Bundesliga
Schalke starts with low expectations: “It will be difficult”

Start of training FC Schalke 04

Schalke head coach Frank Kramer gives a speech to his team. Photo: Tim Rehbein/dpa

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Schalke 04 is preparing for another Bundesliga season. At the start of training, sports director Schröder swears the former top club to a tough struggle for existence.

A lot of euphoria, modest goals: Bundesliga heavyweight FC Schalke 04 is already present at the start of preparation for a difficult season after promotion.

Sporting director presented in a combative manner Rouven Schroeder on Wednesday after the first training session under new coach Frank Kramer, the around 1,000 supporters in the old Park Stadium repeatedly received the winning fist, but a short time later had a rather sobering message: “The year will be elementary difficult.”

The former Champions League permanent guest is after the brutal sporting descent in 2021 and the successful direct one resurgence in the coming season just for staying in the class. “We mustn’t move a millimeter away from our community,” Schröder continued: “We need them to get our points.”

His new coach Chandler, who was fired last season by Arminia Bielefeld, who was later relegated, still had an incomplete squad available on Wednesday. Of the eight new players so far, only five players were there at first. Among them the striker Sebastian Polter (31), who came from VfL Bochum and who, together with second division top scorer Simon Terodde (34), now also has to function in the Bundesliga.

“At the age of 31, I’m in the best footballer age, of course I’m hot,” said Polter, who had made a significant contribution to Bochum’s staying in the class with ten goals in the previous season. «Simon and Polti can play well together, »said Kramer about the two similar types of striker. “Polti is a wrecking ball and Simon is more of a creep,” is how the new Schalke coach characterized his storm duo. He still has to do without the attacking alternatives Marvin Pieringer and Marius Bülter. Bülter is still ailing, a rapid corona test at Pieringer was positive.

“We’re not at ‘Wünsch Dir Was’,” said Kramer to the unfinished squad. “But we know where we still have to do something.” We are still looking for reinforcements, especially for the defence. However, Schalke also have to save a lot after the resurgence. A lot will depend on whether and how quickly Schröder gets loaned players like Ozan Kabak, Rabbi Matondo and Amine Harit off the payroll. There is “great interest” in Kabak in particular, Schröder reported in “SportBild” (Wednesday).

His new coach also has to deal with the burden of being viewed critically by the Schalke supporters. The 50-year-old was in a good mood on Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to it. It makes your heart open, »said Kramer, who is also expected to finally calm down the goalkeeper question, which has been bothering the club since Alexander Nübel left two years ago. Alexander Schwolow was loaned out from Hertha BSC as the new number one, but he played a weak season in Berlin.

dpa