RCD Mallorca | MDB files

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For the first time this season RCD Mallorca have fallen into the bottom three after suffering their sixth straight defeat, going down 1-0 to Espanyol on Sunday. This game was all about two incidents, the first another mistake by Baba in midfield in the 41st minute. For the second game running he gave away possession, allowing Spanish international striker Raul de Tomas in a one-on-one situation with our ’keeper Sergio Rico to send the ball into the net, 1-0, their only shot on target all game. I couldn’t believe Baba could be so naive as to make more or less the same sloppy error in a key position on the pitch as he did against Real Madrid last Monday night. The Ghanaian, who is thought in many quarters to be better than he is with the ball at his feet, needs some time away with his national side to sort himself out.

On Sunday RCD Mallorca looked like a team without any game plan or leadership and we spent long periods at walking pace. Sitting in a packed and shell-shocked Mallorcafé, I looked round at the pictures of two iconic coaches at the club, Hector Cuper and Luis Aragones and thought to myself what on earth could they be thinking about this mess we’re in – again.

The other game-defining moment came midway through the second half which saw a point-blank range header from Muriqi (he has deceptive pace – he’s slower than he looks !) was brilliantly saved by the substitute Espanyol goalkeeper Oier. That was about it for excitement as the team I’ve followed for over 30 years wandered about the pitch without ideas, without playing any decent football and were totally subdued by a bang average Espanyol side who played at half throttle.

In the second half with coach Luis Garcia Plaza stuck for ideas, he made changes that should have been instigated at the start, bringing on Abdon Prats for an injured Angel, Salva Sevilla for Antonio Sanchez and Take Kubo for a disappointing Kang In Lee. There was a modicum of improvement with some silky smooth Sevilla passes which we’ve come to expect in the time he’s been here. All that was to no avail goal-wise as the Palma outfit couldn’t score with a full wallet in a Chinese healthy massage emporium !!

From the start we tried to make our intentions clear, stop haemorrhaging more goals – that’s now 49 we’ve conceded – and keep a clean sheet, something we haven’t done since mid December and, yes, if possible, score a goal, something we haven’t done since losing 4-3 at Celta three weeks ago.

Thankfully Mallorca have a chance to regroup with the international break taking centre stage this coming 10 days. Then we face another difficult away game on Saturday, April 2, at Getafe in Madrid at 2 pm.

After Sunday’s debacle under-fire coach Luis Garcia Plaza said that his team were still alive and we can get out of this situation. He went on “I am strong and confident and will work hard to change this dynamic. Us coaches have to withstand a lot of pressure but I understand what football’s all about and if the club doesn’t want me any more there won’t be a problem. I’m suffering just as much as the fans, I’m worried, I can’t sleep properly.” Asked if his job was on the line he answered “I can’t answer that question, you’ll have to call America.” It now seems likely the Getafe game could be his swan song depending on the result.

That reply is another reason why Mallorca’s form has hit the buffers. Our president Andy Kohlberg and the owners are all USA based. The time has come for them to stand up and be counted. Does it matter to them if RCD Mallorca return to La Segunda again after just one season or don’t they care ? President Kohlberg has to come to Palma pronto to take the bull by the horns and stop running the club through video calls from the other side of the world. He must speak with LGP, the club captains and the players, and make decisions accordingly. Players need to see the face of their president in the time of need to let them know the hierarchy cares about them. Leaving the team in limbo is not an option. Mallorca have now lost 10 of their last 12 games and their future continues to darken alarmingly.

AND FINALLY, a Golden Oldie (like me !). A man goes to see his doctor and after a check up is told he has a nasty virus called Yellow 24, so called because it turns your blood yellow and you usually have only 24 hours to live, and there’s no known cure. The man trudges home to tell his wife the bad news. Distraught, she asks him to go to the bingo with her that evening as he’s never been before with her. During the bingo with his first card he gets four corners and wins £35, then with the same card he gets a line and wins £320, then he gets a full house winning £1,000.

Then the national game comes up and he wins that as well, getting £380,000. The bingo caller calls him up on stage and says “Son, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never ever seen anyone win for corners, a line, full house and the national game on the same night. You must be the luckiest man on earth !” “Lucky, bloody lucky ?” the man screams. “I’ll have you know I’ve got Yellow 24 !” “Bloody hell, that’s unbelievable,” replies the bingo caller, “you’ve only gone and won the raffle as well !”