Schalke’s 2-0 win against Rostock brought the miners who had traveled here three important points – also for Dimitrios Grammozis. But the game had more to offer than just the end result: the goalkeeping drama, the Langer injury, a disastrous first half and more.
A message that was already apparent on Friday and was confirmed on Saturday evening: Michael Langer will be seriously injured for the time being. The keeper tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee and had to be operated on accordingly.
Hardly any other player is spoken of so often when it comes to the important team spirit and a good climate in the dressing room. Even though Langer is rarely used than the usual third, most recently second goalkeeper, he is an important part of the squad for Schalke.
So you have to get by with two goalkeepers for the time being.
After the game, the team was cheering in the dressing room, with a Langer jersey in front of them. “Victory is for you,” it said.
There was also a personal message from club legend Mike Büskens: “We should dedicate the win to Michi Langer. Michi, get back on your feet quickly. We need you on the field, we need you in the dressing room. You live this club for 100 Percent.”
Until Friday noon when it was the image already reported, almost no one expected a goalkeeper change. Yes, there was a mistake against Karlsruhe and a poor opening by Ralf Fährmann. However, there were also several declarations of loyalty, an extended contract including a salary reduction – and a new number one, who was not even part of the squad in the previous four games.
Accordingly, the facial expression of the ferryman. Before the game and on the way to the bank, at halftime and after the final whistle: the 32-year-old was visibly disappointed.
“We’re in competitive football. I don’t line up based on contract duration or type, I have to make decisions,” said Dimitrios Grammozis after the game (via WAZ). Further: “That was not a decision against Fährmann, but for Martin Fraisl. He showed us in training that he really wants to be part of the team.”
Fraisl was sovereign in parades, but he was not 100 percent sure on opposing flanks. He had problems here and there with the ball on his foot. In summary, it can be said: purely in terms of performance, a ferryman assignment in this game would hardly have made any difference.
In the first half, Schalke was playfully dominated by the promoted team from Rostock. There is nothing to shake. The hosts quickly found their way into the game, while S04 acted very disorderly defensively and very harmlessly offensive.
Long balls were hit in situations that were outnumbered, a sensible division that could have provided some peace and order was looked for in vain. It was a playfully disastrous first 45 minutes.
Grammozis chose very flattering words in view of this performance: “I didn’t like the first half that much. We weren’t at it well, Hansa had more of the game.”
So there was nothing against the newcomer with an almost consistently sovereign appearance.
“Simon Terodde’s 1-0 win shortly before the break was something of a can opener for us,” said Grammozis. Once again it was Terodde who kept Schalke alive and in the game. Incredible: of the total of 13 league goals, ten were scored by him and two were prepared.
Without him, it can be said so boldly, Grammozis would have long since lost his job. He is and remains the best and most important transfer of the past summer.
And against Rostock it worked as it should at Schalke: a cross from the left, which he extended perfectly into the far corner with a flat header, and a perfect positional play when Mehmet-Can Aydin kept his nerve and put down a good cross again .
S04 is incredibly lucky with this: there is still so little play in the offensive that a Terodde – who can hit out of nowhere – is so important that it can hardly be put into words.
The Gelsenkirchen team have won three out of the last four games. Against Düsseldorf, against Paderborn and now against Rostock. They lost against Karlsruhe with a red card and after a shot on Sunday.
With these three sentences, the latest victory sounds like a clear upward trend for Schalke. And yet Grammozis continues to be criticized by fans. That is understandable and is of course not only due to the results.
The way S04 has been playing since matchday one will not be successful in the medium term. Almost without exception, every single point won was at least temporarily on the brink. A playful development, which is urgently needed, is still not recognizable.
With a strong squad, Schalke staggered almost from game to game, with very few major opportunities and hardly recognizable game or offensive structures. Sooner or later that won’t be enough. That is why the criticism is not aimed purely at Grammozis and not just on the here and now – but on the worries of reacting too late again.