Can under-fire coach Fernando Vazquez hold on to his job with five games left?


Real Mallorca, in what was embarrassing and disgraceful in equal measures, just stay out of the drop zone in Spain's second division on the head-to-head count after losing a dire encounter 1-0 away to relegation candidates Albacete at a rain-soaked Carlos Belmonte stadium on Sunday night. We also failed to score for the second game running. Before the game local sports journalists were going on about “winning at all costs”, but in the end we lost to a team who looked and played like they were doomed and danced jigs of joy at the end. Their win hardly mattered as they're still stuck in the bottom three.

This column is generally all about Real Mallorca and reporting on them this season is becoming ever more depressing. After teams round about us, Almeria and Ponferradina, respectively lost and drew ron Saturday, we knew what we had to do – win and put some daylight between us and them. That was the plan in theory but in reality we were simply awful. A Brandon Thomas effort ten minutes from time was our only shot on target, and Ortuño up front has to be the laziest No. 9 we've ever had – and we've had a few, believe you me.

Oscar Diaz came close early doors and that was about the only piece of goal action in the first half as the teams went in level. In the sixty-ninth minute disaster struck. A high ball into our penalty area saw 5ft 7in stand-in centre back Truyols losing out in an aerial tussle with Cruz who looped a header over Cabrero's head and into the net. They had scored out of nothing and Mallorca suddenly woke up. With the introduction of Lago Junior and Salomao, the Palma side were a shade more menacing, but we looked a long way off grabbing that all-important equaliser.

SUMMING UP : It was clear on Sunday that Mallorca's players haven't got the stomach for a relegation fight. They passed the ball backwards more than forwards. One of the local radio stations described our humiliating loss as “una autentica vergüenza” (an absolute disgrace). As if that assessment wasn't descriptive enough, under-fire coach Vazquez sat down at the post match press meeting and said “Mi equipo está jodido” (the first letter of the last word is “f” in English). “We committed errors in defence and attack, the situation is difficult and grave.” No sh*t, Sherlock, tell us something we don't already know.

My heart goes out to the fans who paid 100 euros of their hard-earned cash to watch this horror show, getting soaked in the process. They stood outside the team's hotel before the game shouting encouragement to the players, who obviously didn't heed their wishes.

Real Mallorca, a team with supposedly the strongest squad in the second division and definitely the team with the highest budget, are now in intensive care. There's a huge shout-out to bring in our “B” team coach, Javier Olaizola, for the last five games, as the panic button is being hit. He kept us up two years ago in similar circumstances and is the type of animated coach we need in our present predicament. Many fans wanted him to be our coach last summer.

We almost lost a second goal near the end after a complete mix-up between Aveldaño and keeper Cabrero. The custodian failed to dive on a loose ball instead trying to use his feet, the ball broke to an Albacete player who somehow missed an open goal as the ball came back off the post.

I watched the game in my local peña bar in Palma with fellow long-time fan Billy Morris. He and a few others were planning to go to Valladolid for our last game of the season. After this unmitigated disaster their trip has been put on hold, with Mallorca now in deep doo-doo. My cynical tea-leaf readings don't look good but we just have to win our three remaining home games starting next Saturdayagainst Tenerife. Just how we do that needs a miracle of biblical proportions. We have to make sure the old Grim Reaper, scythe poised, doesn't get anywhere near Son Moix in the next month – it's all got so disappointing.

Congratulations to one of Real Mallorca's famous sons, Emilio Nsue, whose team Middlesbrough won promotion to the Premiership. He came through the ranks here before moving to the Riverside on a free transfer in 2014. Emilio started his career as a striker, became a winger, before then coach Joaquin Caparros converted him to an attacking wing back in 2012.