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Coach discussion: Kramer arouses more and more skepticism at Schalke

Bundesliga Trainerdiskussion

Kramer arouses more and more skepticism at Schalke

Despite catching up and outnumbered, Schalke loses important points against their competitor FC Augsburg. The criticism is now mainly focused on coach Frank Kramer. Because the appearance of his team could only convince combatively for long stretches.

WIf the stewards hadn’t opened up umbrellas and held them over him – Rafal Gikiewicz would have been soaking wet in the dressing room. After the 3-2 (0-2) win over Schalke, the FC Augsburg keeper was the target of beer mugs that were thrown in his direction. The anger of the Schalke supporters at the goalkeeper of the guests was great – they felt mocked by him. After the final whistle he made a provocative gesture in the direction of the north curve.

That’s not true, Gikiewicz claimed afterwards. “Anyone who watches the whole scene will see that I didn’t provoke the FC Schalke fans in any way. I was thrown at with a lighter. For my own protection, I held my arm up and picked up my towel and my water bottle,” wrote the Pole on Instagram.

However, Schalke’s captain Simon Terodde did not notice the lighter being thrown. The striker had also taken Gikiewicz’s arm movement as a malicious gesture – which is why he had jostled and yelled at the keeper.

“Everything was there to win,” says Schalke’s goalscorer Terodde

There was a lot of frustration for Schalke after their fourth defeat of the season – despite a remarkable comeback and a 28-minute superiority, they hadn’t managed to score points in this important duel against a direct competitor. “That’s bitter,” said Terodde: “We were completely there, the fans were there. Everything was there to win.”

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However, this was only partially true. In the end it was the Royal Blues themselves who lost their wages. Just when the opponent had weakened themselves with the yellow-red card against Mergim Berisha, the hosts acted far too hectic and headless.

The manner in which this defeat came about raises questions: Why didn’t Schalke manage to pull off an orderly majority game? Is it solely due to the manageable footballing quality of the team – there is a consensus on this in Gelsenkirchen? Or is it also related to a wrong approach by coach Frank Kramer?

bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-wWIDTH/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg" data-srcset="https://img.welt.de/img/sport/fussball/bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-w780/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg 1.0x" media="(min-width: 910px)">bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-wWIDTH/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg" data-srcset="https://img.welt.de/img/sport/fussball/bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-w680/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg 1.0x" media="(min-width: 600px)">bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-wWIDTH/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg" data-srcset="https://img.welt.de/img/sport/fussball/bundesliga/mobile241393243/7360247817-ci3x2l-w600/Borussia-Dortmund-FC-Schalke-04.jpg 1.0x">Under Kramer, the team is a completely normal climber who is probably playing against relegation.  Everyone at Schalke knew that.  But they hoped it would be different

Under Kramer, the team is a completely normal climber who is probably playing against relegation. Everyone at Schalke knew that. But they hoped it would be different

Source: dpa/Bernd Thissen

It is striking that in the eight games played so far, Schalke has mostly only been able to convince by fighting. Playfully, however, the air is extremely thin, which was also documented on Sunday. For a long time, Kramer’s team only played with long balls, and there was no sign of an orderly build-up. In addition, there were coordination problems on the defensive, which were mercilessly punished by the Augsburg team. First, Ermedin Demirovic was able to give FCA the lead with a flick, because Henning Matriciani, who had made a positional mistake, had unluckily deflected a cross ball from André Hahn (9th minute). Twelve minutes later, Demirovic was on the spot again – again after a previous confusion on the right side of Schalke defence.

The strongest Schalke phase followed: They forced themselves back into the game and once again demonstrated a good mentality. Dominick Drexler and Terrode played a one-two in the penalty area – and the goalscorer shortened it (33′). It was a hit that was just as well played as the 2:2 (63rd minute) when Drexler timed a counterattack to serve Tom Krauss, who had run with him. When Berisha was thrown off the field after throwing an elbow, Schalke wanted to turn the game around.

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However, pretty much everything went wrong with this attempt. Hustle and bustle spread, the ball was played forward too early without need – and mostly lost. Instead of dealing with the now weakened opponents, Schalke overdid it – and caught the decisive third goal when Hahn scored with a header (70th).

The fans want more courage from Kramer

“The boys were a bit restless, a bit too greedy,” said Kramer afterwards and protected his players. The will to win was just more pronounced than the patience that was appropriate in this phase, according to the coach. “They wanted to score the third goal directly and force it. I don’t think you can blame the boys for that,” explained Kramer. So it became an almost wild game: Instead of controlling the ball and the decimated opponent, the risk was unnecessarily increased. However, it was also noticeable that the coach did not succeed in influencing his team from the outside.

All of this should contribute to the fact that the skepticism that Kramer had met with Schalke from the start is now growing. Is his style, which is completely geared towards physical robustness, really so unalterable as the 50-year-old himself repeatedly emphasizes? Kramer has repeatedly caused discussions with his decisions in the past few weeks. The fans wish him more courage. Kramer left his playmaker Rodrigo Zalazar on the bench again on Sunday. The Uruguayan only came on after the break – which obviously did the Schalke game good.

The debate as to whether Kramer is still the right coach could quickly pick up speed in the coming weeks, because the schedule is not necessarily good for Schalke. Next Saturday we go to Leverkusen, followed by TSG Hoffenheim.

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Lucas Krzikalla

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