By Monroe Bryce


fter a week when Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said "It’s been a very successful Transfer Window, we’ve more money now than when it started" – Real Mallorca, after a very traumatic week, play away against Sporting Gijon today at 12 noon. Neither side has played each other in the second division for 45 years.

After last week’s disastrous 2-4 home defeat to Murcia, the players were given an ear bashing by coach Jose Luis Oltra on Thursday, which was picked up by local TV station IB3. Oltra blamed the team for their lack of attitude and being unable to take control of the many mistakes they’ve made in the first two games.

In what turned out to be a monumental telling off, which the enraged Valencia-born coach conducted at the top of his voice, he accused the team of making too many excuses. "It’s always either the fault of the pitch or other team members or the referee. Then you all cry to the press that we were hard done by when in fact we deserved to lose." He then shouted out "Is anybody going to say I’m wrong?" It seemed like during the Sabadell and Murcia defeats too many players were blaming each other, our goalkeeper Aouate was seen pointing the finger at colleagues in defence who left him totally exposed at the back.

The team’s disastrous start, two defeats, eight goals against and only two in favour, has affected the dressing room. There’s even been a report of a rift between some players. All the worry that we suffered at the end of last season has returned as Mallorca face a hugely difficult game at high noon. Oltra has called for a reaction from the team today as they aim for their first win of their second division campaign. Mallorca will be without Thomas and Kevin Garcia for today’s game as both serve a one-month suspension after being sent off last week. The veteran Pep Luis Marti is doubtful with a muscle injury leaving us under strength in the engine room – midfield. New signings Pérez and Riverola should figure in the initial line up.

It was revealed this past week that sales of season tickets have peaked at 10,408 which is fantastic, all things considered. We’re the fourth best supported club in the Segunda after Deportivo 21,000, Zaragoza 20,000 and today’s opponents Sporting Gijon 16,000.

There’s been all kinds of news about comings and goings at the Son Moix, although nothing will be definite until the Spanish transfer window closes tomorrow night.

Two Mallorca players on first division wages could be on the verge of leaving for pastures new. Brazilian centre back Pedro Geromel is rumoured to be going back to his old club Cologne in Germany and Michael Pereira, who’s been eyeing a move out of the club for ages, looks Cardiff City bound.

The good news for Mallorca’s defence is the possible signing of an experienced hard man centre back. He’s a 33-year-old Alberto Lopo who’s played for Espanyol, Deportivo and Getafe and is the ideal player to bolster up our shoogly back four. He would be an interesting acquisition to say the least as his physical style of play has resulted in him being one of the most booked players every season in Spanish football.

PS A fellow sufferer at the Son Moix, Bugsie Wray from Binissalem, took a nasty tumble off his bicycle last week when he had an altercation with two boys playing football in the street.

After being patched up in the Son Llatzer clinic, his chiselled features now look like he’s done a couple of rounds with both the Klitchko brothers at the same time. Uep com anam amic, bon sort.


Fathers of yesterday and today.

In 1900 a father waited for the doctor to tell him when the baby’s arrived. Today a father must wear a smock, know how to breathe and make sure he captures the moment with a video camera.

In 1900, fathers could count on their children to join the family business. Today fathers pray their kids will soon come home from "uni" long enough to teach them how to work the computer and set up the Blu Ray player.

In 1900, a father smoked a pipe. If he tries that today he gets sent outside and given a lecture on lip cancer.

In 1900, a father gave a pencil box for Christmas and the kids were all smiles. Today a father spends £500 in Toys R Us and the kid screams "I wanted an X-box."

In 1900, a Happy meal was when father shared funny stories at the meal table. Today a happy meal is what Dad buys at McDonalds.

In 1900, when fathers entered the room children stood to attention. Today kids glance up and grunt "Dad, you’re in the way of the TV."

In 1900, fathers threatened their daughters’ boyfriends with shotguns if the girl came home late. Today fathers break the ice by saying "So how long have you had that ring in your nose?"