Magath Has Some Explaining To Do After Kaiserslautern Drubbing

A Man Under Fire: Felix Magath.

Felix Magath’s side pulled off an impressive 3-0 win at home against Olympique Lyon in mid-week to secure their place in the Champions League round of sixteen. Finally, things were beginning to look up for the Konigsblauen. A weekend fixture away to Kaiserslautern was never going to be easy based on the home side’s form, but no one anticipated a 5-0 drubbing. I wonder what the odds were on that happening?

Schalke’s president, Clemens Tonnies, spoke to Bild about the disastrous result and the overall campaign so far:

“I am absolutely shocked by this result. For all the euphoria from the Champions League to be shattered by a newly-promoted team, that is a hammer blow. The coach and manager Felix Magath now has to explain how we get out of this. ?We are talking about the performance of the team. I have no worries about Schalke getting relegated. But I had and have a much higher expectation in Felix Magath than just survival.”

And who didn’t have much higher expectations for Schalke this season? It’s all come as a big shock to Bundesliga fans, many of whom expected Schalke to be challenging and maybe winning the title that they only just missed out on last season. Still, with the track record Felix Magath has, there’s no one better for the club right now than the man in charge. If anyone can dig them out of this hole, it’s him. Unfortunately, there are very few signs of that happening anytime soon.

In an attempt to turn the team’s fortunes around, Magath has cut Schalke’s winter break to just four days instead of the regular two weeks. His disciplinary style may not be what the team needs after so many disappointing defeats. A little time away from football might allow some of Schalke’s more mentally depleted players to take a breather and then return to the side with a clearer head and a lot more focus. That could all backfire for Felix Magath, but really, what hasn’t this season?

Many will criticize Magath for his side’s performances, but is it his fault if Christoph Metzelder concedes a penalty or fails to track a runner, or if Jermaine Jones and Jose Jurado fail to impress in midfield, or if Edu and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar fail to score? Some will say it absolutely is. He’s the one who buys the players, and so far many of them have failed to impress. Schalke paid 11 million Euros for Jurado and I expected a lot more from him than what he’s shown early on in his Bundesliga career. Huntelaar is a prolific goal-scorer, but only if he gets decent service from the midfield and he’s been rarely getting it at all this season.

Magath has also conceded that with the team doing so poorly, he may be fighting a losing battle in terms of keeping hold of some of Schalke’s top players, namely Manuel Neuer and Ivan Rakitic. That’s all bad news for Schalke supporters, and what’s worse? Borussia Dortmund are top of the league!

Are any of you readers big Schalke fans? What’s your take on Magath and the state of affairs at the club? Comments!

9 thoughts on “Magath Has Some Explaining To Do After Kaiserslautern Drubbing”

  1. Has there ever been a team that has advanced in or even won the champions league while being relegated in their home league? It would be funny to see Schalke in champions league next year and only in Bundesliga 2 at home. I don’t think it’s at all likely, but what’s happening with them already is pretty weird.

    As an American, I am disappointed to hear that Jermaine Jones is struggling. I had high hopes for him after seeing him in a couple of friendlies this summer.

    1. Jermaine Jones isn’t just struggling. He’s been diabolical lately. Magath’s demoted him to the reserves today. If you didn’t catch the Kaiserslautern game, see if you can find it for download or something because he had a really torrid time. He did look good in the summer, but I just don’t think he wants to be there anymore.

      I don’t think it’s ever happened. If they do get relegated, it’ll be a real black mark on Magath’s career.

      1. If he doesn’t want to be there, I’m sure there’s some MLS team who would love to have him. Not sure how he’d feel about taking a step down like that, but now that he’s been demoted to the Reserve Squad he might not have many better options.

  2. I don’t really know a lot about Schalke, but could this be another example of how you can’t just throw a high-priced team together and expect them to produce right away? Man City is only just starting to gel two years into their cash experiment, and while Real Madrid have been good, yesterday’s absolute demolition by Barcelona doesn’t say much for their approach.

  3. As an American living in Germany, and living in Kaiserslautern and being a team support and Club member, (for over 30 years) I am amazed at the fact that every print and broadcast report about the FCK/Schalke game has omitted any comment at all about how WELL Kaiserslautern played.

    It is all about poor Schalke and their shattered hopes for a top finish when Kaiserslautern, a “traditional” Bundesliga club from day one of the league in 1963 has had some hard times of their own having spent the past four years in the second league.

    The reporter of the televised finally came over to FCK’s side after their second goal Saturday and stayed with them the rest of the way citing several players for outstanding play.

    It is always good to see credit given where credit is due.


  4. As an American living in Germany, and living in Kaiserslautern and being a team support and Club member, (for over 30 years) I am amazed at the fact that every print and broadcast report about the FCK/Schalke game has omitted any comment at all about how WELL Kaiserslautern played.

    Hear hear! Glad to hear I’m not the only FCK supporter in these parts! I can’t argue with the newsworthiness of Magath’s arrogance costing him his job, but surely a fawning feature in Bild or Kicker is due for our Roten Teufel?

    Regardless, as I said elsewhere, we have 17 points from 14 games. Last season 33 points stayed up. We’re looking very good right now!

  5. I think Schalke’s struggles have a lot to do with selling off their defense this offseason. Gone are Westermann, Bordon, and Rafinha. I think Magath is the only person who thought Metzelder was on par with either Westermann or Bordon. And while Rafinha never showed a great desire to defend, he was exceptionally handy at bringing the ball forward and making good passes.

    1. Yeah of course, that’s a huge problem for them. It was up to Magath though, like you mentioned, to bring in new defenders. He’s the one who purchased Metzelder and Plestan amongst others, and it’s been all bad news since then. Uchida hasn’t looked too bad though!

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