Mallorca coach Luis Garcia Plaza has selection problems. | R.D.


After a week when the Arkansas Daily World reported the sudden passing of an 82-year-old great grandfather who had won a competition on a late night radio show involving a romp with two nubile blondes in a “Get Grandpa Laid” contest – he choked to death as he hurried his dinner on his way to having a menage a trois ! –

Real Mallorca play mid-table Malaga away tomorrow at 9 pm with the aim of winning three points that would continue to bring them even closer to their goal of automatic promotion. For this game our coach Luis Garcia Plaza (who’ll again spend a match sitting in the stand as he continues his two-game suspension) has a few selection problems at that time of season when he needs every player to be 100%.

Dani Rodriguez is out due to suspension, and the collateral damage of last week’s 2-1 win against Mirandes has come back to haunt us as two of our most important players, Antonio Raillo and Abdon Prats are serious doubts. Prats sprained his ankle and although he endured the whole game any more pressure on the sprain could be dangerous.

Raillo suffered a blow to his knee and was replaced by Franco Russo who’ll keep his place tonight. Two other players with problems are midfielders Baba and Galarreta, which means Febas and Sedlar will play in the engine room. Even although Malaga have nothing to play for they could still spring a surprise so a depleted Mallorca must be super careful.

May is promotion month and Mallorca now know their remaining fixtures. Tomorrow’s game, match 38 in La Liga SmartBank, is followed by a home game against Alcorcon on Sunday, May 16 at 21:30. Depending on these two results, Mallorca COULD be promoted away at Tenerife on Wednesday, May 19 again at 21:30.

The last two fixtures in the calendar see every game kick off at the same time. The penultimate match (and the last of the campaign in Palma) is against Zaragoza on Monday 24th at 9 pm then we finish the season at Ponferradina again at 9 pm on Sunday 30th.

Unfortunately if we do win a place back in La Liga it’s going to be a muted celebration without any fans. Last week there were plans to allow a certain finely calibrated number of them back into La Primera and Segunda grounds. La Liga was keen, not because the cash raised will help the clubs to any extent this season, but because it would help to lift the spirits, improve the atmosphere at the games and help shift season tickets for next season.

Palma Segunda B side At. Balears had nearly 1,000 fans in their Via Cintura ground for an important game last Sunday. In the lower ranks of the game attendances are regulated at regional level. At the moment in Spain there are crowds at bullfighting, tennis, cinema, theatres, so the refusal in the top two leagues seems inexplicable. For whatever reason, top level football in Spain is being treated differently.

Mallorca’s director of football, Pablo Ortells, is well aware that promotion is getting nearer and nearer and he’s already beginning to think about signing decisions. Antonio Sanchez signed a new three-year deal on Thursday, after being in discussions since last October.

We desperately need a proven goalscorer (or two !) for next season and Amath Ndiaye could be staying on a permanent deal. The majority of our loan players haven’t pulled up any trees, but Amath has been the exception. Getafe’s asking price is 4.5 million euros and Ortells is keen to sign him during the Summer, if he’s available.

The return of Budimir is still up in the air. Osasuna, the team he’s on loan to, want him for next season but won’t pay the eight million euros we’re asking. He’s scored seven goals for them in 26 games but his age (he’ll be 30 in July) means they won’t pay any more than four million to retain his services.

Mallorca fans weren’t happy when Budimir declared himself “in absentia” to force his exit as he wanted La Liga football. But I suppose all would be forgiven if he scored a hat-trick in his first game back in the Son Moix ! A combination of Budimir and Amath upfront next season would be an interesting scenario.

PS I watched both legs of the Villareal/Arsenal Europa League semi-final on BT Sport. The co-commentator, ex Arsenal ladies star Karen Carney was so biased, she barely mentioned Villareal by name in either game. Villareal getting to the final spared Spanish football’s blushes after the Real Madrid/Chelsea disaster.

AND FINALLY, a farmer in Yorkshire sees a man drinking from his stream and shouts out “Ey up, tha dun wanna be drinkin watta from theer, it’s full o’ hoss pi** and cow sh**.”

The man says “I say, old boy, I’m from London, can you please speak a little slower and clearer.”

The farmer answers “If you use two hands you won’t spill any !!”