A memorable occasion, but a disappointing result

Last night saw many moments which people will remember for a very long time. FC Schalke 04, founded by miners, paid an emotional farewell to the coal mines in the Ruhr area before the game against Bayer Leverkusen.

FC Schalke 04 - Bayer Leverkusen

The most emotional moment of the evening was when the Schalke fans sang the “Steigerlied” alongside the mining tifo that was on display in the Nordkurve. It should have been the perfect pre-cursor to the Bundesliga match against Leverkusen, but instead there was an air of disappointment in the stadium after the game. The Royal Blues slipped to a 2-1 defeat – despite dominating in parts. “We wanted to put to in a performance to mark the occasion,” said head coach Domenico Tedesco, who wasn’t pleased with his team’s first-half efforts. “We were too sloppy and deserved to go 2-0 down.”

A lot of fight, no efficiency

Schalke showed what the club is all about in the second half, by fighting, showing a great spirit and playing with real passion. The team used the momentum from Haji Wright’s goal at the end of the first half and dominated the second period, creating a number of notable chances. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the vital equaliser. “Obviously we need to come to terms with this result first”, said sporting director Christian Heidel. “It’s an annoying defeat, we can’t deny that.”

The 55-year-old cannot accept people saying that the team didn’t fight enough. “I’m not sure why people are saying that the team didn’t give everything,” said Heidel. He felt that the main issue was the team not taking their chances. “Leverkusen only had three chances and scored twice. That was the difference between the sides.”

I understand why the fans are annoyed.

Ralf Fährmann

The first half of the 2018/19 season will end after the game against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday (22/12). The players will have to give their all once again, at least according to captain Ralf Fährmann. The keeper can fully understand why some fans are currently unhappy with the team’s league position. “I understand why the fans are annoyed – we are team who has high expectations,” said Fährmann, who is looking forward to a fresh start in the New Year. “We are currently in a bad run, so I think the winter break will do us the world of good”, said the 30-year-old.

The keeper was also quick to point how important the evening was important for everyone associated with Schalke and it would have been nice to have won the game for the fans and miners in attendance. “We have to improve in the next few games”, demanded Fährmann. The next chance to make things better will come on Saturday in Stuttgart.