Real Mallorca’s midday kick-off tomorrow against Valladolid signals the halfway point of the current Spanish second division. The islanders are floundering in the relegation zone after winning just four games from 20 played up until today’s kick-off.
Mallorca will be without Michael Pereira who hasn’t trained all week and Thierry Moutinho is also doubtful. Valladolid come to Palma in uncertain form: after a bright start they’ve dropped down to 25 points - mid-table. However, they seem to like playing here as last season they gubbed us (Scottish vernacular for destroyed) 5-1 in January.
It was thought that after last Sunday’s lamentable capitulation at Cordoba that coach Pepe Galvez would be shown the door.
New owners, led here in Palma by chief executive Maheta Molango, have deemed his job safe - for now. He’s been a busy man this past week and as you’d expect from our fickle fan base, he’s not been without his critics. On Monday he introduced two new signings to the media, neither of which have exactly got the fans juices flowing.
Thirty-one-year-old Adrian Colunga, who’s played for a veritable cornucopia of clubs, was released by Brighton last October and hasn’t played since. So he’s not going to pull up any trees for a while. The other signing is a Catalan-born striker Pol Roigé who’s arrived from third division Sabadell and is described as “one for the future”. He’s likely to be given a chance some time during today’s game.
Molango is offering contract renewals and extensions to Brandon Thomas and Michael Pereira. However, Italian hit-man Rolando Bianchi is expected to leave shortly to join Peruga in Italian Serie B. Bianchi follows other numpty strikers from the past few years - Cavenaghi, Ogunjimi and Scepovic. Also mentioned as unsettled is the Paraguayan front man Javier Acuna who’s wanted by some Thailand outfit, although “El Torito” will probably start today.
One player who may come in soon is 23-year-old attacking mid-fielder Eddy Silvestre from Eibar on a permanent deal. Although a Spanish national, he’s played internationally for that footballing hotbed Azerbaijan.
Many Mallorca fans are waiting for some big-name signing to arrive and get us out of trouble. As long as the transfer window remains open, the club will look to bring in some new faces. The problem is that with Mallorca in their precarious league position, who’d want to come? Not even the idea of getting more money than most other second division teams seems to be acting as an incentive. Our chances of bringing in some quality seem remote. Just today, Vincenzo Rennella, a striker from Real Betis, decided to join tomorrow’s opponents on loan after an enquiry from Mallorca was turned down. A win today may give some prospective players more faith in coming to Palma.
Molango will have a big say in who comes in as he keeps saying the priority is to stay in this league and build a team for the future. As usual there’s transfer madness happening, especially in England, with feverish speculation and tweets doing the rounds about players nobody’s ever heard of. We’ve been very lucky over the years in the January window. Besides Nunes, who I mentioned last week, legends like Samuel Eto’o, Jovan Stankovic and Carlitos all arrived in the winter.
As we reach the halfway point in La Segunda it’s hard to believe we started this league campaign with the slogan “tu puges” (you're going up) tagged with “back to the dream, back to football”. Dreams have evolved into nightmares and we’ve seen precious little good football, as our lowly league position indicates. Mallorca have been infuriatingly inconsistent and lack quality in most positions. In the summer, then-owner Utz Claassen, who is still president, a 22% shareholder and always the “eternal optimist”, was living his dream and promotion seemed assured. The harsh reality now is that this isn’t the case, and you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, so it’s time our players did their job on the pitch as too many of them are under-achievers. If we want to succeed in this our centennial year, they must try that bit harder and have to take a lot of the blame for the team's present position. Our away form and goalscoring statistics are horrendous and until we sort these problems out the team will continue to struggle.
We’ve now got two home games on the trot and Mallorca need another nine wins under their belts before they can start contemplating the future, starting with three points tomorrow.
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