FC Schalke 04 is relegated from the Bundesliga: chronology of the 2022/23 season

Dhe FC Schalke 04 has been relegated from the Bundesliga for the fifth time. After a completely screwed up first half of the season, in which Schalke was already a distant bottom of the table, coach Thomas Reis had brought back the hope of staying in the class with his team. In the end, a good second half wasn’t enough. With two points behind the relegation place, Schalke, as penultimate, have to go back to the second division only a year after promotion.

“The relegation wasn’t sealed today, now we have to lick wounds and come out of it stronger,” said Reis after the courageous performance on Saturday at 2: 4 in Leipzig, where the Royal Blues had caught up a 0: 2 deficit in the meantime. “It was a reflection of this season,” said Reis, praising the way he performed.

But what were the Schalke key moments of this gripping and bitter season at the end? An overview:

Season start: Under new coach Frank Kramer, Schalke have lost two of their first five league games and drawn three times. That’s not bad for a promoted team, but above all the 1:6 against 1. FC Union Berlin gives an idea that hard times are coming for Gelsenkirchen.

First win: In the 3-1 duel in the Ruhr area with VfL Bochum on matchday 6, Schalke celebrated their first Bundesliga win since promotion. It is the last reason for joy for Schalke fans for a long time.

Autumn crisis and separation from Kramer: In the coming weeks, the Royal Blues will play desolately. After four league defeats and the 1: 5 cup defeat at TSG Hoffenheim, Kramer has to go. The now 51-year-old was viewed very critically in the Schalke environment and by many fans from the beginning of his tenure. The completely surprising resignation of sports director Rouven Schröder a week later caused additional unrest. The 47-year-old, who now works for RB Leipzig, had asked to leave Schalke before his contract expired for personal reasons.

Rice should fix it: On October 27, 2022, one day after Schröder’s withdrawal, Schalke announced Thomas Reis’ commitment. Schalke had already been interested in the then Bochum coach in the summer, but nothing came of a commitment. Reis is the seventh Schalke coach in two years.

Should the team also coach in the second division: Thomas Reis

Image: dpa

Slow start: The desired effect of the change of coach is initially a long time coming. Reis only wins one of his first six games as Schalke coach. At the latest after the frightening 1: 6 against Leipzig, many experts are certain: Schalke is the first to be relegated. After the first half of the season, the miners only have nine points and, as the bottom of the table, seven points behind the relegation place.

Hope returns: Despite the almost hopeless situation, Reis manages to stabilize the team. Before the start of the second half of the season against 1. FC Köln, several thousand fans prepare the team for the fight against relegation during training – sporting director Peter Knäbel calls the campaign a “great gift”. Cheered on by enthusiastic fans, Schalke then went unbeaten eight times. Emotional highlights are the 2:0 in the district duel with VfL Bochum and the 2:2 in the derby against archrival Borussia Dortmund. Schalke believe in themselves again.

Last-minute victories and bitter defeats: The fact that the morale is right and the team doesn’t give up is proven by victories that were no longer considered possible and sometimes spectacular. Against Werder Bremen (2:1) and at FSV Mainz 05 (3:2) Schalke wins with goals in added time. The miners also have to accept heavy defeats at FC Bayern Munich (0:6) and at SC Freiburg (0:4). After the 2-2 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt and the victory of competitor VfB Stuttgart in Mainz on matchday 33, one thing is certain: Schalke no longer has relegation in the season finale at RB Leipzig in their own hands.

The descent: Although Schalke lost 2:4 to the Saxons, they convinced the 10,000 fans who traveled with them with their “workman’s qualities” (rice). Knäbel was also full of praise: “I will say thank you to a lot of people who worked in the dressing room, who represented the club worthy on the pitch,” he said. The resurgence is the declared goal. “In Variant B, we already have a team from the contract portfolio that is absolutely impressive. We will try to further optimize it.”


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