After a week when a guy in Montana tried to buy property on an old Indian reservation – when he asked if it came with running water he was told to go forth and multiply and find his own wife! – Real Mallorca came from being two goals down against La Liga outfit Valladolid to remain unbeaten in their six-game pre-season preparations, drawing 2-2 on a pitch in Marbella called La Quinta that looked to be on the side of a cliff! This game was our biggest test so far against La Liga opposition and in all honesty Mallorca didn’t look overawed, giving more than a good account of themselves after going 2-0 down to a couple of badly defended, sloppy goals.
Valladolid’s opener came after 10 minutes, winning a corner, and from the resultant kick Alende was given free reign to nod the “Violetas” ahead 1-0. They doubled their lead in the 27th minute when the Manacor-born Sergi Guardiola (no relation!) took advantage of a great through ball from ex Everton misfit Sandro to increase Valladolid’s lead. For the first time this pre-season, Mallorca had gone behind and had a huge task ahead to get back into the game. All credit to Vicente Moreno’s team as they rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in. Good work from Joan Sastre saw his cross headed in by Budimir and Valladolid look rattled as the referee blew for half time. After a raft of changes Mallorca drew level in the 70th minute. Lago Junior was up-ended in the penalty area and Salva Sevilla stepped up to fire in the spot kick from 11 metres, 2-2. Both coaches then emptied their benches with Mallorca giving some game time to new signing Aleksandar Sedlar.
The only negative for a decent showing from Real Mallorca was an injury to Josep Sene who left the pitch with what looked like a sprained ankle. We play our last pre-season friendly on Wednesday against another La Liga opponent Getafe. The Madrid side are in this season’s Europa League after finishing a commendable fifth. This will be a tough workout for Mallorca, after which they return to the island to prepare for the City of Palma Cup match against Levante on Saturday at 9 pm.
There’s been a lot of publicity this weekend about some of the signings we’ve brought in during the Summer after Vicente Moreno’s assistant Dani Pendin said the squad needed more players with a playing knowledge of Spanish football, especially those who’ve experienced La Liga participation. His comments were a dig at our director of football, Javi Recio, and to some extent general manager Maheta Molango, who has been away talking to our owners in Phoenix, Arizona. We’ve signed seven new players so far this season. Of the 25 players in the squad, only nine have played in La Liga and many of them only a matter of minutes. Only Salva Sevilla and Alex Alegria know what it’s like to play more than 40 games in the Primera and several journalists have described the situation as “worrying.” Pendin was being the mouthpiece for our coach Vicente Moreno in expressing his doubts about some of the new arrivals. The idea behind signing players from domestic leagues is admirable and certainly has its merits, not least the added advantage of them already being acclimatised to their environment, knowing the league inside out plus speaking the native tongue.
Once again some of these “hacks” who write derogatory comments about Real Mallorca mention our American owners as being “frugal” after our promotion. One said we’ve signed mediocre players who over the past few seasons have flitted from one place to another. I don’t agree. On Sunday we lost two silly goals but looked quite capable of holding our own against a team who finished 16th. It takes time for a team to come together and I’m quite sure with a few more signings we’ll be in with a chance of staying in La Liga.
Two Spanish-born players are being banded around on social media. First up is an 18-year-old striker from Atletico Madrid, Victor Mollego. He played a key role in the recent Spanish Under 19 European Championship-winning team last month. He’s likely to be loaned out by Diego Simeone to gain first team experience with his chances of gaining a starting place at the Wanda Metropolitano remote. “Atleti” are likely to block any purchase option for the follically challenged youngster. Simeone is a huge fan of Mollego’s and the coach is confident that the youngster will become a future regular. He’s made four first team appearances from the bench and is a real class act.
Another name being mentioned is 35 year-old Binissalem-born goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya who looks surplus to requirements at Real Sociedad. He hasn’t featured in any of the San Sebastian side’s pre-season games and would jump at the chance to see out his checkered career at his old club Real Mallorca, where Miguel spent eight years. He then played at Valencia, Getafe and Atletico Madrid.
I see Manchester City have advertised for a full time trophy polisher to keep the silverware they’ll win this season nice and shiny!
A dog walks into a butcher’s shop and the assistant asks “What do you want?” The dog points (with his paw) to some cut steaks in a glass cage and the butcher says “How many?” and the dog barks twice. “Anything else?” the butcher enquires. This time the dog points at some pork chops lying on the slab and barks for times. The butcher wraps up the steaks and chops and puts them in the dog’s mouth. He then takes the money from a purse around the dog’s neck and shows him out. A customer, who was watching on in amazement, follows the dog to a house where it jumps up and rings the bell. The owner comes to the door and the customer says “Tell you what, mate, what a remarkable dog you have there.” “Remarkable, my arse,” replies the owner. “That’s the third time this week he’s forgotten his bloody keys!!”
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