Chen Yansheng looks into the mirror. It is a day he had hoped would never come. A lifetime in the cynical world of business should have taught him better. In his mind, he rehearses what he will say... This is the end, beautiful friend, of our elaborate plans, the end. He knows what he must do.
Two minutes later.
Chen hangs up the phone, takes a sip of water. I’ll never look into your eyes again, he thinks to himself. But experience has hardened his heart and, in any case, there is no time to waste. Looking back down at the phone, he types in P-a-b… The number pops up on screen and he dials without hesitation… Come on, baby, take a chance with us, and meet me at the back of the blue bus…
We woke up with a start after some weird scenes in our dreams last night… One more thing we’ve got to thank David Gallego for. All good things come to an end. Of course, they also have to start in the first place. David Gallego’s Espanyol stewardship is by our reckoning a good thing that might have been, but ultimately spluttered and winked out of existence before life could take hold. And so Chen must do what has to be done, or accept a change of destination from the latter stages of European competition to Segunda. Where monsters live. Monsters like Zaragoza, Gijón or Oviedo, who show that what goes down does not necessarily come back up.
Another toothless display from Espanyol in Mallorca yesterday saw them come away with exactly what they deserved: nothing. The fifth blank drawn in eight La Liga matches means bad luck and a demanding schedule are not sufficient as excuses. Mallorca, on the other hand, managed to score twice despite only creating one real chance. Budimir made sure the writing on the wall was nice and clear in the first half, before, with Calero taking an enforced day off after his antics against Valladolid, Lluís López and Víctor Sánchez proved themselves to be equally worthy sources of laughs. The former’s pass to Febas was topped off nicely by Víctor’s fresh-air swipe, which only lacked sound effects for maximum comic effect. Salva Sevilla was the latest beneficiary of the Espanyol defence’s philanthropic tendencies, ensuring Mallorca would leapfrog the blanc-i-blau in La Liga, leaving us in 19th position. If this is not condemning in itself, then the knowledge that it is exactly where we deserve to be, certainly is.
There are now two long weeks before round nine, when Santi Cazorla’s freewheeling entertainers from Villarreal will roll into town. To say we are not hopeful would be a grave understatement. Would a different coach definitely fare better? No. Could they do much worse? No.
Thumbs up: Corchia.
*Shakes head*: LLUÍS LÓPEZ, Naldo, Víctor Sánchez, Marc Roca, Granero, Wu Lei. And, of course, David Gallego.
Do you want to watch these highlights? No.
This is the end.