The promotion euphoria at FC Schalke 04 has long since given way to great disillusionment. In the meantime, fear is spreading again at S04. Coach Frank Kramer is at the center of the criticism. But is that justified?
It was a bit unusual that the public received a general yet pointed message from FC Schalke 04 on Saturday evening. “The performance of our team disappointed us immensely today. The coaching staff around Frank Kramer, the team, we are all challenged to show an improved performance in all respects against Hoffenheim,” it said.
So Frank Kramer has a final in the game against Hoffenheim next Friday, and these sentences do not allow any other interpretation. At least now, after the messed up start to the season and the recent 0:4 at Bayer Leverkusen, the euphoria after the resurgence has given way. Instead, restlessness and fear are spreading and the search for at least three even worse teams is driving the fans more than it should be after a good quarter of the season.
The presentation at the other crisis club in Leverkusen was not suitable for the demands in the Bundesliga. Bayer took advantage of the moment with the spirit of optimism around the new coach Xabi Alonso and, at least for this one game, already untied the knot that had formed weeks before. You could get a good impression of what is possible with this team.
And in return, an idea of what Schalke lack not only in this game, but fundamentally in the Bundesliga: speed, robustness, individual and playful quality and a comprehensible and implementable plan in all phases of the game.
FC Schalke 04: Frank Kramer is rightly criticized
This original coaching craft was at best sporadically recognizable in the last few weeks. The idea of playing long and therefore second balls with two powerful strikers and feeding Simon Terodde and Sebastian Polter with crosses proved to be unsuitable, as it had been against FC Augsburg the week before.
That’s why coach Kramer is rightly the focus of criticism and is now heavily counted – not only by the fans, but also indirectly by those responsible for the club. The clear and impersonal request of the press release cannot be interpreted otherwise.
However, it is also part of the truth that this team doesn’t seem to be able to do more than what has been shown so far. The fact that a few days ago in Rodrigo Zalazar one of the few creative players with a metatarsal fracture was lost for the rest of the year doesn’t make things any easier. Now more than ever fresh ideas are needed, perhaps a clear change of direction from the outside.
But more and more people are now doubting that, and during the second half in Leverkusen the fans’ expressions of dissatisfaction with the performance of the team and their coach could not be ignored.
FC Schalke 04: The mood threatens to change
In the first games of the season, the appearances were also manageable from a playful point of view, but there was still a little elation after promotion, and the fans also forgive their players the expected mistakes. Even a 1:6 at home against Union Berlin was accepted without much fanfare. Now, however, the moderate climate has changed and the mood threatens to change massively.
Rouven Schröder, otherwise a man of clear words, didn’t want to face the journalists’ questions after the game in the BayArena, instead the media department tried their somewhat crude communiqué. Not a particularly good sign for the coach, who should now be able to do in a few days what he only managed to do in nuances in the weeks before.
That seems like a suicide mission, but it fits the basic situation at Schalke. Of course, a lot came together in the first few games: a controversial dismissal, two missed penalties, bad luck and also inability. The game against Augsburg, which Schalke then failed after a good comeback and with one player more, cost not only a possible three points. It massively shook the belief that the turnaround could be achieved in this constellation.
FC Schalke 04: S04 squad has too many gaps
Schalke has one of the worse squads in the league, which is not in Bundesliga format in all positions, and they need a solid, sustainable game idea all the more urgently. Or something that could compensate for the many deficits beyond the virtues of struggle, commitment and passion. FC Schalke 04 cannot currently offer either. That is also, but not only, Kramer’s job.
But as always, Friday will be about the coach’s job. In the background, sports director Schröder will do his job and prepare for the more likely scenario that there will be no win against Hoffenheim either. Allegedly, Bochum’s ex-coach Thomas Reis, with whom the royal blues negotiated in the summer, is ready to succeed Kramer. But what to do if the performance is suddenly right again, but the result doesn’t match?
Schalke 04 is once again stuck in the well-known spiral and there is hardly any solution to the problems in sight. Even a change of coach would not change the structural problems of the financially strapped club or the squad. And where should you suddenly find a coach who can get so much more out of this team?
FC Schalke 04: The upcoming games from S04
|Friday October 14th||TSG Hoffenheim||VELTINS Arena, Gelsenkirchen||Bundesliga, 10th matchday|
|Tuesday 18 October||TSG Hoffenheim||PreZero Arena, Sinsheim||DFB Cup, 2nd round|
|Tuesday 19 October||Hertha BSC||Olympic Stadium, Berlin||Bundesliga, 11th matchday|