Javier Aguirre is coy about his future. | Javi Colmenero


After a week when, with so much political turmoil going on, I was reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi – “If there is an idiot in power, it means that those who elected them are well represented!” – Real Mallorca reach matchday 34 (with five games left) in 16th place on 32 points. Our remaining fixtures are Atletico Madrid (H), Las Palmas (H), Osasuna (A), Almeria (H) and Getafe (A). We are six points ahead of third bottom Cadiz and are in a position that is not definite salvation, but with comfortable odds and with a better head-to-head/goal difference over other teams near us, i.e. Celta Vigo and Cadiz. Home games should see us staying in La Liga for a fourth consecutive year which, when all said and done, is our prime objective.

Tomorrow night (Saturday, May 4) at 9pm in the Son Moix we entertain Spain’s third-biggest side Atletico Madrid. They are fourth in La Liga and more or less guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League. Like Mallorca, their away form has been disappointing and they’ve only won one of their last six away games. In addition they have lost the two games they’ve played in Palma since Javier Aguirre took over two years ago.

The good news for Mallorca is that “Atleti” will arrive on the island without Memphis Depay, Thomas Lemar and Gabriel Paulista, all injured, and the best player in Spanish football before Christmas, Antoine Griezmann, suspended. With their high wage bill and the highest paid coach in world football, Diego Simeone, they will still be formidable opponents. However, with Mallorca needing nine points to remain in top flight Spanish football, I tip them to come out on top – just!

Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre is coming under pressure from local fans for his “anti football” philosophy. With the problem in defence more or less sorted, it’s in attack where our situation has taken a turn for the worse. We’ve only scored 27 goals, with Cadiz on 23 the only team worse than us. Aguirre’s ultra defensive system prevents players (like Sergi Darder) from finding their ideal position to obtain optimal performance. Watching some of our displays this season has been verging on purgatory and this idea of retreating into defence after taking an early lead and trying to hold on is like Russian roulette. Recently against Seville, Cadiz and even in the Cup Final, we’ve scored an early goal then instead of consolidating with a second, we’ve invited the opposition to take the upper hand. Aguirre has also made (in my opinion) some strange decisions, bringing on bench players too late in the game. Against Cadiz, Abdon Prats came on with only minutes left and the same player should have been given some time in the Cup Final. Everybody knows Abdon’s not the most flamboyant talent in the footballing world but he gives his heart and soul for RCD Mallorca and when the going gets tough, the tough Abdon gets going.

In a recent poll on social media, Mallorca fans were asked whether or not Aguirre should be given a new contract. 59% said “no.” There’s no question the 65-year-old Mexican has a great pedigree and is well respected by his peers, but perhaps now he can take up one of the many lucrative offers he’ll get from other clubs. Although age isn’t on his side, there’s no substitute for experience and I’m sure he’s not quite ready to enter pipe and slippers territory! No-one can dispute that Aguirre has more than met the club’s objective – permanence – guiding us through tough, murky waters, and the gift of playing in a Copa del Rey final. Aguirre also has a happy relationship with the dressing room and there’s great harmony there. One thing is for sure, club president and owner Andy Kohlberg will move heaven and earth to keep him at the helm next season, and Kohlberg has the last say. In his own words last week, the club’s objectives were: stabilising the team in the top ten of La Liga, compete in Europe occasionally, and be economically viable.

Our American owners have done a fantastic job for Real Mallorca and there’s no doubt the renovation to the stadium has completely transformed the club. A recent survey found that Mallorca sell one out for every three Son Moix tickets to tourists. The figures for the VIP areas of Son Moix have risen 70% and revenue for tickets has risen from 6.8 million to 11 million euros. Of the 20,728 season tickets sold this campaign, 33% have gone to under 25-year-olds and to 180 foreigners residing on the island.

Spain’s technical committee for referees has recognised that mistakes have been made while using VAR to make offside decisions this season. Four or five dubious calls happened when offside lines were incorrectly drawn, leading to the wrong decision on the pitch! Next season La Liga is set to employ the “semi” automatic offside system as used in the last World Cup. Officiating in Spain has come in for heavy criticism this season which is probably the reason only one La Liga referee, Gil Manzano, has been selected for this Summer’s Euros.

And finally

A story from Australia with a moral – always wear underwear! A Brisbane couple drove to their local shopping centre only for their car to break down in the car park. The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car. The wife returned later to find a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw a pair of hairy legs protruding from under the chassis. Unfortunately, although the man was in shorts, his lack of underwear left nothing to the imagination. Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward and tucked everything back in place. On regaining her feet, she looked across the bonnet and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by, watching. The car mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his forehead!