Barcelona visit the Son Moix on Tuesday, September 26. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


After a week when police are now investigating Russell Brand – for crimes against comedy and acting ! – Real Mallorca play Girona, the sensation team of the season so far, tomorrow (Saturday 23rd) at 2pm in their Estadio Montilivi. The Catalan side are joint second in La Liga having won four, drawn one and are unbeaten, scoring 11 goals.

With five games played, Mallorca’s start to the season (5 points) is the topic of much discussion on local social media platforms. It’s a start that few expected after the large (for us) investment in signings this Summer.

We all thought there would be a much more positive beginning to the 23/24 season although the team were playing much better football 12 months ago. Back then we had scored five for and seven against; this year four in favour and five against. Last term we were difficult to beat. Now, with Kang In Lee gone and Raillo injured, the side is missing a leader. Although we’ve managed two clean sheets in a row, there’s a distinct lack of imagination from midfield forward.

None of the new additions, with the exception of Samu Costa, are pulling up any trees and we miss that vital spark. After our rather fortuitous first win of the season last Saturday against Celta Vigo, local fans are not happy with the way we’re playing although, according to coach Javier Aguirre, there are green shoots beginning to appear, but it will take time for the new team to gel.

The good news is that Muriqi opened his goal account last Saturday (his first goal scored for Mallorca with his right foot) and in goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic we have one of the best ’keepers we’ve ever had. Indeed, both these players made Marca’s “team of the weekend” last Monday.

We have a huge problem in midfield. It doesn’t matter if the coach picks four or five at the back, we seem to be lacking conviction in that area. The exception is Portuguese player Samu Costa. He arrived from Almeria to replace Baba in an exchange deal plus 2.5 million euros. His versatility in defence and attack make him a key member of the team.

He has what’s called “a good engine.” At 22 Samu Costa was the player our sports management team were looking for; a player who gives 100% every game and could be of economic advantage to us in the future.

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Now we come to the enigma that is Sergi Darder who’s been a huge disappointment. When he was at Espanyol he put in top performances every week. Our “No. 10” looks uncomfortable in a role he clearly doesn’t enjoy. The coach is still looking for Darder’s best position as at the moment when he receives the ball he seems unable to find a team-mate. He’s hardly lived up to the form he produced at Espanyol.

Muriqi is a lone ranger who hardly gets a goal-scoring pass. Getting the best out of these players who are clearly under performing is the responsibility of the coach, who at his pre-match press conference before the Celta game admitted the lack of finish and playing variations were a problem – his problem! Our expensive signings in the Summer are not delivering.

Both Darder and Larin were the biggest investments in the club’s history. Nobody can argue the quality of both those players. Larin is still only 80% fit but gets better the more minutes on the pitch he has. In five games Darder’s best contribution was a cross against Las Palmas that saw Raillo nod in the equaliser. All Aguirre keeps saying is “We’re in the period of adaptation.” Let’s hope he’s right!

Tomorrow’s game at Girona is a huge ask for Real Mallorca and it’s time some of our under-achievers start to earn their wages. Girona will kick off as big favourites but it could just be the game when some of our expensive signings show the money invested in them is worth it.

I had a message from the club’s clairvoyant “Mystic Manolo from Marratxi” yesterday and here’s what his crystal ball predicts for Girona tomorrow : possession Girona 96%, Mallorca 4%; shots on goal 21/1; fouls 2/21; corners 16/1; goal chances 28/1; final score Girona 0 – Mallorca 1!

PS Tuesday night at 21:30 sees the first big home game of the season when a resurgent Barcelona come to town. Two words come to mind for us Mallorquinistas – damage limitation.

AND FINALLY, with Wales now having a blanket 20mph speed limit in force, here’s a little ditty to the tune of “Men of Harlech”!

Men of Harech drive ye steady, foot on break and always ready, tell the kids to bring the teddy, 20 miles an hour. Don’t be tempted to floor it, or you’ll get done for it. Don’t complain, you’ll end up hoarse on a speed awareness course, but at least you won’t get three points for it. Men of Wales, drive like snails, hoping that your brakes won’t fail. Try and spot the speed van lurking, hiding round the bend !