They say that when you drown your past life flashes before your eyes, in CD Tenerife’s case it would be a parade of this season’s coaches, all wagging their fingers and saying I told you so. Former captain and local hero David Amaral from Arico was given the job during the week to try to awaken some pride and passion in the players but they didn’t deliver either in a depressing 1-0 home loss to Huesca.
The poison chalice has been passed to 5 coaches this season as CD Tenerife have slumped from one disaster to the next, this latest defeat has made relegation a near certainty with only 9 games remaining. The club is a mess at the moment, fans attacked the team bus last week as it returned from an away draw, police have been drafted in to stop fans from venting their anger at the training ground, 2 players came to blows in the dressing room a few weeks ago, and there are now reports that players have not been paid.
Looking on in disbelief, the majority of the regular 16,000 crowd have dug deeper after each setback and shown their support with colourful displays of noise and passion. At the start of the Huesca game there were notable gaps on the terraces, about 3,000 down on the norm, and by half time we were all repeating our most used phrase of the season that’s the worst performance I have ever seen.
The visitors played their part, spoilers from the start, they had come for a draw and wasted time at corners and throw ins and their players writhed in agony on the deck at every opportunity. Tenerife should have been desperate to claw their way out of the mire but they had few ideas beyond booting the ball high and long in the vague direction of lone striker Nino, one of our smallest players. The new coach had shuffled the pack and brought in some fringe players like left back Bellvis and at least the team didn’t defend as deep as in recent weeks but it’s the lack of heart and basic effort that really hurts the fans.
Neither keeper had a proper save to make in the first half, at least we were all able to top up our tans in the scorching sun and admire the quality of the grass as it grew. Things got worse in the second half, Huesca pinned Tenerife down for a full 10 minutes and we could all see that a goal was coming. Sure enough after 73 minutes Jokin had a free header to strike the killer blow. It was sad to see fans streaming out of the exits and the level of abuse directed at the players would have made Wayne Rooney blush.
There was a glimpse of the future as highly rated forward Josmar Zambrano was brought on for the final 12 minutes and looked lively. The youngster and his B team colleagues will inherit the starring roles next season when the dross have fled to other clubs and Tenerife adapt to semi pro football in the Segunda B, the third tier of Spanish football. Even that is not guaranteed, the clubs debts have been drastically reduced in the last 5 years but are still around 34 million euros, only the goodwill of the bank and guarantees from directors have kept that monster on a lead. Faced with a big drop in crowds and income next season debtors are getting twitchy, the CDT President is due to step down in June and the future is very unclear.
Players and coaches come and go but the hard core fans will stay loyal, on the coaches home after the defeat the mainly British Armada Sur fans were already keen for the next game and looking to the new grounds we can travel to next season. If only our current crop of players showed a small percentage of that love for the club. We wear our shirts with pride, the badge on the front is always bigger than the name on the back, the struggle continues.