After a week when it was decided that Harry will now be known as “The Royal formerly known as Prince!” – Real Mallorca have been on the receiving end of ludicrous fixture planning and will have to play two games in the space of 53 hours.
As the Palma side’s grip on their La Liga status looks well wobbly at the moment, they face a major challenge tomorrow at 12:00 when Valencia are the visitors to Son Moix. Lots of pundits have already written off our chances of staying up and the game is a huge occasion for us to take down one of the big names in Spanish football, whose form away from the Mestalla reads : played 9, won 3, drawn 2 and lost 4. Valencia have been hit by a spate of injuries to key players giving us a golden opportunity to pick up three home points. Our chances are vastly improved with the reappearance of Budimir and Baba after suspension. One of our relegation rivals, Leganes, lost the south Madrid derby 0-3 against Getafe last night. A win for us would put some much-needed daylight between us and Leganes. Mallorca have 15 points, 14 of those have come at home. A worrying stat reported this past week that no fewer than nine teams in the past 11 seasons who won promotion from La Segunda to La Liga have gone straight back down again. Another worry is that the bookies have us as one of the doomed three come the end of the season and they seldom get things wrong.
As soon as we finish the Valencia game, Mallorca must prepare for a third round Copa del Rey tie on Tuesday at 19.00 away at Zaragoza. We were hoping the game would be scheduled for Wednesday but the powers that be have shown us no favours against a team who’re third in La Segunda and are bang in form. We’ll do well to get past Zaragoza as they’ll be much more difficult opponents than our previous two games against third division sides.
Necessary new signings are either here or on their way. With a space in the squad available after Aridai rescinded his contract and went home to Las Palmas, 20 year old Sevilla player, Alejandro Pozo, arrived on loan until the end of June. He’s been finding it difficult to break into the first team with the veteran Jesus Navas holding down the regular right wing back position. Pozo’s played a handful of league games and made several starts in the Europa league, and was on loan last season at Granada where he scored against us with a 30 yard rocket.
Other players being mentioned as interesting Real Mallorca are ex Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz now at Real Madrid. Our CEO Maheta Molango is on good terms with the Real Madrid director of football Jose Angel Sanchez but it’s reported Brahim doesn’t want to move. Another name allegedly is 23 year old Nigerian striker Taino Awoniyi who belongs to Liverpool. He’s been out on loan for five years to several European clubs as Liverpool can’t get him a UK work permit because he hasn’t played for his national side. Replacements are desperately needed as the majority of our “bench players” are simply not good enough and at least three or four will be moving on in the next couple of weeks. With our present day low salary cap, we can’t bring in new faces until there’s a space available in the squad.
From last Monday (January 14), La Liga has now got its own 24 hour dedicated sports channel in English. After a year of uncertainty which saw the competition broadcasting initially only on a streaming service on Eleven Sports, and then very briefly on ITV after renegotiation in mid season, Spanish football now has a permanent home.
La Liga TV (based in Barcelona), which can be found on Sky Sports channel 435, now allows lots of fans of Spanish football to watch every single game of Spain’s top flight and also La Segunda all in one place.
PS It could be a bumpy ride in the Son Moix tomorrow as storm Gloria is expected to pay us a visit.
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