It's make or break for Mallorca on Saturday. | Monro Bryce


After a week when a man in Glasgow bought a £700 tent from Decathlon only to discover on arrival at the campsite 200 miles away that it didn’t have any poles – after forking out for an overnight stay at a hotel he drove back to furiously complain, only to be told it was actually an inflatable tent, D’Oh ! – on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm RCD Mallorca play a season-defining «six-pointer» against Granada in what looks likely to be a full Son Moix. The Andalucian team are a point behind us on 31 (Mallorca are just outside the relegation bottom three) as the La Liga season comes to an end with just three games left after this weekend’s fixtures.

It’s another dramatic finale to the Primera season down in the basement where three teams, Mallorca, Granada and Cadiz, fight it out in a relegation dog-fight where one will be doomed to La Segunda. The other two relegation contenders, Levante and Alaves, look to have sealed their fate but miracles do and have happened. In 2013 Celta Vigo were four points adrift down the bottom with only two games left and ended up being saved.

Against Granada, Mallorca must snarl and show their teeth, especially after a lacklustre performance against Barcelona (2-1) last Sunday night. Coach Javier Aguirre has been heavily criticised in the local press for his selection in the Nou Camp; picking players like Russo, Battaglia and Fer Niño was a disaster with the coach saying at no time did we go to the Nou Camp thinking about the Granada game – yeah right, Javier ! After a promising few games earlier in the season, Franco Russo has looked way out of his depth at the heart of the defence and he was at fault for the Barcelona opener.

Battaglia has played in four of the five games since Aguirre took over as coach and looks nowhere near the required level. Fer Niño has been on loan from Villareal since the start of the season and was labelled one for the future. Not for the first time this season, he’s missed easy scoring chances. Against Barcelona he cut a forlorn figure up front and looks totally lacking in confidence.

Our fans will play a huge part in the game’s outcome. They’ve already shown this season that in these games of great tension when the team needs their support, they are there to dish it out in spades. Their input is worth a goal of a start which should help us win this vital match, giving us a giant leap in our salvation fight. Fans’ favourite Dani Rodriguez tweeted on Tuesday «We want to stay in this league next season, we need your support – come on people !!!»

Mallorca will find Granada a tough nut to crack, beating us 4-1 earlier in the season. Seven of our present squad (Reina, Valjent, Railo, Baba, Salva Sevilla, Dani Rodriguez and Kubo) played on July 16, 2020, when Granada won 1-2 in the Son Moix, sending us back to La Segunda after our six-year La Liga absence was overcome but lasted only one season. Granada were a much better team back then and finished the season in a Europa league position. I have no doubt Mallorca will win Saturday’s nerve-jangler and cement their place in top flight Spanish football for another season.

Tickets are selling fast after the club put 4,800 up for sale. After just a few hours 3,000 had been snapped up, so everything indicates the stadium will be close to full come match day. Seat prices range between 10 to 20 euros. Fans have been asked to cheer the team bus at 12:15 when it arrives at the ground, and then at 1 pm there will be free paella on offer outside the Mallorcafé.

We’ll face a tough game next Wednesday at Sevilla, especially with our abysmal away form – only two wins on the road all season. After that we entertain Rayo Vallecano in our last home game on Sunday, May 15 at 6:30 pm. Then we finish our season away in Pamplona against Osasuna. Both these sides look to be finishing in mid table obscurity so will have nothing to play for.

PS After Villareal’s valiant effort against Liverpool (which gave new meaning to the term «a game of two halves»), Villareal’s coach Unai Emery was asked about the goalkeeping mistakes made by Rulli. Emery said he plays him because he’s good with his feet. Am I missing something here ? Whatever happened to a goalkeeper using his hands ?!

AND FINALLY, an old favourite. Little Tommy sees his Daddy’s car passing the school playground before turning left and going into the woods. Curious, he follows the car and sees Daddy and Auntie Katie kissing. Little Tommy can hardly contain himself as he runs home and starts to tell his mother excitedly. «Mummy, mummy, I was in the playground and Daddy and ….»

Mummy tells him to slow down, but that she still wants to hear his story. So Tommy starts again «I was in the playground and I saw Daddy’s car go into the woods with Auntie Katie. I went to look and Daddy was giving Auntie Katie a big kiss, then he helped her take off her shirt, then Auntie Katie helped Daddy take off his trousers. Then Auntie Katie lay down on the seat and Daddy…»

At this point Mummy cut him off. «Tommy, this is such an exciting story. Suppose you save the rest of it until tea time. I want to see the look on Daddy’s face when you tell him tonight.» At the table later, Mummy asks Tommy to repeat his story. He describes the car going into the woods, the undressing, laying down on the seat and «Then Daddy and Auntie Katie did that same thing Mummy and Uncle Jeff used to do when Daddy was away on the oil rigs !!»