NAfter a day, as beautiful as Wednesday evening, they had “up” Schalke been yearning for months. Anyone who only ever loses, most recently seven times in a row under old coach Frank Kramer and new coach Thomas Reis, thirsts for a sense of achievement like that in the wildly celebrated 1-0 home win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 through a goal by Simon Terodde (10th minute), who after months was again a recognizable goal scorer.
It was the overture to a game in which the Westphalians, after at least a promising performance in the 2-1 defeat in Bremen last Saturday, regained the courage with which they managed to return to the Bundesliga in May after a year in the second division . Carried by an audience that also on Wednesday provided atmospheric escort for the team fighting for every ball and acting courageously at all times, who increased their tally from a measly six to nine points and also raised hopes of finally being able to be competitive in the second half of the season.
The sign that emanated from this success against, however, weak-chested Mainz heralded new vitality and energy. Schalke’s progress was reflected in more substantial football and a fighting mood that reflected the new optimism Reis, previously shaken after seven defeats with VfL Bochum and two defeats in Schalke’s service, had undauntedly preached. The words were followed by deeds that the Main Franconian, who had settled in the Ruhr area (“I live the faith in the cabin”), had demanded before the duel with the Rheinhessen.
Marius Bülter, who missed the best chance to make it 2-0 in the 86th minute when he hit the post in front of the Mainz goal, described the change in Schalke’s attitude, which had previously been too defensive under Kramer, when looking at the new coach Reis : “He sets an example, we are much braver. We manage to create chances to get into the last third better. We defend more actively and win the balls further up the field.”
Lots of ingredients that the royal blues need to survive the relegation battle. The victory over Mainz should have been bigger, indicating an unresolved lack of coolness in front of the opponent’s goal.
What could complicate the way out of the relegation zone are the upcoming Schalke opponents: On Saturday (6:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky) the champions FC Bayern Munich will compete in the arena, and next year the first opponents will be Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig.
Until then, however, Schalke want to continue to strengthen their staff within the scope of the manageable possibilities – with fearless, demanding professionals who have exactly the attitude that Schalke now needs to achieve the class goal of staying in the class.
A Schalke player from yesterday helped with good performances at Olympique Marseille that fresh money came into the till. After 15 appearances by Amine Harit, the French are obliged to sign the Moroccan on loan for five million euros.