Real Mallorca left it too late to grab a point. | Prensa2


After a week when Thomas the Tank Engine was feeling sad – on hearing that his good friend from Scotland “Robbie Coal-Train” had shunted off this mortal coil! – Real Mallorca lost 1-0 on Wednesday night away at Real Sociedad but make no mistake, we were desperately unlucky not to get a share of the spoils.

Our Serbian goalkeeper, Predrag Rajkovic, made a whole bunch of saves to keep the islanders’ hopes of a draw alive. We gave away a soft goal in the third minute when Mikel Merino nodded in unchallenged from a corner.

Ex Mallorca player Take Kubo then had two efforts brilliantly saved as the home side took command. Coach Aguirre opted for a starting line-up with seven changes from the Sevilla defeat. The introduction of Senegalese forward Amath into the Palma side’s starting XI gave us another option up front. In the 13th minute Dani Rodriguez slipped a pass to Angel and his strike cannoned off the upright.

In the second half, Mallorca had a real go. Then Amath was involved in a counter attack and he scored at the near post.

It looked an impeccable goal, which the referee did not hesitate to concede, but on his way back to the centre circle, he received a VAR call saying that Amath had fouled a Sociedad player in the build up.

The incident took five frustrating minutes to work out but replays showed it was the wrong decision after the referee had viewed the pitch-side screen.

Once again Mallorca came unstuck in the final third. It’s a worry as we head to VALENCIA ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT 18:30.

Aguirre’s side have only scored two goals in their last five games and unless we mend our ways in the foreseeable future, we could be involved in another relegation dog fight. The good news is Muriqi’s back at the weekend.

AGUIRRE NEEDS A BACK-UP PLAN: With Real Mallorca playing three games in a week, something their limited squad is finding very difficult, it’s now becoming crystal clear that our coach Javier Aguirre is reacting TOO LATE when we’re chasing a game. During and after the 0-1 defeat to Sevilla last Saturday night, there were fans sitting behind me talking about how Aguirre brings on his substitutes too late in a game.

Aguirre didn’t ring the changes until the 78th minute when Copete was substituted. That’s a full 26 minutes after the Andalucians had scored their wonder goal.

When Barcelona scored their opener after 20 minutes, we had to wait until six minutes from time when Lago came on for Galarreta. Even in the opening home fixture against Betis, Abdon and Lago were introduced far too late with only minutes remaining.

His formation of 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 is strictly adhered to, with Mallorca using the long ball as our means of attack. Five at the back is an ultra defensive strategy, but it does its job which is making it hard for opponents to break down.

Attacking football is very much a secondary thought and it’s all about frustrating the opposition and keeping a clean sheet. There’s no question we know how to defend and are comfortable with the system, but it’s when we go behind, especially in the Son Moix, that for me is when the troubles begin.

We haven’t got a robotic striker like Erling Haaland is at Manchester City who can, and will, decimate goalscoring records easily. We have become what the local press call “Muriqidependencia” which means when he is (like he has just been) suspended, we struggle to score a goal.

We’ve given opponents very few scoring chances (with the exception of Real Madrid) but it’s at the other end where serious doubts remain.

Against Sevilla and again at Sociedad right wing back Pablo Maffeo was our best attacker but when he’s down the other end his space in defence is vacant and quick attackers can take advantage. On the other side down the left flank, Costa has been injured and his place has gone to Braian Cufre.

The Argentinian played his first season here in La Segunda, then went on loan to Malaga (again in the Second division) and against Sevilla he barely crossed the halfway line.

It will be interesting to see how our injured on-loan Zimbabwean striker Kadewere fits in after the World Cup. His greatest asset would appear to be speed but he’ll need a period of adaptation when he eventually gets match fit. Staying in La Liga is paramount for RCD Mallorca and we have to bring in another striker and at least one more winger in the January window.

AND FINALLY, Sister Agnes who, after 10 years in the Little Sisters of the Poor convent with a strict vow of silence, was allowed to say just two words to the Mother Superior. “Bed hard,” she complained. A shocked Mother Superior dealt with the issue straight away and bought her a new mattress.

Ten years later, Agnes was allowed another two words. “Food bad,” she said. Again, the Mother Superior was aghast and called in a top Michelin-starred chef to cook all the meals.

Another ten years later, Sister Agnes was granted another two words. “I quit,” she declared.

Mother Superior answered “Yes, that’s probably just as well, you’ve done nothing but complain since you got here!!”