Archive for November, 2013
Onward And Upward With Fire In Their Souls

Ricardo and Ros may sound like a couple of 1980’s TV detectives but they nabbed the headlines with goals in another accomplished CD Tenerife win, this time 2-1 at home to Real Jaen. In the clash of the form teams Tenerife had the greater passion and hunger as every player pulled together and worked for the shirt.

Although it was difficult to single out any player, Suso was outstanding, Jaen must have been sick of the sight of him surging down the right, the only way they could stop him was to crunch him down or give him a shove. That last option was what opened the scoring as Servando gave Suso a blatant push as he powered into the penalty area. The penalty was given and Ricardo slotted it home for a 22nd minute lead, the defender was lucky not to get a second booking and a sending off.

It was good to see former Tenerife favourite Kitoko back in town, he looked a bit out of sorts at full back and went off to a generous round of applause shortly before half time with a muscle injury. His replacement Gaitan was hopeless, bet Jaen wish they had such versatile players as Tenerife, coach Alvaro Cervera was spot on again with his selection. Bruno and Aridane returned from injury and didn’t shy away from the action, Aridane was even spotted tracking back and defending.

Jona arrived with a nine goal reputation but some of his shooting was pretty hit and hope, there’s no way he could beat Roberto on his current form. Late in the opening half Cascon had a clear chance to equalize but as he hesitated Roberto took charge and punched the ball away. Ayoze was hustling as usual but was getting plenty of attention, early in the second half he was squeezed out by two defenders as he made a run for goal.

Jaen made the most of their best spell, a break on the left and a sharp inswinging ball was met by the head of Hugo Alvarez to level the scores. A double substitution had seen Ros and Rivero replace Ricardo and Cristo and it produced the goods. Rivero took control of the set pieces and swung in a perfect corner for Ros to glance past the keeper at the near post. It was richly deserved by Tenerife and Jaen fell apart, Alvarez must have been replaying his goal in his head, meanwhile his feet were all over the place and along with Gaitan they gave their goalie the jitters. A sloppy back pass invited Aridane but he couldn’t quite reach the ball and Alvarez gifted the ball to Suso, keeper Rene saved their blushes that time. Even in the final minutes Tenerife were pushing for more, Rivero curled a lovely corner just under the bar and it needed a helping hand over to avoid another goal. More of the same at Girona next Sunday will do nicely.



Horses For Courses Above Los Cristianos

The thunder of hooves, the clouds of dust, and the intricate skills of horse riders added a new chapter to my sporting memories as I enjoyed the Sortija de Caballos on the side of Montaña Chayofita.

For many it’s just that small mound above Los Cristianos beach with the unfinished building, many others like myself have used it as a nice warm up walk when the urge to go hiking comes knocking. But on this Saturday afternoon I wasn’t quite sure what I would find as I took the track just above the ring road. I imagined a parade and the odd race of a few horses but it was much better organized than that and backed by Arona Deportes.

A paddock area had been set up with horse boxes containing 20 horses eager to get out and stretch their legs. A few people I spoke to told me these events happen a lot in the north of Tenerife, the last being in Arafo. A partially built road was the track and on a frame set up over it there were small coloured ribbons to be plucked off in mid gallop. This was the main competition to be followed by straight forward races, riders registered at the announcer’s box where trophies awaited. It was more about the challenge than any big rewards but there was plenty of food to be won for the horses – well it was a big day for them too. A large snack and drink van was set up and helped the relaxed, friendly feel to the competition,

After plenty of warm up gallops the riders went down to the lower end of the hill  and charged up as the riders tried to snatch the ribbons in that brief spell they were reachable. It looked very difficult but some made light work of it. The horses looked wonderful, a mix of power and beauty and clearly well looked after.

There was a decent crowd, many of them obviously knew each other from similar events, a few curious walkers hung around to enjoy the spectacle, and hopefully some of the others had responded after seeing my preview in The Tenerife Weekly. I should imagine there was a good few drinks enjoyed later on as stories were swapped, for me it was a new experience and I will be looking out for future meetings.

Three Cheers For CD Marino And A Cup Of Bovril For CD Tenerife

Maybe 3-0 at home to UD Realejos was a little kind to CD Marino but it put them right back in the promotion frame. A clean sheet and another small but steady increase in the crowd made Sunday dinner slip down nicely.

For a bottom three side, Realejos from the north of Tenerife, were one of the best visitors so far this season – well at least until the ref sent off their playmaker Armiche late in the first half. The Marino forwards Balduino and Murci looked a bit slow in the first half, Realejos used the offside trap well and the linesman made it easier by giving them the benefit of the doubt again and again. Pulido did well down the right, an early run opened up the visiting defence but Coper was able to head the loose ball over.

Mendy was a new addition to the centre of the home defence and he looked good picking up any runners that got through. Realejos had their best chance from a break down their right, a good shot brought a sharp response from keeper Matias who stuck his boot out to clear. At the other end Murci was through as the goalie made contact and he went down, the ref wasn’t impressed enough to give a penalty and was just about right. Josito snatched at a good chance late in the half, his shot went straight to the goalies hand, just a little wider and it would have beat him.

The turning point came when the ref pulled a second yellow for Armiche, he was gone and so was any chance Realejos had of springing a shock. Pulido started the second half with a shot across the Realejos goal and Murci was too casual with a clear chance that he put over the bar. Fair play to the visitors for spirit, they forced Matias to make a full length push wide but it was one of only a few efforts on goal. Aaron Darias slipped into the right back slot from the bench and prompted plenty of raids down that side, it gave Murci a big boost and he drew a low save from Sosa.

The breakthrough had to come but it caught everyone out as Murci’s long range free kick left defenders and goalie standing. That was all the encouragement that Marino neeeded, a few minutes later Darias was again the provider as he drove in a hard cross that Murci met well with his head to double the lead. With barely a minute left defender Gil tackled Balduino in the box and although the striker went down it was difficult not to feel sorry for the keeper. Balduino showed no mercy and cracked the penalty high over the goalie and into the net.

Over in Numancia a coating of snow had to be cleared before the game against CD Tenerife. It looked perishing cold but that and the absence of injured players Aridane and Bruno didn’t detract from a well deserved 0-0 draw. Borja Perez was the target man and he did a good job and actually looked like a forward allowing Ayoze and later Suso to hassle the home defence and Rigo filled in comfortably for Bruno. Former Santa Cruz flops Natalio and Julio Alvarez whinged well but did little else and Roberto was again commanding in goal. Raul Camara was about the only player not to wear gloves or a long sleeved under shirt – he must have a bit of Geordie blood in him. Ayoze had several clear chances and Loro hit the bar but that’s five games now without defeat.


A Taste Of Winter As Tenerife Shines On

What is winter in Tenerife? It’s one of those days when a few dark clouds float around and I leave the beach for a bit of a wander. Las Galletas was calling with the promise of a coffee with the lovely Karen – who could refuse.

Streaming hot sunshine broke through as I headed down the hill into Los Cristianos, looking west to Roque del Conde it was all clear but further inland a few of the grey clouds huddled together to discuss events of the day. The big downpour the other weekend had certainly perked the flowers and plants up and topped up the reservoirs. The short bus trip to Las Galletas delivered me into a short passing shower, quite refreshing, the beach still had a scattering of people and the restaurants of Marina del Sur were busy as King Neptune stood guard with his shell guarding his modesty. I met Karen and we took a stroll out onto the marina walkway, the tide was low but plenty of boats were bobbing in the water.

Back along the promenade the bars were busy and onto the edge of the shopping area we found a nice spot for coffee in the full glare of the sun. Cutting through to Costa del Silencio the bathing statues made me laugh, I normally see them from the bus and poured scorn on Karen’s suggestion that they move around – too much strong cheese I thought. As we past by again the stoney faced bathers began their slow aquatic dance as water sloshed over the side of their pool, my chuckle muscles were in overdrive.

I grabbed a bus back to Los Cristianos with the late afternoon sun restored to its best and headed home, the newly planted poinsettias on my complex were a blaze of colour and a reminder that Christmas is racing in – aah mince pies in paradise, can’t beat it.


Rising Star In A Shining Constellation

What a versatile squad we have at CD Tenerife, Raul Camara continued to stamp his authority on his new left back role, Aitor Sanz plugged the centre of defence with ease and we were even able to overcome the tremendous drag factor of Borja Perez coming in for injured Aridane. But the biggest pleasure of all was to see Ayoze Perez shrugged off the transfer speculation of the week to set up the first and score a wondrous second in a 2-0 demolition of Eibar.

By all accounts Baden Powell is the only scout who is not beating a path to the Heliodoro door to drool over the skills and finishing of our 20 year old prospect, and he showed again that he is the ging gang goolies of the jamboree. As early as the 5th minute Ayoze unleashed a shot at goal that wasn’t far wide, Suso was starting, always a popular sight, and Tenerife settled into a nice rhythm. The loss of Bruno with a twist of his right ankle could have derailed the whole show but Inigo Ros came on to join the midfield as Aitor Sanz took his place alongside Carlos Ruiz, an inspired move from the coach.

Raul Navas was seething after his headed goal for Eibar was ruled out for a foul on Sanz – we breathed again. Suso was ready to take on the whole defence, there proved to be just one defender too many in his 38th minute run but it didn’t put him off. The flying winger brought the ball inside and a nice touch from Ayoze allowed Ros to tuck the ball in the net for his debut goal for CDT.

Eibar didn’t react well, their play became rough and angry as they tried to barge their way back into the games second half. Eizmendi missed the target but even when his team mates got a clear sight, Roberto was in top form in the air and on the ground. Ayoze produced his party piece in the 59th minute, the ball came to him just outside the box and he took his time to measure his shot perfectly over the hesitant defence and into the top corner of the goal – worth the entrance fee – and certainly another big hike on any possible transfer fee.

That was the game sewn up, it didn’t matter that the ref had gone card crazy or the Eibar players just plain crazy – Vera tried to pick a quarrel with a ball boy and Yuri blatantly caught a Sanz clearance as if he was an aspiring goalie. There was still time for Roberto to show a safe pair of hands to several hopeful shots but the final whistle brought a huge cheer from the 10, 198 crowd. Tenerife are out of the relegation zone and upwardly mobile, as for Ayoze, his star is still rising.


Ayoze Perez – International Man Of Destiny

Remember in the first Austin Powers film Dr Evil, recently thawed out after decades in suspended animation, threatens to destroy the world unless he gets – dramatic pause – one million dollars. All his henchmen and the NATO chiefs fall about laughing at his stupidly outdated valuation. That’s how I felt when hearing that CD Tenerife wouldn’t accept less than – dramatic pause – one million euros for Ayoze Perez.

It seems that Real Madrid are willing to give us minnows half a million euros and a few trimmings for Ayoze – hey throw us a fricking bone will you. It’s a shame to see Tenerife setting their sites so low, remember Sergio Canales a few seasons ago, he went from Racing to Real for 4.5 million euros and he was more of a midfielder. Then there was our former forward Frankowski (the Pole with no goal) who shortly before joining us had signed for Wolves for one million pounds, and he was bad, I mean very very bad and so short he had to stand on a chair to reach puberty. Goal scorers are the Holy Grail and you don’t sell that for chump change at the local boot sale.

Ayoze is 20 years old, has a fantastic scoring record in the youth and B team, and lest we forget he has jumped up 2 divisions in little over 6 months but is now showing his class at Segunda level. Speed, a great touch, and an eye for goal, just beef him up a bit and he will be even better – West Brom put the young Bryan Robson on a Mackeson diet to build him up.

Anyway, it’s probably inevitable that Ayoze will leave sooner or later and I don’t begrudge him more money and international prospects but let’s just make sure we get what he is worth and don’t just bow down to the big money boys – or President Concepcion may be cast as the biggest villain of all time.



Draw For CD Marino In Derby Full Of Thunder

Half hearted tackles were nowhere to be seen in this full bloodied local derby with two stings in the tail. CD Marino shared the points with Ibarra after a goal each in injury time but they will be regretting not turning their first half dominance into a strong lead.

The early morning rain subsided for the game but left a legacy of a fast greasy pitch as thunder rumbled around in the hills. The visitors from El Fraile made the early running with Angel on the left always ready to break but Marino soon imposed themselves and a deep cut back from Aaron at the byline found Balduino but his shot was saved by visiting goalie Fran. That was the start of a siege of the Ibarra goal, corners followed at regular intervals only the finishing touch was missing.

Alberto Noah looked keen to impress on his return to Marino and he linked well with Angel to give Ibarra a rare chance to test Matias in the home net. Lamiae, a former Ibarra player was in the Marino starting line up and he impressed me with his hard graft and strength in midfield, he never gave up on a ball and was there to support the attack when needed. There were some pretty hefty challenges going in but that’s what fans want to see in these near neighbour match ups.

The referee took a different view and in the second half he went card crazy booking anyone who even breathed heavily. Ibarra having weathered the storm came back into the game and Matias was called into action with a strong booted clearance and a good claim of a threatening ball. Josito had one of the games best chances when a cross found him at the far post but he couldn’t get his footwork sorted in time and the ball escaped him. Noah went for a cheeky chip at the Marino goal, his shot wasn’t far off target as it went over the bar. Marino felt aggrieved when the ref turned down their penalty appeal and after coach Sosa Espinel let the ref know his feelings he was banished to the stand for the rest of the game.

Both sides wanted the win, Balduino hooked a shot over the goal and at the other end Noah fired in a low drive with Matias partially unsighted but the keeper reacted well to collect the ball. Marci had been having a quiet game by his high standards but he showed his class in the final minute as he pounced on a defensive miss and steered the ball around the goalie and fallen defenders to score. That should have sealed it but the ref found five minutes of injury time to add on and when the ball broke down the left side Adan took his chance well with a precise shot to make it 1-1. Marino are still in fourth place and it was good to see a slightly bigger crowd with a good sprinkling of tourists.

Looking like a drowned rat I arrived at The Devon Arms to see the Alaves v CD Tenerife game with my pink clad heroes 2-0 down thanks to some poor defending. The cascade of rain in the south of Tenerife played havoc with the television picture but through the breaks I was pleased to see Tenerife fight back with another Ayoze goal and a last minute penalty from Loro after he was tripped in the box. Once again top marks to coach Alvaro Cervera, at 2-1 down he brought on Loro for Ricardo after 69 minutes and then sacrificed left back Camara for attacking midfielder Chechu with just 11 minutes to go.