Archive for November, 2010
CD Tenerife’s Unseen Heroes Get Away Win And Leave Bottom Spot

Typical, the first away win of the season and it wasn’t on television. I got some odd looks as I leapt up and punched the air in the pizza parlour when Natalio (pic) made it 2-0 at Villareal B, they were oblivious of my radio feed via my MP3. I spent most of the second half sheltering from the first wave of the tropical storm battering Tenerife, but once the final whistle went I could only see blinding sunshine as I splashed through the puddles and torrential rain.

What a difference that win has made, now we are off the bottom of the Second Division in 19th, 4 places up from the last spot. Nino was again the main man scoring just on half time after Omar pounced on a defensive blunder to set him up. With nails being eaten as a side order to my pizza Natalio ensured the points with a last minute strike thanks to Nino’s cross. The only blemishes were 4 more yellow cards, Ricardo and Natalio will have to sit out next Sundays home game with Granada but hopefully the new confidence will continue to drive us up the table.

Calendar Girls And The Advent Of Christmas

It’s a dirty job following beautiful women around but sometimes I get a chance to do it. It was very pleasing this week to get a call from the media agency dealing with the Peroni calendar, to go to the launch in Santa Cruz. I thought they might be planning to tar and feather me after receiving the calendars from the printers only to find my blonde bonce intruding on the six months I saw being filmed in July here in Tenerife as I covered the photo shoot for Tenerife Magazine. Thankfully they were very welcoming, either I had kept a discreet distance or a lot of air brushing had been going on.

The launch was at the Circulo de Belles Artes gallery in Calle Castillo, the main shopping street of Santa Cruz and the lovely tight white clad Peroni girls were there smiling as I arrived. It was quite a small select media audience, I felt quite flattered to be invited, and there was a completed calendar on each of the 16 guest seats and a display of each months artwork around the walls. I recognised Cecilia Carbonero, brand manager of Peroni in the Canaries and the shoot photographer Alfonso Bravo (right) , and I was introduced to Luis Durango, head of corporate communications for Compania Cerveceria Canarias who make the wonderful Dorada and distribute Peroni.

After the speeches I thought it would be rude not to accept a bottle of the fine Italian beer to swig before wandering off into Santa Cruz with a very large calendar tucked under my arm. I had intended to do my usual exploring around the capital city and possibly up to La Laguna but not wanting to bend, fold, wrinkle or otherwise deface my prize I caught the bus back to Los Cristianos and deposited the calendar in the vault at Tenerife Magazine HQ next to the long lost painting of The Scream and a missing Constable – his sergeant is still looking for him.

A Lifeline Win But CD Tenerife Make The Nerves Jangle

It’s a real test of character watching CD Tenerife, you can’t relax for a moment, this 1-0 home win over Alcorcon was in doubt right until a shot over the Tenerife bar by the visitors in the third minute of injury time. Tenerife started so well and for the opening 25 minutes they looked to have found some style and rhythm but the old problems reared up again and it became a struggle.

With Luna suspended Melli returned to the centre of defence and thankfully Bertran camne through his injury scare, Nino had the first chance, flashing his shot across the Alcorcon goalmouth after 6 minutes. Natalio hit the post and Prieto failed to get a clean head to a hanging ball with the goal gaping in front of him.Alonso joined the near miss club with a glancing header and Ricardo missed a sitter from a corner.

This was good stuff, the passing was better and the purpose was evident but Tenerife eased off and let Alcorcon come into the game, they attacked in numbers and their big forwards led by David Sanz had the CDT defence on the run. The visitors were stronger physically and too often knocked Tenerife players off the ball, passing became sloppy again and Tenerife were also rans when it came to winning the ball. Borja tested Sergio who did well to smother his shot and half time arrived with worries growing among the 15,234 crowd.

Into the second half and Alcorcon clearly fancied their chances, Beranger is a liability at left back and he gifted the corner that had the home defence scrambling. The ball was driven across and beat Sergio, hit a post and teasingly rolled along the goal line before being cleared. It was anyone’s game at that point but Ricardo put a great ball into Nino who cut in behind the Alcorcon defence to make it 1-0 afer 54 minutes, a huge relief. The game was far from over, Sanchez skied a shot when he looked odds on to score, and Quini also managed to hit the post.

Hidalgo was brought on for Juanlu to give the attack more bite but a free kick threatened to undo Tenerife, Sergio although unsighted until the last second managed to pounce on the shot. Natalio made way for Kome as the game stretched on with Alcorcon determined to get a point for their efforts. The giant Sanz cloed down on the home goal but Sergio reacted well to puch the ball clear and Pablo Sicilia came on for the dying seconds and was as relieved as the rest of the stadium to see that last minute effort fly off target.

Winning is just the start, next week the poor away form gets another test at Villareal B who include for CDT reserve hotshot Airam in their side. Las Palma lost 4-2 at Salamanca on Saturday so jumping over them before they come calling in January should be a great incentive to put a run of results together.

Sergio The Hero As CD Tenerife Grab An Away Point

This 0-0 draw at Huesca was like going out with a super model and only getting a peck on the cheek, something to be pleased with but it could have been so much more. Coach Mandia shuffled the pack again, dropping Josmar to the bench and bringing back Beranger after his supension. Thankfully Sergio Aragoneses was back in goal and he showed again what a reliable keeper he is.

Tenerife started well, Alonso had a first minute break and Nino looked to be held off the ball as he sniffed at goal, Natalio raided on the right and put in a good cross for the little forward to head down but it went just wide. The sparse home crowd, just 2,900, had something to cheer as Molinero let loose a rasping shot but it cleared the Tenerife bar. It was a cold afternoon in northern Spain and Nino had his romper suit on under his kit but Huesca began to turn up the heat. Camacho looked dangerous and Luna had to make a brilliant sliding interception to snuff him out, Gilvan went close but Sergio blocked him and forced him to shoot into the side netting. Bernager left the door open and Sergio had to shine again with a finger tip save and the half closed with Camacho’s long range blast just missing the target.

Sergio was sharp as the second half started, a shot through a crowd of players was hidden from him until the last moment but he punched the ball clear. Huesca were threatening but Tenerife had their moments, Natalio beat three defenders and forced the home keeper to earn his money. There was a defensive blow when Marc Bertran limped off to be replaced by Melli in the centre of defence with Luna fuilling the captains role. Nino had the best chance of the game but couldn’t force the ball over the line as Huesca scooped it to safety and Julio Alvarez (above) struck a free kick strong and true only to see the keeper pick it out. It would have been nice to see Mandia gamble with an extra forward for the last 15 or 20 minutes but the bench sat tight until the closing minutes when Omar and Hidalgo came on for Julio and Juanlu. A point is something but in our rock bottom position it still felt like a very small step on the road to safety.

Glitter Boots And Flying Pigs At Rock Story

Shine On You Crazy Diamonds is not only my favourite Pink Floyd track, it’s also the perfect length for downing an illicit afternoon pint. I discovered that when working in an Oxford office, the pub was a short back door exit away and that jukebox track was the length of the afternoon tea break. Fast forward about 20 years and I had the pleasure of attending Rock Story at Exit Palace in San Eugenio, Abba, Pink Floyd and Queen tributes in one show. It was my first time at this Tenerife venue and I was impressed from the courtyard complete with fountain and bar, to the large circular hall fanning out from the stage.

I’m at that age now where I don’t have to worry about trying to appear trendy, so I can admit that I quite liked Abba and had a few of their records. Of course I was quite partial to the girls, Agnetha and Anni-Frid and the two ladies filling those roles were very attractive and good singers. Some of their constantly changing costumes were nicer than others but I was taken with the silver dresses with knee length glittering boots to match. There were 4 backing musicians instead of the bearded twosome and they did a fine job as all the hits paraded by.

After just over 40 minutes Abba went to meet their Waterloo and I went to meet the inside bar during the first break. I had feared extortionate captive audience prices but 3 euros for a pint of Reina wasn’t much dearer than the nearby bars in this part of Las Americas. Refreshed I took a pint back to my table just as the haunting opening of Is There Anybody Out There struck up, the stage burst into light and video screens and lasers came into play. A dancer/ acrobat at centre stage attached himself to a dangling hook and net and ascended slowly to girate in the cascade of light as the music played out. The band gave pleasing renditions of Money, Shine On You Crazy Diamonds and Wish You Were Here as the visuals held my attention, at one point an inflatable pig passed overhead, this one not destined to escape above Battersea as the original bands promotional stunt had. This tribute was part of a full show that ran elsewhere called The Pink Wall and they even managed to do a stunning re-enactment of Gerald Scarfes animated sexually charged plants thrusting and entwining to Empty Spaces. This involved two suspended acrobats in body stockings weaving their seemingly naked bodies far above the stage as the band gave the song its full passion. Another highpoint was a soaring performance by a female singer of The Great Gig In The Sky.

By the time The Wall was torn down and the next break arrived, I was ready for another pint. Returning to my place this time, who should come roaring down the aisle on a motorbike, Freddie Mercury, ready to launch into Queens back catalogue with the help of the rest of the surrogate monarchs. Suitably loud, proud and pruning like a peacock, Freddie led the way through Radio Ga Ga, It’s A Kinda Magic, Bohemian Rhapsody and many more. There was even time for a duet of Barcelona with a top notch diva scaling the high notes in place of Monserrat Caballe. It was all good stuff and lapped up by a decent sized audience, Abba and Queen delivered the goods but it was my Pink Floyd Greatest Hits CD that I reached for the next morning. Funnily enough my headache was shining on like a crazy diamond too.

CD Tenerife, Not Waving, Just Drowning

With beer, without beer, a different place for dinner, I even washed my lucky pants, I’ve tried everything to change fortunes for CD Tenerife but after this 2-0 home defeat to Nastic I have to admit we are crap, useless, gutless, and clueless. Anyway that’s enough flattery it was all that and more, another bumper crowd of 16,462 turned out expecting a win against another bottom three team, they had never won in Santa Cruz before.

There was a pre match set back with Sergio Aragoneses failing to shrug off a leg injury, so Luis Garcia (below)Â took over in goal and hardly had a thing to do in the first half. Gimnastic de Tarragona looked a poor side and were there for the taking but poor finishing scuppered Tenerife. Josmar started again and showed his skills but with him and Nino both being small they were easily smothered by tight defending from the visitors. Nino never gives up trying but needs someone to take the physical strain off him, despite that he had great chance on the break but put his shot over the bar. The two best opportunities fell to Josmar late in the first half but the youngster showed his inexperience by blasting wide when a cooler head was needed.

It just got worse in the second half, sloppy passing, no energy or ideas and even bringing on Natalio for Julio Alvarez failed to provide a spark. Nastic couldn’t believe their luck when CDT let them stroll through after 55 minutes to force a corner, Gerrado floated the ball across and Eloy smacked it in the net. Could it get worse? yes, what little fight was left in the Tenerife team drained away and it was painfull to watch. Nino worked hard and thought he had won a corner winning a lost ball near the line which Nastic forced out, the referee just gave a goal kick. The crowd was getting restless and frustrated now and a 85th minute goal from Moran sealed a 2-0 defeat and unleashed anger and venom directed at the lazy, unmotivated home players.

Difficult to know where to go from here, it’s beyond a change of coach, the players shouldn’t need telling about the basics like effort and marking. All eyes are already on the January transfer window but if sporting director Llorente is still picking the new arrivals we are in big trouble.

A Crispy Day In Las Galletas

All my fault, nothing to do with the weather, alien forces or Guy Fawkes bonfires. I looked at my broom and thought I really must sweep my balcony and of course that brought on a calima , hot dry sand and dust from the Sahara, hanging in the air adding a subtle filter to the blue sky to give a greenhouse effect. I strolled down to my 8.30 am swim to be met by a hair dryer blast and Guaza Mountain partly hiding in the increasing haze. The wind was gusting in little spurts so I decided to catch the bus just along the coast to the fishing village of Las Galletas as the small beach there is embraced by the marina and normally immune to large waves.

How remiss of me, seems like 8 months or so since I nipped over to this lovely village, and of course I noticed some changes. The beach had a yellow flag, almost unheard of in that back water, but there was little more than a ripple moving over the sea on the beach side. I took a stroll along the promenade of Avenida Simon Bolivar and that side was much livelier, no young surf dudes trying the small waves today but there was definately some power to them. Walking on into the back street area it was sad to see the gap on the front where several old houses were recently bulldozed, it just makes the ones left behind look even more unloved. Thankfully there is some new input, the low mosaic walls at key points add a nice touch and the tourist information office has had a makeover.

Heading into the Calle Central pedestrianised shoping area it was quiet and sedate as always so I found a nice shady spot to enjoy a coffee and a snack. There’s a lovely charm to Las Galletas and i felt guilty that I have neglected it lately. Moving back through the tight old streets the sun streamed through the gaps and I was suddenly wanting a P… or any other letter, the hezagonal pavement blocks always remind me of Blockbusters. La Rambla, runing adjacent to the sea front walk, is another lovely restful area strewn with benches along the palm lined avenue, a good afternoon snoozing spot.

After hitting the shingle beach for some vigourous swimming I ventured onto the Marina del Sur to see how it was faring. It was opened 2 years ago but is still not in full use, the Policia Local office is empty and the fishermans bright modern workspace is also untouched as they continue to trade from the old shacks at the front of the beach. At least a couple of the units are open as restaurants and bars overlooking the busy marina where the pontoons groan under a full load of pleasure boats and fishing craft. I walked around to the end where it justs out into the open sea and noticed that another new bar has opened complete with a small plaza to sit and enjoy the crescent shaped harbour.

Time to head back for Los Cristianos as the mountains were gradually rubbed out by the thickening calima. By the time i got home, my swimming towel needed just 30 minutes to become dry and crispy. Tomorrow looks like another dusty day, maybe my balcony will have to wait for its pending brush up.

It’s No Treat But Natalio Goal Does The Trick For CD Tenerife

We needed a win however ugly it was and this 1-0 home victory over Elche was a real minger. Neither team looked good and the referee was a clown with no control at all over the game. CD Tenerife are now off the bottom of the Segunda division and with fellow strugglers Nastic coming to call next Sunday there’s a chance to put a run together.

The day started well with a visit to the new CD Tenerife shop Soy del Tete in CC Fañabe Plaza. Nikki and Chris have worked hard to get it ready and with a nice spread of food laid on and a large cool box of beer the mood was jolly as many of the Armada Sur gathered. All the new CDT strip is in and lots of related leisure wear as well as Armada Sur gear. They open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and will be pleased to see you.

On to the main event and Josmar Zambrano was given his first start after a couple of impressive cameos after making late substitutions. From the start Elche looked like spoilers, their players went down at the slightest brush with a Tenerife player and the referee fell for all their theatrical rolling around. Josmar showed his skills beating 2 defenders and just failing to connect with Nino. The 18 year old always looks good on the ball but will have to learn to deal with the close attention his talent will attract, Elche set about roughing him up at every opportunity and the ref let them get on with it.

Palanca put in a testing cross that the Tenerife defence scrambled away and Prieto lost the ball to Linares who shot just wide much to the home fans relief. Josmar came close to getting his first goal but was foiled by the keeper and then in a farcical act Acciari clattered into him and then fell over himself and tried to milk it. CDT finished the first half stronger, Nino had a clear chance but Elche cleared it for a corner. Josmar was replaced by Juanlu after 54 minutes and linares continued to be the main threat from the visitors, he looked to be through on goal but Sergio made a brilliant save, tipping the ball up one handed and then grabbing it.

The CD Tenerife defence looked a bit better, Luna was back to something near his best form but a booking for Beranager means he will miss the next game. Former home player Angel shot wide for Elche just before Kome made way for Omar. Prieto did well to clear with a well timed header but it looked destined to be a bore draw. The big change came after 80 minutes as Natalio joined the action in place of Alvarez. His impact was almost immediate, pouncing on a rebound from a Juanlu shot to score and send the 16,000 crowd into raptures.