Real Mallorca's Yuste in action on Saturday against Lugo. | Eliseo Trigo


Real Mallorca suffered a demoralising 3-1 defeat against second top Galician “minnows” Lugo on Saturday night and find themselves back in the drop zone of the Spanish second division. It's Mallorca's second worst start to a season in the four years they've been in the second tier of Spanish football.

The home side made it four straight league wins at their Estadio Anxo Carro as they destroyed a poor Mallorca side. It could have been a heavier defeat as Lugo looked lively, especially up front where the diminutive Real Mallorca reject striker Joselu scored two and nearly got a third. He was released two summers ago by then coach “Chapi” Ferrer and now finds himself joint top scorer in the league alongside another ex-Mallorca striker, Ortuño; both have five goals. What is it with players who leave Mallorca and suddenly resurrect their ailing careers at other clubs? Then, of course, there's Sergi Enric who comes from Ciutadella in Minorca. He started up front on Sunday afternoon for Eibar in the Bernabeu and is another rejected Mallorca striker - you couldn't make it up.

The hard facts for Mallorca are we've now played eight games and taken seven points from a possible 24, scoring three (the worst in the league) and conceding six. We actually started this game well, forcing a couple of corners in the first five minutes. From the second one a Lugo defender made a complete mess of a clearance and Brandon Thomas was quickest to react, putting the islanders ahead. Just to see the ball bulge the net from open play after more than ten hours of trying was worth the wait. However, nine minutes later our jubilation turned to desolation as Lugo equalised. A strong shot from Carlo Pita gave our keeper Cabrero no chance and once again Real Mallorca had failed to capitalise on a one-goal advantage.

If that goal was soft, the next one for Lugo was down to infantile defending from our so-called resilient defence. In the 28th minute we forced another corner kick, foolishly taking it short. The ball broke to Lugo's Pedraza, he ran fully 60 metres unchallenged, squaring the ball to Joselu and he had the simplest of chances to put the ball into an empty net. As we were messing up the corner kick, every single Mallorca player with the exception of the goalkeeper was in the Lugo half. It was unbelievable to see, we didn't have a single defender defending.

As half time came we were looking for changes in the second half, but not one of our substitutes was warming up. Lugo came out with all guns blazing and in the 74th minute Joselu scored again after our statuesque defence failed to deal with a corner.

Summing up: A few short weeks ago Mallorca were playing some good football and we had great expectations. Now it's not only our attack that's letting the team down, our defence crumbled on Saturday. It was yet another footballing debacle involving Real Mallorca, as the fans in a packed Mallorcafé vented their feelings. Most of their vitriol was aimed at our coach Fernando Vazquez and his totally negative tactics. He started this game with a 4-1-4-1 line-up which proved to be our undoing. It's also blatantly obvious we lack quality, especially in midfield and attack. Local boy Damia Sabater doesn't look good enough in the centre of the pitch, lacks dynamism and bite, and he gives the ball away far too often. The injured Juan Rodriguez, for all his critics, was sorely missed in the engine room and even Juan Culio's form has dipped alarmingly over the past few games.

General manager Maheta Molango gave a speech last Thursday concerning the new regime's ideas about running this football club, along the lines of the system used by Mallorca's owners with top basketball side Phoenix Suns. The fans I spoke to after Saturday night's defeat don't give a “Scoobies” about the direction the club's taking off the pitch, they are totally frustrated about what they're watching on it. Mallorca look at their most vulnerable when they take a one-goal lead and confidence is conspicuous by its absence.

Vazquez brought on young striker Adria Dalmau on the hour mark who, with what little touches he had, looks promising. Lago Junior as usual covered every blade of Galician grass and finished off playing in the position he was signed to fill - striker. For some reason, known only to Vazquez, Lago's now stuck out on the wing but when he moved inside towards the end of the game he looked our best attacking option.

At the end, the Mallorca faithful were very angry about how easily we capitulated after half an hour. It's all very well for the coach to send out a side not to lose, but that backfired big-time on Saturday night. Vazquez must realise now that another sloppy performance against Huesca next Sunday and it's P45 time. We could well be looking at our ninth coach in two years, as Mallorca need a boss who's prepared to take risks.