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Only Grammozis can stop S04

FC Schalke 04 have 16 games left to make up two places in the 2nd Bundesliga and thus secure a direct return to the top flight. If “only” third place jumps out in the end, the detour via relegation would be another option to climb again. But what are the chances after the winter preparations? How is the mood in the Royal Blues, what has happened in terms of personnel? sport.de does the check!

  • FC Schalke 04 under review: Form and mood

Everyone in the environment agrees: FC Schalke has now arrived in the second division and, with 30 points and fourth place, has achieved a starting position that leaves all possibilities open.

“We have important months ahead of us with a very exciting table constellation,” commented the new CEO Bernd Schröder on the status quo. Coach Dimitrios Grammozis, who will be in office for almost a year, got the team back on track in league two after a stuttering start and a major upheaval.

On the other hand, it was not ideal that the winter training camp had to be canceled at short notice. The miners actually wanted to travel to Belek, Turkey, but stayed at Berger Feld.

“The most important thing is that we prepare well,” said sporting director Rouven Schröder: “The club that brings the most healthy players onto the field increases the probability of being successful.” The team is also such a tight-knit bunch.

In the last endurance test before the start of the rest of the second half of the season, S04 drew 1-1 against Fortuna Sittard. However, Grammozis lacked many regulars against the penultimate team in the Eredivisie.

Overall, there is a positive atmosphere in the Schalke camp, even if the great euphoria has yet to be triggered. A renewed winning streak would certainly not hurt.

  • FC Schalke 04 in check: staff and transfers

A series of six wins from seven games brought Schalke forward in the fall. Simon Terodde also played a large part in this with his twelve goals in 14 games. After an injury break since November, the second division record scorer is available again for the restart against Holstein Kiel (Sunday from 1:30 p.m. in the LIVE ticker).

With Andreas Vindheim (Sparta Prague) brought on loan for the rest of the season, the right-back was strengthened and the week-long absence of Mehmet Aydin (thigh injury) compensated. There is also a new striker on Rouven Schröder’s shopping list.

Only midfield flop Dries Wouters, who was loaned out to KV Mechelen in his home country of Belgium until the end of the season, has been listed on the departure side. However, other professionals without great prospects are to follow, including Timo Becker and Marc Rzatkowski.

  • FC Schalke 04 in check: hopes and worries

There are plenty of hope in Gelsenkirchen: In addition to goalgetter Terodde, the four other summer signings Ko Itakura (central defense), Rodrigo Zalazar (central midfield), Thomas Ouwejan (left winger) and Marius Bülter (strike) are also suitable for higher tasks and goals already proven.

In general, the framework seems to be right, the squad is also prominently occupied in the second row for a second division team. A lot of stability has already been created, especially on the defensive.

Schalke guarantors of success: Ko Itakura and Thomas Ouwejan

However, FC Schalke is not without worries. The consistently high number of injuries and sick leave at the Ruhrpott-Verein is definitely problematic. Almost all top performers have been out for several games this season.

But the ongoing debate about coach Grammozis, who was and is always controversial in the environment, weighs more heavily. In particular, the German-Greek’s stubborn adherence to his 3-5-2 system generated resentment – allegedly also internally.

In addition, Grammozis’ future is still unclear. So far it seemed clear that the 43-year-old would be able to keep his post as head coach in the event of promotion thanks to an automatic extension of his expiring contract. However, according to “Sky” there is another piquant clause – and the possibility that Grammozis will have to take his hat off regardless of the return to the Bundesliga.

Grammozis should only be able to secure another commitment at Schalke if the goal of direct promotion and a continuation of the most recent football development are achieved.

  • FC Schalke 04 in check: conclusion and prognosis

Basically, the direction towards Schalke seems to be right. The team has found each other and recently acted on an equal footing against opponents from the top half of the table.

It will be exciting how Terodde and Co. will fight against the first four opponents Kiel, Aue, Regensburg and Düsseldorf. All are either in the relegation battle or are in poor form.

If Schalke manages to hide the constant discussions about Dimitrios Grammozis and maintain the promising approach of the last games before the winter break, a final placement between first and third place is feasible.

Heiko Lütkehus

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