As new details emerge about the player revolt that toppled head-coach Christian Groß, most of his coaching staff, and sporting director Jochen Schneider, German footballing legend Lothar Matthäus took the opportunity to sound off on the Schalke players in his weekly Sky Column.
|Lothar Matthäus.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Player grievances leading to the latest Schalke administrative turnover included many direct attacks on the coaching style of 66-year-old trainer Christian Groß. Complaints included the fact that Groß's training sessions were not modern enough, that Groß didn't prepare the players for their specific upcoming Bundesliga opponent, and that the elderly coach often mixed up player names and addressed many in the wrong language.
The fact that these exact accusations existed is not disputed. Trusted German football insiders such as 11freunde's Christoph Biermann and the Athletic's Raphael Honigstein. Which players actually approached club management isn't known. In an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, Groß did express regret for acquiring the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi, and Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Since then, it's been tacitly assumed that at least one of these players was involved.
Lothar Matthäus, evidently prepared to accept this assumption, railed on the trio in his most recent "This is how I see it" column for SkyGermany. Matthaüs spoke of a club "destroyed in a very short time" and reserved plenty of blame for all four coaches who have called the shots from the sideline this season and all those administrators charged with club management. Naturally, the portion of the piece that made the biggest waves in German footballing circles concerned his admonishment of the three (purported) troublemakers.
"The fact that the three newcomers led the rebellion exemplifies the chaos at Schalke," Matthäus wrote, "Of all people, the three of whom so much was expected, the three were supposed to elevate the rest and instill some class in the club have so far been totally disappointing, or, through lack of match fitness, haven't produced any manner of performance at all."
"Most likely, all three will leave at the end of the season," Matthäus continued, "and instead of tearing themselves apart for Schalke, they create still more turmoil."
Matthäus went on to concede that "more turmoil" at Schalke wasn't really possible and even suggested that the club might still find a way back to at least the relegation playoff place. Arithmetically speaking, the Königsblauen still remain alive with 11 league fixtures left to be played.