Schalke 04 has played a sobering season so far. In the team there are losers and winners of the season so far.
The first 15 matchdays ran for Schalke 04 anything but intoxicating. Unsurprisingly, Frank Kramer, whose appointment as head coach in the summer had already weakened the wave of euphoria, had to pack his things a long time ago.
Due to the series of defeats under him and thus wasted points, the royal blue had to go into the winter break as the bottom of the table. After all, there was under Thomas Rice important performance gains. Of course, that doesn’t make the starting position any easier.
One thing is clear: the previous one course of the season is more dangerous than encouraging. This also applies to some players who can be considered losers. Despite the sobering Bundesliga return so far, there have also been winners.
The previous losers at Schalke
1. Ralf Ferryman
What was already strongly indicated at the beginning of the season with the loan of Alexander Schwolow came as confirmation with the weak phase of the number one: Ralph Ferryman is definitely no longer a competitor for the post of regular goalkeeper.
The fact that Thomas Reis preferred to stick with him despite the Schwolow blunder instead of switching to ferryman was a clear sign of this.
It’s already clear: The 34-year-old will only come close to playing again, apart from injuries, if Schwolow has an even worse phase and actually becomes a risk for S04.
2. Thomas Ouwejan
Especially compared to the previous year, Thomas Ouwejan has lost a lot of positive influence. It may sound harsh at first to call him one of the losers of the season so far, but the first 15 matchdays have shown that the Dutchman is no longer playing as well.
But that is less due to his basic quality than to the unfortunate changes he made. As a classic left-back, he can no longer implement the offensive part so well, which already emphasized him more than the defensive part last season.
In addition, S04 played under Chandler with very little possession and almost no offense. All aspects that have weakened Ouwejan. Who knows how it will be under rice now…
3. Mehmet Aydin
While Mehmet-Can Aydin played quite a big role last year, he has only played 204 minutes in the league so far. Only once was he in the starting XI. His problem: While Cedric Brunner is (correctly) placed in his position, Kramer also considered Henning Matriciani to be stronger on the right.
So Aydin slipped. In the right midfield he hadn’t gotten any chances lately. Under Reis he might be able to recommend himself for more offensive tasks. After all, the new coach Matriciani no longer seems to see on the right. So he could become Brunner’s first substitute again and at least hope for substitutions.
4. Danny Latza
With the re-appointment as captain, there was still hope for Danny Latza in the pre-season that he would become Schalke’s regular in the Bundesliga.
The bitter reality: Both under Kramer and under Reis, the captain cannot go beyond substitutions – if he is allowed to play at all.
At 176 minutes, he has played even less than Aydin in the league. A more than clear comparison. Tom Krauss and Alex Kral are ahead of him in almost every respect and are now definitely well established. A small glimmer of hope: Reis seems to see him more as a substitute option than Florian Flick.
Schalke was hoping for a goal threat, speed and an invigorating element for the offensive from Jordan Larsson. So far he has not been able to contribute anything.
However, this is basically less his fault than the fault of the given circumstances. For most of the season so far, the Royal Blues have played almost entirely without the ball. Larsson was mostly only substituted on – and that when he was behind and with the task of primarily working against the ball.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he can’t exactly shine. The Swede will hopefully be able to prove himself again under Reis, who places much more value on fast outside players. Then he could become one of the winners of the coaching change.
The previous winners at Schalke
6. Tom Krauss
Without a doubt, Tom Krauss is one of the best Schalke players in the 15 games played. The player on loan, who is a S04 fan himself, quickly managed to win the hearts of many fans.
He goes ahead with a lot of commitment and passion. His ball recovery statistics show top values, even in international comparison. He is placed under both Kramer and Reis – which is no surprise.
7. Henning Matriciani
Before the season, no one would have expected Henning Matriciani to get as many appearances as he did in the end.
Although he was not particularly convincing as a right-back and has repeatedly shown that he is definitely not suitable for the top league in this role, he always gave his all.
Most recently, he was also able to prove that he is a trained central defender. He has performed well in the last three games before the current break. The fans even rewarded his performance against Mainz with a vote for player of the match.
8. Dominick Drexler
Although on a different level, Dominick Drexler – just like Matriciani – ultimately got significantly more assignments than could have been expected in the summer.
But rightly so. While Rodrigo Zalazar was injured and Florent Mollet was still a long way from starting XI, the 32-year-old generally did a solid job. Except for the games in which he was suspended or had to get rid of muscular problems, he also played on all other twelve matchdays – mostly from the start.
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This article was originally published on 90min.com/de as Schalke 04: The winners & losers of the season so far released.