Three points from four games – that’s the miserable record of FC Schalke 04, who have been relegated from the first division, this season. Understandably, the calm in the royal blues is now over. Nevertheless, the words of sports director Hechelmann in the direction of coach Thomas Reis sound surprisingly hard and clear!
FC Schalke 04 has experienced a lot in its exciting, more than hundred-year-old roller coaster ride in football – and yet such a false start to the season is always a big annoyance, even for older, die-hard fans. And one of these Schalke players is probably right when he writes in a forum during these gloomy days: “Without us, the stove would have been long gone!” Because the eternal loyalty of the royal blue supporters has always been able to save this club from all valleys. Freely based on the legendary saying of the unforgettable “living mascot” of the S04, Charly Neumann: “In bad times you have to be Schalke. In good times we have enough of them.”
But that things would go down again so quickly – also in league 2 – very few fans had expected. Because after the good start after the winter break under the new coach Thomas Reis, many experts believed that FC Schalke 04 would be able to intervene in the promotion race on a solid basis from the start of the season.
But now it seems that the bloodletting in the summer was too big – and the key players may have been lost in order to start the season with a fixed hierarchy and a well-rehearsed axis. To make matters worse, the newcomers – apart from goalkeeper Marius Müller – have not yet played any significant role.
Sports director calls for success
Many fans of the S04 are therefore worried when looking at the near future. They obviously share these feelings with André Hechelmann, because Schalke’s sports director surprisingly made a public about-face after the disappointing results of the past few weeks. Even if he continues to say that there will be no “actionism” at Schalke, the Royal Blues will probably continue to be active on the transfer market after Tomas Kalas’ current commitment. It had sounded very different just a few days ago. But understandably there had been a course correction internally after the three defeats at the start of the second division.
But Hechelmann’s words to the coach are just as surprising as the zealous courtship for newcomers. Before the game against newly promoted and seventh-placed Wehen Wiesbaden, the sports director issues an initial ultimatum in the direction of Thomas Reis and his colleagues on the line: “The coaching team and the team are required to do a better job against Wiesbaden and a good one We need points before the international break, that’s what this week is all about.”
It is interesting how Hechelmann tries at the same time to shift the criticism of his work, which is certainly present in the environment, onto the shoulders of the coach and the team: “We are still absolutely convinced of our squad. At the same time, this brings with it clear expectations.”
Thomas Reis himself is trying to spread calm. It must have been clear to him before the start of the season that the composition of the squad and the reliance on many young players would not be without risk. It would be all the more important now that we move closer together at Schalke. But according to André Hechelmann, it doesn’t look like that this weekend.
Should things not go well next Saturday for FC Schalke 04 in Wiesbaden, who started well with seven points from the first four games, then it will be really uncomfortable for the Ernst Kuzorra Way 1. Because at the moment it seems that the club started the season a bit disoriented on too many levels. But no matter what happens in the next few days and weeks, FC Schalke 04 can always count on one thing: its fans. Even if they are understandably annoyed and worried about the (near) future.