35 away games without a win – before Schalke 04, only one club has managed that in the history of the Bundesliga. The 1: 2 in Bremen was still a little encouragement for the bottom of the table.
There is probably only one thing that annoys Bundesliga pros more than losing one game after the other: when the opponent first collects the points and then praises the losers in a friendly manner.
“To be honest, I found Schalke very good,” said Werder’s Mitchell Weiser on Saturday evening. Or: “I have to express my respect to Schalke,” as Bremen captain Marco Friedl put it somewhat awkwardly.
The FC Schalke 04 players could not buy anything for it. Because the 1:2 (0:1) defeat at Werder Bremen entered the statistics as the eighth competitive defeat in a row and above all as the setting of a sad Bundesliga record that Karlsruher SC had set in the past 41 years and three months held all alone: 35 away games without a win.
Descended and ascended together
In the last two games before the World Cup break at Mainz 05 (Wednesday, 8.30 p.m. / Sky) and against Bayern Munich (Saturday, 6.30 p.m. / Sky), the bottom of the table is already about not completely catching up with the non-relegation places to lose. “We are at the bottom of the table with six points, but something is still possible. This is a special task that is not easy,” said the new coach Thomas Reis in the ZDF “Sportstudio”.
Werder and Schalke have mostly moved in step in the recent past. In 2021, both were relegated from the Bundesliga, a year later, after twelve turbulent months in the second division, things went up again together. Since then, however, developments have diverged widely. After goals from Niclas Füllkrug (30th minute), Marvin Ducksch (76th) and Dominick Drexler (89th), the two teams are now separated by 15 points and 11 places in the table.
“It was a bit of a plus that Werder Bremen was able to keep the team together after promotion. They’re used to it, they were able to take the euphoria with them,” said Reis on Saturday evening. Two top scorers like Füllkrug and Ducksch, plus a clear game idea and a functioning axis with national players like Jiri Pavlenka and Milos Veljkovic: Schalke don’t have all that to offer.
Reis: We are capable of playing in the Bundesliga
On the contrary: After the change of coach from Frank Kramer to Thomas Reis, the club also has to find a new sports director and new players in the next few weeks to fix the quality problems in all parts of the team. And all this against the background that is now typical of Schalke, that the club actually has no money for it and had already brought in 15 players and lost 22 this summer.
After all, the bottom of the table is actually playing much better and more structured since Reis took over the coaching job from Frank Kramer on October 27th. “We showed today that the team is capable of playing in the Bundesliga,” said the former Bochum player after the sometimes convincing performance in Bremen. “I said straight to the team: That has to be the standard. It won’t work without it.”
Lamborghini at the Workers’ Club
In any case, Czech international Alex Kral said on Saturday evening: “We’re improving.” In the games against Mainz 05 and Bayern Munich he thinks “four points. And I think we really have a chance to get those points.”
So far, the 24-year-old has been suspect to many Schalke players because his life experience in Moscow and London, including the photos of his Lamborghini posted on social networks, did not really fit the Gelsenkirchen workers’ club. But in Bremen Kral was one of the best Schalke. And a bit of his carelessness can do little harm to the team in this difficult situation.