US News Schalke receives Mainz: Between optimism and worries

16:20  05 march  2021
16:20  05 march  2021 Source:   90min.de

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The game between Schalke and Mainz is not only THE basement duel, but from Schalke's point of view also pioneering whether it could get even tighter in the relegation battle. Dimitrios Grammozis is about to make his first appearance as S04 coach, which means that some worries have not vanished into thin air, but are at least mixed with a little cautious optimism.

Beim letzten Aufeinandertreffen trennten sich Schalke und Mainz mit einem Remis | Pool/Getty Images © Provided by 90min At the last meeting, Schalke and Mainz parted with a draw | Pool / Getty Images

In the half-time of the game between the VfB Stuttgart and Schalke 04 you could have asked the blue and white supporters how many points this team will get over the rest of the season. On average, the answer would have been a middle, single-digit number. Now the club is facing the basement duel against Mainz 05 with a new coach who made a very nice first impression.

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Although nothing has changed in the meantime, except for the name of the trainer - no game, no outside insight - the points average that can still be expected for quite a few S04 fans should have increased. That's Schalke, that's the environment. Extremely emotional in all directions, within a few days of relegation with a maximum of two or three more points to the faint hope of being able to somehow manage to stay in the league.


⚽️ # S04 ? @ 1FSVMainz05

? 8.30 p.m.

# ⃣ # S04M05 pic.twitter.com/EV3w4PttUx

- FC Schalke 04 (@ s04) March 5, 2021

Before this Friday evening game, when the squires make the table 17. received, so there is a mixture of worry and a little optimism. And again these extremes emerge: With a victory the (actually already given) hope re-emerges that one could possibly move even closer to the relegation place. With a defeat this wish is finally history and you have to torment yourself through the rest of the season.

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Obvious weaknesses cannot be wiped away - Grammozis nevertheless provides some optimism and hope.

But first things first. Of course, the concerns revolve around the major weaknesses and problems of this season, which also seem to coincide with the second half of last year. At every nook and cranny, the Gelsenkircheners are the perfect example of a deserved relegation: hardly any scoring chances, and certainly not big chances. Goals conceded as far as the eye can see, a gross allergy to standard situations - both own and opponents - and the failure of various players .

Die Schalker Standardschwäche bildlich dargestellt | Alex Grimm/Getty Images © Alex Grimm / Getty Images Schalke's standard weakness pictured | Alex Grimm / Getty Images

All factors that speak clearly and unambiguously in favor of relegation. Dimitrios Grammozis has been there for two days now and can't just flip the famous switch with these weaknesses - especially not for the game against the zero five. Making suggestions for improvement here and there, rehearsing one or the other action, that's the greatest feeling.

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At the same time, the fact that Mainz has visibly improved and stabilized since the clear cut at the end of December also plays a role in the worries. Of course you couldn't march out of the relegation zone, but here and there points were scored, including those that you didn't expect. In between, the club was one point behind Schalke. Last weekend they could have won 15th place in the table.

Dimitrios Grammozis will beim S04 für etwas Optimismus sorgen | Pool/Getty Images © Pool / Getty Images Dimitrios Grammozis wants to provide some optimism with the S04 | Pool / Getty Images

So where does this touch of optimism come from that will accompany the bottom of the table in this game? Mainly from the change of coach, of course. Even if Grammozis, as already explained, has hardly changed anything in these two or three training units, it is the breath of fresh air from a (young) trainer who is apparently really interested in this task, which gives us some hope again.

The question will be whether this will also be carried over to the team. After all, this has a complicated and by no means to be underestimated task ahead of it, even if "only" the penultimate comes to the Veltins-Arena.

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