Where’s the Hope?: In Schalke 04, anything that could go wrong does go wrong

where is the hope
At Schalke 04, anything that could go wrong does go wrong

The training camp in Belek could not have been worse for Bundesliga club Schalke 04. Hope of catching up is slim, and concerns about direct relegation at traditional club Gelsenkirchen are great.

You haven’t won a friendly yet, you’ve lost your best players and you’ve got serious injuries, there’s still no shortage of reinforcements: preparations for the rest of the season couldn’t have been worse for traditional giants FC Schalke 04. In training camp, the bottom of the Bundesliga table already wanted to He’s in the mood to catch up, but after ten days in Belek, Turkey, frustration sets in.

“It’s not possible. Everyone has the right to be on the field in the first competitive match. You can’t present yourself. Like this,” he scolded coach Thomas Reis after a 1–0 draw in a friendly match against second-division club 1. FC Nuremberg. Striker Kenan Karman even spoke of a “disaster”. The second half, in particular, infuriated the coach. “When you see something like that, it’s very upsetting. We take a look at ourselves, every player.” He was completely satisfied with the performance before the break, but he suffered from a lack of efficiency. “We had a very good disposition in terms of play and were always able to play forward. Like Zurich, we have to take the lead, but we can’t do that,” Reis was quoted as saying in Riversport.

The sports director praises the team

The optimism at Schalke, which took off after the upbeat signing of Reis, has faded again. The Royal Blues haven’t won a single one of the five test matches yet, opponents – including third tier VfL Osnabrück, bottom Swiss team FC Zurich, Rapid Vienna (all 2:2) and Hajduk Split (3:4) – have been before Doesn’t mean overwhelming. However, Peter Knappel emphasized “the team’s hard and good work. This is the basis on which we will go into the remaining 19 games stronger,” the athletic director summed up. However, the rest of the season is off to a rocky start. First, the Miners are a guest at Eintracht Frankfurt (21 January), three days later, Schalke 04 welcomes Champions League hopeful RB Leipzig. The gap to the landing place is already five points.

The sense of accomplishment in Saturday’s dress rehearsal against Werder Bremen will be even more important. However, in the opinion of their fans, the team needs reinforcements to stay in the league – and there is still a problem. So far, Schalke has only strengthened its defense with left back Jiri Oronen (Stade Brest) and defender Niklas Tower (Mainz 05 / Luan).

A very bitter failure

Another wing is required. “If we find the right player, we’ll strike,” said Knabel, who also admitted the transfer window “could have gone better.” In addition, important players such as striker Sebastian Poulter (suspected cruciate ligament rupture), six players Alex Krall (slipped disc), creative player Rodrigo Zalazar (metatarsal fracture) are likely missing for a long time. After all, Simon Terodde would like to extend his expired contract. The record goalscorer in the second division, but with the jamming of the Bundesliga, feels more comfortable in the House of Representatives. And Schalke doesn’t want to end there anymore.

However, he avoided an explicit commitment to the S04 on the downswing, but also noted that going overseas doesn’t necessarily appeal to him. “We kept getting weird requests,” Terodey said. “But so far I can only smile because I think the Bundesliga is so great.” At Schalke, however, membership in this league was once again hanging by a thread.

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