Mallorca/Elche drew 2-2 last November. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

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After a week when a man in Bristol got stuck inside his washing machine during a game of hide and seek with his kids – the good news was the fire service got him out safely, the bad news was one of his socks was missing! – Real Mallorca will be making the short flight to Alicante tonight where they’ll play Elche in their Estadio Martinez Valero stadium (where we won the cup final in 2003) tomorrow afternoon, kick off 14:00.

The Palma side reach the home straight of season 2021-22 lying just outside the relegation bottom three and three points behind today’s opponents. They come into the game having lost five of their last six games and they’ll be missing their two main Argentinian-born strikers Lucas Boye and Guido Carrillo.That’s the good news for us, the bad news is we’ve failed to win any of our 17 away games in Elche’s ground. They’re expecting an almost capacity crowd of 34,000 after they ran a cheap tickets campaign all week.

Mallorca coach Javier “El Vasco” Aguirre said after last Saturday’s brilliant 1-0 victory against At. Madrid that he thought 36 points could be enough to save our La Liga skins, that would be seven more than the 29 we have now. That means basically two wins and a draw from the remaining seven games would see us safe from the dreaded drop.

Included in these games are three home ties against relegation contenders Alaves IN PALMA ON TUESDAY NIGHT AT 19.00 and Granada and Rayo Vallecano next month, that fixture being our last home game of the 2021/22 campaign.

After last Saturday’s unexpected 1-2 win over At. Madrid, we start match day 32 with a slight advantage over the other basement dwellers. Alaves and Levante are on 22 points and look nailed-on relegation material. We were the only side in the bottom nine to get maximum points last weekend and that win has really lifted the squad’s morale as we reach a nail-biting end to the season. I said before it all kicked off last August that finishing fourth bottom would be a great result for Mallorca and it looks likely that could be the outcome come the end of May.

For tomorrow’s game we more or less have a full squad to call on with “Silver Fox” Salva Sevilla returning after missing last Saturday with a muscle strain. There’s now some doubt as to whether he’ll be offered a season-long extension on his present contract which expires in May. The 38-year-old midfielder may well move to Almeria or Alicante next season as he winds down a fabulous career in top flight Spanish football. So far at Mallorca he’s played 179 games, scored 24 goals with 20 assists.

After last weekend’s game, the coach was asked why he didn’t start Take Kubo who, when he came on later in the game, was a real threat to the Atletico defenders. Aguirre said that in training Kubo looked lazy and uninterested thinking (wrongly) that his name would be one of the first on the team sheet. The coach took Take to one side and told him he didn’t like his lackadaisical attitude and he was not going to be selected in the initial line-up.

As I said last week, Aguirre takes no prisoners, a bit like our iconic coach Luis Aragones back in 2000/21 who, like our present manager, knew how to handle players’ egos.
In that season a certain 19-year-old Samuel Eto’o would receive one of his most important footballing lessons from “El Sabio” Luis Aragones.

During a match between Real Mallorca and Real Zaragoza the Cameroonian star was substituted a few minutes into the second half – and he was livid. He kicked over a bottle of water and launched a verbal tirade towards Aragones. Big mistake! Aragones responded in an equally emotive fashion, grabbing Eto’o by his shirt and telling him in no uncertain terms “Not with me, do you understand?!” It was a confrontation that Eto’o would later count as a life lesson and he would go on to describe their relationship as that of father and son.

RCD Mallorca announced earlier in the week that the lease on the Son Moix (which is owned by Palma City Council) has been extended to 2064. Also work on improving the Son Moix will start on May 16 in a project that is hoped will be finished in 2024. The new stadium has been designed by Basque architect Izaskun Larzabal. She remodelled Real Sociedad’s Anoeta stadium into one of the most modern in La Liga. The total cost of our project is 20 million euros.

AND FINALLY, a man washed up on a beach after a shipwreck, along with a sheep and a sheepdog. After being there for a while, he got into the habit of taking his two animal companions to the beach every night to watch the sun set. One particular evening the sky was fiery red with beautiful cyrrus clouds, the breeze was warm and gentle, a perfect night for romance. As they sat there, the sheep started looking better and better to the lonely man. He leaned over to the sheep and put his arm around it.

However, the sheepdog, ever protective, growled fiercely until the man took his arm away from the sheep. A few weeks passed when, lo and behold, there was another shipwreck.
The only survivor was Priti Patel. That evening the man brought her to the evening beach ritual of watching the sunset. He soon got those feelings back, this time they were much stronger, as he leaned over to Priti and whispered in her ear that he hadn’t had nookie for months. She batted her eyelids, asking if there was anything she could do for him (?!!). “Absolutely, Priti,” he said, “Can you please take the dog for a walk!”