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Hinchas y Jugadores - Mallorca with Ian M (16th May, 2017)

Follow Ian M on Twitter here.

This isn’t his account but @RCDMallorcaUK on Twitter is great, with very honest views. He has spoken to a lot of local Mallorca fans on Twitter and has also met up with a couple at the stadium, and there are a lot of British and European RCDM supporters, who he's connected with as a result.

A bit about yourself and your background

Family man with grown up kids and a dog, Reading supporter since 1981, loves holidaying in Mallorca and Ibiza. Addicted to mojitos, Spanish beer and tapas.

How long have you been a fan of Mallorca and what made you support them in the first place?

We’ve been holidaying on the island for the last 20 years or so, it just seemed the right thing to do, support both my local teams; but I’ve only been supporting the club properly over the last 4-5 years. I stream most matches on my phone but I do try and get to 2-3 games a season, and I’ll be there for our last match this year against Getafe.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Mallorca where you want it to be?

No, absolutely not! We’re currently second from bottom and six points adrift with six games to play. It’s very worrying times for the club and its 10,000 season ticket holders. It’s as close to a disaster for the football club as it could be.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

Defender Antonio Raillo from Espanyol. He’s very committed, probably picks up more cards than he should but we need fighters in the team. He’s scored an own goal and a couple at the right end – including one directly from a corner. He gets the nod for that alone!

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mallorca this season? Any standout players?

We can pass the ball really neatly at times, but then get very scruffy and give possession away far too cheaply. Discipline within the team is lacking somewhat too. Stand out player is Brandon Thomas, an attacking midfielder. He’s an island lad, which is a rarity in the first team, and he’s also from the Cala d’Or area where we spend most of our holidays. He’s always looking to take players on and has a great shot on him. Another very committed player and top scorer. Saved us last season. Top lad.

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management. Rant away :)

Owners are from the US; Robert Sarver also owns the Phoenix Suns NBA team. Steve Nash is also involved and Maheta Molango is the CEO (He once scored against Reading 12 seconds into the season!). I was really excited when these guys took control but it seems the club has gone backwards to the point it now looks in complete disarray. We have had three different coaches this season including Mallorca legend Javier Olaizola steeping up from the B team mid-season, but it didn’t work out; I was gutted about that, I really wanted it to happen with him in charge. We now have Sergi Barjuán at the helm, he was an experienced player having played nearly 300 times for Barcelona and almost 100 for Atlético Madrid. He also clocked up 56 appearances for Spain. However he is less than prolific in the hot seat, having had a short and unsuccessful spell at Almería.

Generally speaking, RCD Mallorca is a fantastic club; it’s steeped in history, having just had its centenary season, and there have been some great moments: losing finalists to Lazio in the 1999 Cup Winners Cup at Villa Park, winners of the Copa del Rey in 2003, and numerous seasons in La Liga. The loyal supporters deserve much more than they’re receiving right now. The stadium capacity is 23,000, I would love to see it packed and bouncing in the top division.

What has the mood among the fans been during the campaign? Do you generally agree/disagree with them?

The quiet optimism last summer fairly quickly subsided to realization that we would once again be battling relegation. Then a change of manager before Christmas renewed the hope. I was there for the first game of the new year, a 2-0 win against Mirandés and a few draws later, it seemed like things would be a OK again. But then a dreadful run led to a couple of demonstrations with the captain, Héctor Yuste, taking a fair bit of stick from fans. At the last home game a lot of people gathered afterwards and it seemed that Brandon was sent out to reassure them. With just a handful of games left we are still to see the biggest outpouring of emotion yet, either huge elation or downright despair.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

Brandon Thomas, I believe, could be another Marco Asensio, going on to greater things, post life on the island. Although I hope he doesn’t leave of course. We also have a great talent from our B team, James Davis, a winger, he’s only played a handful of games but he looks a great prospect. He’s only 21.

If you could make one realistic signing for Mallorca this summer who would it be?

As far as signings go, it really depends what division we’re in next year. Segunda B seems like a wilderness so it could all be immaterial. There is one player however, who I would like to see at Son Moix, and that is Álex Fernández, a central midfielder at Elche. We had him on loan at Reading, from Espanyol, I really like his work rate and passion for his team, and his match day graphics on Twitter are just the best thing ever!

Finally, predicted finish for Mallorca?
 
I’m a bit superstitious so I’m not going to predict a finish. Just to say though: please stay up!

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