Cut out the mistakes
Schalke’s loss to Bayern Munich on Saturday evening was not an unfair result, but it could have been prevented. Annoyingly, Die Königsblauen yet again conceded the first goal from a set piece. Captain Ralf Fährmann knows that Schalke will have to knuckle down and work hard if they are to turn things around.
There’s been an annoying sense of déjà-vu about Schalke’s season so far. They have conceded the first goal of the match from a corner in three of their four Bundesliga games this season. James Rodriguez took advantage of some poor marking and headed Bayern in front in the eight minute. “We shouldn’t have let James score, he’s probably the weakest in the air at Bayern,” said Daniel Caligiuri. Ralf Fährmann agreed with him, saying: “If you concede against Bayern in open play, that’s down to their individual class, but it hurts conceding from a set piece.”
“We need to finish things off up front”
Schalke only settled into the game after they went 1-0 down. “We played well in the first half and we kept winning the ball back, but we should have done more,” said Sebastian Rudy. Caligiuri saw things the same way, but thought that Schalke were missing the final touch up front: “From the 20th minute onwards, we didn’t give them too many chances, but we need to apply the finishing touch up front,” said the Schalke man.
Time to press the reset button ahead of Freiburg
Bayern had no problems with their finishing touch, applying it in the 64th minute of the game – a Robert Lewandowski penalty. This leaves Schalke on zero points in the Bundesliga after four straight defeats. “Bayern deserved their victory,” said Christian Heidel, who doesn’t just put Die Königsblauen’s defeats down to bad luck: “We have certainly not been playing as well as we did last season.”
Heidel also emphasised that nobody would be playing down the current situation, which is obviously not what the club had planned to happen going into the season. He has “absolutely no doubt” that head coach Domenico Tedesco will get the situation under control. The important thing now is to press the reset button and start the season again against SC Freiburg on Tuesday. Caligiuri knows the difficulty of the task that lies ahead for Schalke: “It’ll be a tough game that we’ll have to give everything to win.” Fährmann believes that the team can get a positive result if they cut out the mistakes, adding that it’s important to stay positive and keep your head up. The goalkeeper is expecting “a brutally difficult game,” that Schalke will need to work hard to win. “We don’t need to do anything unbelievable; we just need to play simply. Now more than ever, we need to do what we’re good at and knuckle down.”