After picking up their first point of the season last week with an equaliser at home to Union Berlin (hardly something to get too excited about, but so low is the bar a the Veltins Arena right now, that anything other than a defeat is a treated as a major triumph), Schalke 04 entered the Revierderby game against Borussia Dortmund hoping to continue their upward trajectory (i.e. staying off the bottom of the Bundesliga). The talk beforehand was of needing a 200% improvement to get anything from this game.
Suffice it to say they fell well short of this as their local rivals strolled to a convincing 3-0 victory. Despite enjoying 77% possession in the first half BVB were unable to put Schalke’s goalkeeper under much pressure. That changed in the second half as Akanji, Haaland and Hummels all scored within 23 minutes to ensure Dortmund keep pace with Bayern Munich on 12 points, one behind RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga.
Any hopes that Manuel Baum would come in and provide a new manager bounce have proved sadly unfulfilled. The morale at Schalke, now 21 games without a win, remains at the lowest of low ebbs. Even one commentator at 11 Freunde, who hails from the Ruhr, but is no fan of Schalke (indeed he talks about how insufferable their fans can be) has urged people
to be sympathetic to the plight of the Traditionsverein from Gelsenkirchen.
Were it not for FSV Mainz 05’s even more woeful start to the season ( five defeats and conceding an average of three goals a game) Schalke would be rooted to the bottom of the table. The only saving grace is that they have played the top three in their first five games (albeit losing those by an aggregate score of 15-0) and that their schedule now gets a little easier. In a a very early season six pointer they travel to Mainz on 7th November. Now if they come home from that game empty handed, then there really is no hope.