Fans not happy with Aguirre. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Real Mallorca and Cadiz (La Liga’s lowest scoring sides) still await their first La Liga victory since September after both sides played out a 1-1 draw at Son Moix on Wednesday night, a game described by long-time local fan Charles Nutter as “purgatory.”

Having failed to bulge the net for 445 minutes, Mallorca knew a positive start was vital and they looked good in the first 10 minutes. However, after that the game was simply awful, not helped by another useless referee, Iglesias Villanova.

Without the injured Muriqi, Mallorca have a distinct lack of cutting edge in the final third. Once again big-money signing Cyle Larin looked totally out of his depth. This guy lacks confidence in shedfuls and looks to be a poor buy at 8 million euros. Mallorca fell away so much that they had no idea what to do when they crossed the halfway line and one wonders what goes on in the training ground during the week because whatever they do, the system’s certainly not working. On Wednesday night the team looked to be in a predicament that has second division written all over it.

Cadiz took a shock lead in the 12th minute when Alcarez curled a sublime free kick into the top left corner with Rajkovic well beaten. After that, Mallorca went looking for the equaliser but Larin missed several chances. On the stroke of half time, Abdon Prats, who’s just signed a three-year extension, steered home a header from Maffeo’s cross, 1-1.

After the break Mallorca took the foot off the gas without having any meaningful attacks, passing the ball sideways and backwards. Cadiz by now were falling down and rolling over for the simplest coming together as the referee refused to show yellow cards for deliberate time wasting.

Coach Aguirre tried to turn things around by bringing on fresh legs but it didn’t make the slightest difference. On Wednesday night Mallorca looked very limited and bereft of ideas. The bad news for Mallorca, who now face another “must win” game against Alaves (coached by ex Mallorca boss Luis Garcia Plaza) on Sunday at 2pm without the injured Maffeo, Jaume Costa and Antonio Raillo, with Dani Rodriguez also missing through suspension.

The name most mentioned as the 13,821 frustrated fans trooped out of the Son Moix was coach Javier Aguirre, who appears to be the culprit of the team’s present malaise. If things don’t go to plan on Sunday, the white hankies could well be out and chants of “Aguirre, vete ya” (go now) will echo round the Son Moix. Real Mallorca are in a hole as Aguirre tries to reverse the disastrous dynamic.

There’s not a football match that goes by these days without some controversial decision or another cropping up with regard to the dreaded VAR. Back in the day, doubtful decisions were argued about in the pub or at work the following morning (the referee’s parentage was high on the list !) before fans forgot about it and moved on.

On Tuesday the International Football Association Board (IFAB) held its annual business meeting in London and there were significant moves that could affect the world of football as we know it. The IFAB approved proposed trials in which only the team captain can approach the referee. This is seen as an effort to eradicate players crowding (bullying !) the referee during on-field play. Furthermore sin bins are set to be tested at a higher level, that idea has already been tried out with success at grass roots level and is used in Rugby Union and ice hockey. It’s not clear if and when these rules will be coming to Spanish football given that players regularly surround referees during matches in Spain.

Also on IFAB’s agenda (although no result was disclosed) was the idea to possibly extend VAR to cover free kicks, corners and second yellow cards. Are they having a giraffe (laugh) ? They can’t even get the present system correct. Referees can spend two or three minutes staring at a monitor screen and still get their decision wrong. Now, in their wisdom, IFAB will decide if yet more video replays should be used to increase the accuracy of free kicks and corner disputes. We’re also to see experiments where artificial intelligence could be used when a player has as much as a knee hair in an offside position ! Aggrieved fans are fed up with the total mess VAR is making of the modern game and would like to see the system binned. However that’s unlikely to happen as VAR is here to stay.

VAR should be transparent and fans should be informed what is going on, especially when it involves offside situations where lines are drawn which takes three or even four minutes to reach an outcome. Why not show adverts during the time it takes to sort out the situation – “Goal or no goal, join us after the break !” ? By stripping away the raw emotion and spontaneous passion of goalscoring celebrations and high on-field drama, VAR is robbing the game of what makes it so special in the first place. The bottom line of all this malarkey – whatever happened to common sense ?