Peder And Oscar, Men Of Extraordinary Vision In Tenerife

You can take your ear plugs out now, I have stopped ranting about the oil rigs. My day in La Laguna and Santa Cruz did have some unexpected uplifting highlights. The odd spot of drizzle and some gusty wind wasn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm but it all perked up nicely when I popped into Parque Garcia Sanabria in Santa Cruz.

I knew the flower clock was back from Germany after a lengthy repair but there was a nice bonus, some of the palm trees just above the clock had informative panels built around them to explain more about the clock and its importance to Santa Cruz. In Spanish and English they paid tribute to Peder Christian Larsen, this inspiring Dane arrived originally as secretary to the Danish Consul and later took on the dual role as Consul to Denmark and Finland.

The donation of the flower clock, made by Swiss experts Favag, was just one contribution to Tenerife, he also helped to introduce a new Telex Siemens phone system to the island, co produced the first detailed tourist guide book, built the Santa Cruz outdoor swimming pool, and set up a Scandinavian shipping agency. His legacy also lives on in the south, he was instrumental in setting up Clinica Vintersol in the then fishing village of Los Cristianos, that was the building block for the tourism expansion of my home area.

Another palm tree revealed the world interest in flower clocks, they are as widespread as Australia and India, there is even one in Edinburgh. What an amazing man, and let’s not forget Garcia Sanabria, a former Santa Cruz mayor who recognized and nurtured the community spirit of Peder. On a more modern level, I was pleased to see the results of the latest restoration work in the park, the sculpted archway in the garden area has been cleaned up to show its stylish face, yet another reason to visit this wonderful park.

That seemed more than enough inspiration for one day but a brief visit to another favourite, TEA – Tenerife Espacio de Las Artes in Avenida San Sebastian brought another blessing. The lady on reception offered me a free entry ticket to the Oscar Dominguez exhibition “Between The Myth and the Dream”. I visited it around five years ago when it was an original display when TEA opened but I really like his surreal art so didn’t need asking twice. The great artist was born in La Laguna, his house there is now Café Oscar but when I first saw it the doorway was made like a sardine tin complete with a key at the top of the frame.

Tacoronte was another of Oscar’s homes and there is a nice little plaza there (above) with some artistic tributes to him and his former home is identified with great pride. TEA is a fantastic place to visit, just across from the “African Market” of La Recova, just the look of the building is enough to tweak your appreciation and it houses the huge library, a café, and a cinema. The work above is a self portrait of Oscar, well we have all felt like that in the morning, and one of many interesting pieces. Tenerife is very good at preserving the memory of those who have contributed to its culture, I was pleased to have found out more about just a few of them.


Oil Rigs Photo Bomb Santa Cruz

Shocked, downhearted, and generally cheesed off is not my normal reaction on arriving in Santa Cruz but walking out of the main bus station two monster oil rigs were staring across at me, and they looked horrendous.

It was just two months since my last visit when two rigs were moored some way beyond the port wall but now it looked like a good turn of speed down Avenida Tres de Mayo would enable a short leap over onto the platform square on to the road that drops down past El Corte Ingles and the bus station. All this must sound alarm bells as oil companies gear up to make test drillings off Lanzarote now that the Spanish government has granted permission.

One of my reasons for popping up to the capital was to check out preparations for the 25 July anniversary of Nelson’s defeat in 1797. Over the last couple of years 12 commemorative silver plates have been posted at key points of the battle in Santa Cruz and now five more have been added around Plaza de España and along the Via Litoral. This is where the road has been sent down a specially constructed subway tunnel to allow more pedestrian access to the city centre, the 48 million euro project started in 2009 and is nearing completion.

This scheme has opened up loads more leisure space and will draw cruise liner tourists into the heart of the capital. I have been very impressed over the last decade as the tram system, three floor bus station, and the new Plaza de España lake have given the city a modern, sleek look. The views are not so impressive at the moment, the two rigs, another lurks outside the port wall, stand taller than the Cabildo headquarters, Torre de Iglesia La Concepcion, and several other historic landmarks. Coming back down from a detour to La Laguna it was a similar story as the new arrivals dominated the skyline.

There’s a big protest movement to resist the drillings and Canary Island government calls for a referendum. The vote would have no legal power but it’s hoped a show of the strength of feeling may force a change of mind from Madrid, the Balaerics succeeded in seeing off the oil prospectors in their waters. For now though visitors will have to be more creative to find camera angles that show off the beauty of Santa Cruz without unsightly intruders.

Small Ripples From Beach Water Polo

For a relatively small beach they were certainly packing it in at Puerto Colon, the large inflatable icebergs were being swarmed over by eager young children and the sea was full of swimmers taking a cooling dip. But it was the fourth International Beach Water polo Tournament that had attracted me along the coast on a baking hot afternoon.

The floating court was set up on the far side of the bay just below the old El Faro nightclub and the dance music was belting out from the small admin tent set up on the sand. Publicity for this three day event was as ever shockingly poor and few of the sun bathers basking on the beach seemed to have any idea what was taking place although a few of the ladies were showing an interest in the fit swimmers taking to the water in their team coloured budgie smugglers.

During the training games I explored the viewing options on the rocks that reach out close to the court, last year at the Water Ski Racing championships the longer stretch of rocks by the harbour wall was the place to be. I was less than graceful picking my way over the uneven boulders but somehow kept my balance. Up on the side coastal path a steady flow of walkers stopped and took a curious look at the court near the mouth of the bay.

Once it was time for the games to start I thought they would use the PA system to inform and animate the beach users but apart from a few calls to the players it was all banging tunes. Games are played with four players and a goalie on each team over two ten minute halves, the sides had extra players for substitutions but they had to tread water just outside the court while the referee stood on a nearby rock and controlled the game. It’s a fast flowing sport with plenty of goals and hard to keep track of the scoring with no announcements, but the players team coloured caps and numbers helped to keep track of those taking part.

Back on the sand most were oblivious to the action taking place, the African ladies lounged in the shade offering hair braiding and the bars and restaurants were doing a steady trade in cooling down the sun worshippers. The driving force behind the contest was CN Echeyde, based in Santa Cruz, they play in the Spanish professional league. The contest was an ideal time to push their sport and maybe recruit some more players and fans but there wasn’t much there to encourage any of the curious. The action goes on through Saturday until 8pm and concludes on Sunday from 9 am until the grand final at 2 pm. I will be back for more and to see if it captures the imagination of the public and stirs them from their sun beds.

Arona Town, Where Nature Is In The Driving Seat

Hermano Pedro didn’t blink a stoney eyelid as his Arona town hall forecourt slowly began filling up with fired up rally cars. The church of San Antonio Abad remained majestic and unmoved as marshals cordoned off the Plaza del Cristo de La Salud. It takes more than the advent of the Subida Arona to La Escalona uphill race to ruffle this proud old town that is the spoke at the centre of the municipality’s administrative wheel.

I have used it many times in the past as a gateway to the fantastic walks that reach high up into the surrounding hills but took a little time this visit to wander around and breathe in the history. The 25 minute bus trip up from Los Cristianos is always a pleasure as the roads wind their way through La Camella and La Sabinita. The views out over the coast of Arona were a little hazy in the low oppressive cloud but their beauty shone through. I walked down the hill a little to a track overlooking thee barranco where the sound of cool gurgling water piped was the only noise. Back up near the bridge over the busy TF 51 I loitered a while in the Plaza Don Antonio Correa Rodriguez, an island of greenery with a volcano like fountain in the centre, surprisingly restful so near to the rushing traffic on the main road to Vilaflor.

Arona is a small town but tightly packed with a nice blend of the old and more recent housing, there’s hardly any employment there apart from the Ayuntamiento (council) and a few shops so it tends to empty out in the working day. Following another track out to the well signposted walking trails I could see the challenging side view of Roque del Conde, an old friend of mine along with Ifonche and both well overdue another hike. Another detour took me up to the old wash house of Los Lavaderos, now obsolete as concrete encased pipes feed the mountain water to more modern collecting points.

Back in the church square and the feeder streets the cars were assembling for checking, a day ahead of the two day event. All shapes and sizes were ready to release their inner tiger, this Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 of Garcia and Duran looked sleek and a born winner but sport loves an underdog. Like the annual fiestas, the race is something that catches the imagination of all Arona folk, young and old, many were stealing admiring glances at the machines as the bars revved up for a good weekend of takings.

I headed back down to the bus stop with time to cast an eye over the rather stark and modern Plaza La Paz opposite. It looks like a modern leisure area but gives a big tip of its hat to the origins as a replacement for the towns original cemetery. The large archway hints back at the old entrance and the shallow levels are marked out to represent the lay out of the 1840 site. The current layout was opened in 2011 long after the old cemetery relocated just down the hill to Montaña Frias, a small settlement clinging to a prominent hill. I passed that on my return bus as I made plans to return soon for some hill walking exercise.

Chopping For Tuna In Los Abrigos

Forget the little flakes staring up at you from a small round tin, this was the daddy of the tuna armada. When the chefs cut it open and showed a cross section of the body I was licking my lips like a starving moggy, tuna and salad cream sarnies were always my lunch break favourites at school. Best of all this monster of a fish was just a bit part player in the presentation of Granadilla de Abona’s Pescado Azul promotion. Blue fish don’t make naughty undersea DVD’s, but they are more oily around the muscles than the many other species that land up in the one year old Lonja Pesquera fish market in Los Abrigos.

Ask anyone in Tenerife where to get the best fish dishes and they will point you in the direction of Los Abrigos, a fabulous village just 30 minutes bus ride away from Los Cristianos. It looked beautiful and serene when I arrived early morning, several of the restaurants were advertising their special menus for the promotion that runs until 6 July and the Calle La Marina walk down to the quayside was dotted with a few people taking the air and enjoying a coffee.

The marquee area at the waters edge was bustling with activity as a stage cum kitchen was set up, tables were placed at discreet intervals, and bottles of locally produced wines were chilling in bowls of ice. It all got underway once the team of local chefs arrived with Juan Carlos Clemente taking charge as they unloaded the star tuna from its icy packed coffin and onto the worktop. Once the cutting up started I noticed a few guests faces going a little pale around the gills, thankfully we didn’t get something like the opening sequence on Quincy.

I never realized that a tuna could yield so many cuts of meat, they were all marked out for us, but then I was always puzzled how fish had fingers and cod had balls. As all this went on, the guest chefs cooked up some sample temptations using various sauces and spices and when they were finished the storage racks were raided for trays full of interesting earlier creations that the waiters passed around. My favourite was the Albondigas (meat balls) made from tuna in a tangy sauce. It would have been rude of me not to try the Granadilla de Abona wine that was being offered around, there didn’t seem to be any pint glasses so I settled for the smaller pourings of white and red, both impressed me.

The promotion runs until 6 July in El Medano and Chimiche as well as in Los Abrigos with a total of 10 restaurants offering special meals built around blue fish, mackerel, sardines, and chicharros are also included. If fish really is good for the brain I live in hope that my mornings nibbles might knock a few years wear and tear off my gray matter.

Los Cristianos Sunday Market Is Wide Open

Some might call it an ill wind that has brought some good and some would say it’s a welcome wind of change but either way Avenida de Londres is the new home (at least for now) of the Los Cristianos Sunday market.
Even in the less scorching winter months the popular collection of around 600 stalls at the Los Tarajales end of the old beach could get very claustrophobic and sweaty. Rumblings of discontent from the Arona Ayuntamiento grew louder until the original market was shut down on Sunday 8 June 2014. There were so many diverse objections pitched up you could be forgiven for thinking the council just wanted it closed no matter what. The trading area had reportedly spilled out over the original boundaries, there were health and safety issues over access, and inadequate toilet facilities, so the council claimed.

After the closure many doubted it would return but a lot of hard work and lobbying by the organizers, including a demo outside the town hall, brought a swift compromise and last week (15 June) it reopened at short notice a short walk away going up the hill between the two roundabouts beside Victoria Court. So with the second week under way I nipped down for a look around, the first thing I noticed coming down the hill was an ambulance and a cluster of mobile toilets, clear signing, and wide spaces between the rows of stalls. It seems it would not just be the traders breathing easier.

For those who haven’t indulged, it’s pretty standard fare, cheap replica fashion and sports clothes, watches, electronic gadgets, hats, and more Aloe Vera than you can shake a plant at. Everybody loves a bargain, particularly in these hard times, and it’s also the thrill of the chase, elbows working overtime as some good old fashioned rummaging takes place. I expected to see bargain bins of Spain and England World Cup souvenirs, you probably couldn’t give them away now. It was so nice to be able to stroll up and down the stalls with room to perform a lavish musical number if you so wished. The breeze was very welcome and down each side there were breaks in the stalls so people could dip out at easily to grab the shade of the palm trees.

Each intersection was clearly marked, there were market officials identified by their t-shirts to offer help, and one of the nearby apartment blocks was doing a roaring trade in cold drinks and snacks. I spoke to a few friends who were working stalls and they were pleased with the new set up, some of them must have sweated pounds off at the old site. They also told me that pretty much all of the former stall holders had got themselves a new pitch.

The only cloud on the horizon is the uncertainty, they have a provisional agreement for 6 months but there is still talk of returning to base camp or being closed again. With less than a year to go until the local elections, councilors are trying to be all things to all people, and will be keen to please the various nationalities working the stalls and also keep local bars and restaurants happy with their big boom day of the week. For now though it looks like an improvement to an outsider like me, you can check it out for yourself from 9 am to 2 pm every week.

Coasting Along As Tenerife Summer Turns Up The Heat

Even that big blue wobbly thing called the sea has its moods and stages, I try to keep an eye on the Tenerife coast as there are always subtle changes going on. This week my travels centered on the south east part of the island and as always, it was a pleasure.

There are still plenty of places to explore so I finally got around to checking out Abades to Poris, a section I regularly pass on the bus to Santa Cruz. It looks quite and sleepy from the TF1 motorway partially due to the abandoned church that is highlighted against the sea beyond. I found it had plenty to offer during a two hour visit that included the old leper colony and the Punta Abona lighthouse. There’s an in depth look coming soon, and I’m sure I will going back to dig a little bit deeper.

Los Cristianos is my home and it’s easy to slip into the same daily route so it was good to swing out a little wider past Los Tarajales beach, the promised makeover has been a running joke for at least 15 years. There’s not much wrong with it, we need a raw, wild beach, Las Vistas and Los Cristianos beaches are more than enough to hold all the sun and sand lovers. Standing on the rough shingle beach near Montaña Guaza I could appreciate the wild beauty and the view across the main sweep of Los Cristianos. Another walk up the mountain must be on the cards soon, the views from there are wonderful.

El Medano was overdue a visit so I headed down there and as soon as I got off the bus I could see the council had been busy. The main plaza has been leveled, no more big steps, and the old stage has been removed, also the clutter at the back has been removed and new artificial grass laid to give a clear view of the sea and Hotel Medano with its pier. I nearly walked into a private office, just realizing in time that the cramped Tourist Information Office has upped sticks and settled in a bigger home at the back of the plaza. It was nearly full tide so the main beach was reduced to its smallest width of sand as the waves rolled in. I was a few days ahead of the big triathlon and showers were being set up like a car wash for swimmers to pass through after the opening 1.5 kms through the waves.

The wind has played a big part in sculpting the sandstone coves of El Medano and it was blowing strong, over at the sandy expanse of Los Balos the kite surfers were riding high and dominating over the few wind surfers. A walk round to the other side of the bay and round the headland exposed me to stronger winds at El Cabezo where I cover the World Windsurf Gran Prix each year. More work had been done here with yellow paving slabs being installed, just a little tweak but it made a difference. My stroll allowed the tide to subside a little so I could go back to Leocadio Mochado beach and into the sea from one of the coves revealed by the retreating tide. It was wonderfully refreshing as I swam to the pier and back to claim my towel and clothes, stashed on a rocky shelf. There was no doubt the old El Medano magic was still there, now where to go next week.

World Cup 1990 The Italian Job

Here we go again on the World Cup finals roller coaster, for me it always brings back memories of Italia 90 and a few days of pure magic. I dug out this report, written pre France 1998, and was shocked to think it refers to 24 years ago when I was a young slip of a lad.
Competitions were always a hobby for me and I had a decent strike rate but even better than the chance of winning a years supply of semolina pudding was a Fiat World Cup competition run with Fox FM, a local Oxford radio station. The questions were easy multiple choice with the answers contained on the entry pack so I had low expectations of winning through the large response. I nearly fell off my office chair when Fox FM rang me at work and asked an easy tie breaker. I couldn’t believe how obvious the answer was and hesitated for what seemed like an eternity before being told “Your off to Italy”. I managed not to swear to their listeners but did cause quite a commotion at work.

The deal was a four day trip to a game involving England or Scotland and the waiting for details was agonizing but a week later the confirmation letter arrived. I was going with a friend to Sardinia to see England v Egypt in the last group game. The flight from Luton was at 7am, so me and Nigel thought it best to go up the day before and stay at a cheap B & B for an early start. We arrived for opening time and toured the area, via many pubs, seeking a cheap place to stay but by 10pm we were still in a pub and gave in to a taxi to the airport and splashed out on a nearby hotel.
The early alarm rudely awoke us for a frantic walk down the road to an assembly point in time to meet the other 50 or so winners to pose for a lethargic group publicity shot. As the plane rose above the clouds we also gradually rose above our hangovers, and the warm sun that kissed us as we disembarked in Cagliari dispelled any lingering after effects. The coach to the hotel complex took the driver half an hour and the brochure we had poured over hardly did it justice. It was just two floors high and spread out among green lawns. A stroll through a super cooled lobby brought us to a large circular bar, half inside and half out facing a large pool. After dumping bags it had to be beer, mmm this could be fun, no cash up front, it would all appear on a room tab before leaving. Onward and out by the pool, over a lawn, through a small gate and there it was, a deserted, private, sandy beach, stretching several miles in each direction and within a few seconds of the bar – absolute heaven.

The next couple of days were a relaxed mixture of swimming, drinking, and exploring. We were fairly isolated but a few hundred yards down the coast was a camp site where many casual traveling fans had settled overlooked by a large contingent of the infamous carabinieri. Stories were circulating about the young trigger happy conscripts blowing away any fans who dared to even breathe heavily – thankfully they were just stories. The England camp was nearby up in the hills but it was hot enough to discourage the curious from paying a social call. Buses passed our slip road packed to the roof so it was a rag tag, strung out procession of England’s finest ambassadors that trailed into town each day along a busy, pavement less road.
Cagliari itself had plenty to offer. On it’s fringes were small shops and bars all awash with ever souvenir imaginable of Italia 90. The locals were, on the whole, pleased to see us as tourism was just about their main income. A few of us went into the heart of the town alongside the harbour and took the long hike to the ground to have a sneak preview. It was fairly new and impressive and it seemed strange to turn a corner only to be confronted by three large BBC outside broadcast vans. The authorities decreed that all bars would close in town 24 hours before the game, a decision, we were told, that was met with anger by the local bar owners. So it came to pass on the last trip to town the return bus was full of clanking bottle and crate laden fans, wisely and openly stocking up for the drought. I was disgusted to find that a bottle I had bought to drink on the bus was alcohol free.
At the hotel our traditional early evening pasta meal was followed by a frantic last drinking session at the bar with the manager, a Basil Fawlty look and behave alike, seeming to keep track of the slips of paper that recorded the ever growing tabs. Then came match day. It was a slow relaxed build up around the pool as we waited for our afternoon coaches to take us to the ground. Before we left the hotel it was time to settle the bills, the printouts showed alarmingly large numbers of Lira but after conversion most were pretty reasonable. However one middle aged couple were having a domestic, she queried the bill as they had only made a few phone calls, hubby looked sheepishly at the floor before admitting he may have wandered down for the odd beer after she had gone to sleep.

We must have looked a frightening sight as we boarded the coaches in our silly coloured shorts and football shirts with regulation blotchy sun burn. We had been given strict instructions not to take things that could be construed as offensive weapons, such as keys, coins, and combs. On arrival at the stadiums far flung car park we were escorted for the 15 minute walk to the gates where we were frisked. The young Carabinieri seemed almost embarrassed by the fuss, many posed for photographs with us and our home made banners. Once inside we found ourselves grouped together in a corner with a great view, a few thousand England regulars to our left were in full voice. Away in the other corner of the ground was a small group of a few hundred Egypt fans complete with their own brass band. Large metallic musical instruments obviously could not cause ass much damage as keys, coins, and combs.
After the formalities, kick off was soon upon us and we proudly joined in the singing with the main body of England fans, even though the game was nothing to sing about. An embarrassing draw was looming but thankfully Mark Wright, an Oxford boy, came to the rescue with a fine soaring header. In one motion he rescued not only our mood, but also our entire World Cup campaign. Suddenly the songs were of celebration and relief. “Let’s all have a disco” they sang, in previous games it had been “let’s go down the disco” as an alternative to watching poor football. It took ages for our escorts to march us to our coach, and even longer to negotiate the traffic out of the stadium. Back at the hotel everyone slipped quietly away only to re-emerge a few minutes later with their secret stashes of hidden, illicit alcohol.

It was party time around the pool, our singing was loud and boisterous and soon attracted the attention of the carabinieri patrolling the beach, wary of the nearby campsite. They arrived, struck a few menacing poses, but soon sat down smiling when offered a drink and a good natured night followed.
My thirst earlier in the day had depleted my stocks and I ran out of beer quickly. However a few with an eye to our prompt getaway the next morning, retired early leaving plenty off spirits which I helped to dispose of. Overcome with emotion, my legs became a bit wobbly and I was helped to the hotel lobby by a couple of kind carabinieri – a photo opportunity too good for Nigel to miss. The next morning was hazy. Barely five minutes after my awakening, I had packed and boarded the coach. Most of the trip to the airport was spent with my head firmly bowed as we passed through the barren countryside. The flight was smooth and punctual and my emergence from the mists coincided with our onward arrival at Reading station. A couple of good English pints in the nearby pub gave me time to reflect and check my souvenirs. More by luck than planning, I had remembered to add them to my case. I just hoped the players had enjoyed themselves as much as I had.

Granadilla Tenerife Sur Can Almost Taste The Promotion Cake

They came by the cart load to see the new football heroines of the south Granadilla Tenerife Sur grab a 2-1 lead over Fundacion Albacete in the first leg of the play off final for promotion to La Liga. The timing was perfect as this was the day of the big local Romeria, we noticed that fact as we overtook a barn on wheels full of party people in full Canarian costume. The traditional homage to San Antonio de Abad was put on hold for a few hours as around 1,000 people enjoyed the free entry to the stadium.

Just inside the stadium gates everyone was given a large crusty loaf from game sponsors Tarteria, I would have been just as happy with a little tart. The sponsors also had a man dressed as a pink cake who spent much of the game being chased up and down the terracing by a man with a megaphone, I think they were local internet pranksters Rudy Y Ruyman.

It was refreshing to see both teams play such good flowing football, it was pretty even early on before GTS cut open the Albacete defence to set up Maria Jose Perez for a neat finish. The cousin of CD Tenerife’s Ayoze was delighted to be back in action after a crunching leg injury in the Canarian Championship final and celebrated with her team mates. The human cake got a bit carried away and ran onto the pitch, the referee had a word with the home officials but wisely didn’t take any further action, come on how would he explain it in his match report.

Albacete backed by a large section of fans, came back strongly and pinned Granadilla down, the defence did well but with five minutes to the break a strong header at the far post tied the score. That left the home coach, Andres Clavijo, plenty to think about at half time as the crowd enjoyed the party atmosphere with the beer flowing and a couple of drummers providing the beat. My loaf was in danger of becoming toast as the sun scorched down, I was still waiting for someone to bring the fishes to go with it. People were sat on vantage points high up on the surrounding half finished buildings and the return of the players was greeted with a roar.

Albacete had ended the first half on top but Granadilla looked determined in the second half as they used the wings well, Reichel, the main striker was a constant threat to the visiting defence as they were kept under sustained pressure. It paid off as a hurried clearance produced a hand ball in the box, the referee didn’t hesitate and pointed to the spot, up stepped Maria Jose Perez to convert the penalty and spark wild celebrations. There was still plenty to do with the away leg to come, the home squad has plenty of depth, they signed three players from Catalan side Sant Gabriel at the end of the regular season and they used their subs well to keep the team fresh. The players collapsed exhausted at the final whistle but the slender lead gives Granadilla an excellent chance to achieve their dream away next weekend.



Black Slick Of Defeat Washes Over CD Tenerife Season

With nothing to play for the pressure was off for CD Tenerife, time to emerge from the shadow of six straight 1-0 defeats. Time to repay the fans for their unstinting loyalty while the club became a laughing stock following a mid season of quality and promise. What did we get though, a half hearted 0-3 surrender at Sporting Gijon, the players looked like they had just emerged from Tuesdays Mahou brewery visit. Key players like Edgar and Ricardo were suspended and Ayoze didn’t even bother to travel this week as his move to Newcastle has been rubber stamped.

The fringe players should have grabbed their chance to impress but in the first minute goalie Diego Divas dropped a high ball under pressure and was lucky to get a second chance. Then the normally reliable Carlos Ruiz was slow and timid to let Lekic waltz round him and fire a second minute touch in to make it 1-0. When the second goal went in after 15 minutes, this time from Carmona, I suppose it was a change from single goal deficits but it still depressed me.
Tenerife managed a mini revival, a Loro free kick just cleared the bar, and Aridane spurned the best chance when he headed the ball down and wide in front of goal. Just after the half hour Ruiz confirmed his worst display for the team as he gave up the ball to Carmona who set up Scepovic to make it 3-0. We were watching amid several TVs in The Phoenix in Los Abrigos and by this point Britain’s Got Talent was actually starting to look appealing.

Half time swaps of Alberto for Ruiz, and Ayoze Diaz for Camara made little difference, Sporting were toying with us, a cheeky long shot went oh so close and if Sporting hadn’t relaxed the total would have risen. Borja came on for Cristo after 63 minutes, surely his farewell run, Aridane proved too slow to convert a good pass into a shot, and the juggling dog on the other TV was showing more control. The final whistle put us out of our misery, seven games without a win, and 641 minutes without a goal, whichever way you slice it, that is a dismal epitaph to the season.