“Now more than ever: Al-Thani, go now!” These were the chants circulating La Rosaleda during last Saturday night's game when Malaga fell to a seventh consecutive defeat and disappointed fans with a distinct lack of rhythm, intensity in the press and a lack of individual responsibility on the pitch.
Despite still mathematically possible with 30 points still to play for, supporters are resigned to the fact that their beloved team will drop into Segunda, reflected in the response from the terraces. “A shot at goal, we just want a shot at goal!” and “Rolán for the national team!”, as well as ironic “olés” during brief periods of possession, were just some of the sarcastic chants heard on the day. Others were much more clear-cut: “We are Malaga”, “Malaga belongs in Primera”, “Players: mercenaries” and “You don't deserve to wear the shirt”.
However, there was still no sign of owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani who has been in Qatar for almost a year, while the family's only representative, his son Nayef, was in a private box, behind glass, for his own safety.
Head coach José González for his part defended his players in his post-match press conference. He said: “We are where we are because of a collective lack of ability, not because of a lack of desire or hard work.”