead early doors. But it was three of our youth team who got us out of trouble.

Young centre back Josep Gaya equalised in the second half and then young Ibiza-born goalkeeper Leo Roman kept the marauding Eibar forwards at bay with a string of top saves. Eight minutes from time, emerging star, Binissalem’s Javi Llabres, crossed for Angel to nod in a brilliant winner.

Once again, as happened against Barcelona last Sunday, the introduction of Galarreta in the engine room near the end made all the difference. The Basque midfielder is apparently interesting his home city team At. Bilbao. The only down side of our cup win was the back injury to Martin Valjent who was subbed after being a sub in the 73rd minute and he’s doubtful for tomorrow’s game.

Also in the Copa del Rey it’s well done to our “enemies” on the Via Cintura, Atletico Baleares, who beat La Liga side Celta Vigo 2-1.

DRAW FOR LAST 16

The draw was made yesterday for the last 16 of the Copa del Rey and Mallorca will play at home to old adversaries Espanyol, now coached by ex Mallorca boss Vicente Moreno. The kick off time and day (next Saturday or Sunday) will be announced in due course. There was more dancing in the streets of Son Gotleu as At. Baleares drew another La Liga side Valencia.

The reason why there are no La Liga games next weekend is that the Spanish Super Cup is being played in Saudi Arabia. Last season’s La Liga runners up, Real Madrid, face Copa del Rey winners Barcelona on Tuesday, January 12 while La Liga champions At. Madrid and Copa del Rey runners up Athletic Club Bilbao clash in the second semi-final on Wednesday the 13th. The two winners will then play in the final on Sunday the 16th.

AND FINALLY, a man takes a woman out on their first date and the evening is a huge success. When he takes her to her door he says “You look wonderful. You remind me of a beautiful, rambling rose, may I call you tomorrow ?” She agrees and they arrange a date. The next night he knocks on her front door. When she opens it, she smacks him across the face. “What’s that for ?” he asks. She replies “I looked up rambling rose on Google. It said ‘Not suited to bedding but excellent for rooting against a garden wall !’”

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