Kang In Lee looks a different player this season and could well be the main generator of gunpowder on the squad | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


During a week when a friend of mine was knocked over in Palma by an electric scooter – it was his fault, after all he was walking on the pavement ! – Real Mallorca play away in Madrid against their “bogey” team Rayo Vallecano tomorrow (Saturday) night at 19:30.

Rayo play in a street called C/ Payaso Fofo (Clown Street) in a dilapidated stadium called Vallecas (the part of Madrid in which it’s situated). The three-sided ground is in such a terrible state, half the main stand is closed in case it falls down! Rayo have once again started the new season with all guns blazing (one win and one draw) and have over the past couple of campaigns been our “bogey” team in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

For all their giant-killing feats and shock results, their loyal fans are treated appallingly. They are the only club in Spanish professional football who DON’T and WON’T sell season tickets online. That meant that earlier this week thousands of Rayo fans had to queue for a very, very, very long time (over 48 hours) outside the ground. Some supporters opted to sleep on the streets of Vallecas and others decided to go home and wait. Whatever option these loyal fans chose, it was an absolute shambles the way these fans were treated. Things were made worse with only two ticket windows being open.

There are only a few days left before the Summer transfer window shuts and (in my opinion) this window should be closed the day the new season starts. As we approach matchday three, RCD Mallorca have a serious problem in midfield. Things are not made easy by coach Aguirres’ insistence on playing a defensive formation both home and away.

That means our full backs take over the wings and we rely on the long ball upfield to Vedat Muriqi. The performances in our first two games from the midfield have seen Battaglia, Dani Rodriguez and Clemente Grenier leaving much to be desired.

Forced to prioritise defensive work before offensive work, none of these three midfielders has pulled up any trees so far. Battaglia had an absolute “mare” last Saturday and was involved with both Betis penalties.

Grenier has undoubted quality but his fitness levels mean he’s nowhere near La Liga standard nor can he play a full 90 minutes. When he came off before the end last game (I know conditions were sweltering but he was sweating more than Ryan Giggs on Loose Women !) he looked exhausted. Under pressure Grenier tends to give the ball away too much for my liking.

Then we come to the fans’ favourite Dani Rodriguez. Somewhere down the line over the past season and again this campaign (albeit early doors), Dani just hasn’t got that spark he had two seasons ago. He doesn’t cause nearly the same amount of danger in the opposition area he used to show on his many box-to-box runs.

Ghanaian international Baba doesn’t seem to be able to play in the system Aguirre adheres to and although he’s a gifted player he still gives away possession too easily. Nobody so far in midfield looks able to replace Salva Sevilla as leader of operations in the middle of the pitch.

The good news is quality midfielder Galaretta is back in training and should be available for selection some time soon. In the meantime director of football Pablo Ortells is scouring the market looking for a midfielder who can basically put his foot on the ball and pass it to Muriqi.

Late on Wednesday afternoon news broke that Mallorca were interested in Greek defender/midfielder Dimitrios Nikolaou from Italian Serie A side Spezia and that if a deal is done he’ll come here on loan with a purchase option. If he’s anything like another Greek international Angelos Basinas who played for Mallorca between 2005/8, Mallorquinistas will have no complaints. Another player allegedly on Mallorca’s shopping list is Gambian international defender Omar Colley who plays for Serie A club Sampdoria in Italy.

When Mujriqi scored against Betis last Saturday night, his goal celebration clearly showed him saying “That’s the kind of goal scoring opportunity I want more of.” On me ’ed son !! He did what he does best, sending a team mate’s cross into the net. Our left back Jaume Costa, who’s had a brilliant start to the season, has clearly shown he’s one of our best crossers of a ball. Against Betis, Muriqi’s petulance gave visiting defenders Pezzella and Edgar a lot of trouble. His goal showed what I think we’ll hopefully see a lot of this season, high balls in from the flanks.

The problem we have now is Muriqi needs a guaranteed companion at his side. With only two other attackers on the payroll, Abdon and Angel, the one player who’s seen stepping up to the plate is Kang In Lee.

Stepping out of the shadow of the departed Take Kubo, Kang In Lee looks a different player this season and could well be the main generator of gunpowder on the squad. For his efforts against Betis, the South Korean did his chances of being selected for the World Cup a power of good.

On Monday he was included in the best 11 from Europe’s top leagues after last weekend’s games. According to soccer statistics site WhoScored.com, Kang In Lee received a rating of 8.6, earning him a place on the front line with Kylian Mbappe! The team also included Neymar of PSG and Kingsley Coman from the German giants Bayern Munich.

AND FINALLY, the family is gathered around the dinner table. First child says “Mummy, how did I get my name ?” Mummy replies “Well, when we were leaving the hospital after you were born, a rose petal floated down and landed on your head, so we named you Rose.” Next child asks the same question to be told “When we were leaving the hospital after you were born, a cherry blossom floated down and landed on your head so we named you Blossom.” Third child says “Ugh ugh ugh ugh.” Mummy says “Yes Brick ?!”