Since the 2004 – 2005 season, Schalke 04 have been the Bundesliga runners-up three times, finished third on another three occasions, and earned two fourth-place results. This past season’s sixth place finish was relatively weak for the football club, but still merited a Europa League qualification. Furthermore, only two seasons in the past decade (2008 – 2009, when they dipped to eighth, and a fluke 2010 – 2011 season that ended in a 14th place finish) could be feasibly described as poor for Schalke 04. Keep reading this interesting and insightful Schalke 04 team profile to find out more about the ups and downs of this Bundesliga football club.
The wearers of the Schalke football shirt remain German football’s perpetual underdogs—dark horses who always seem to be getting close to the national championship title, but never actually winning it. Indeed, the Miners haven’t clinched the German Championship since 1958. That year, Schalke beat Hamburger SV to earn their seventh national title. Little did they know that it would be their last for more than 57 years.
The Last Five Years
Can 04 return to the top of the Bundesliga table, either with the 2015 – 2016 season or within the next few years? It’s hard to say, especially given the stranglehold that Bayern Munich seems to have on the top spot as of late. It doesn’t help, either, that the Miners’ last great season was 2009 – 2010—five years ago.
The 2009 – 2010 campaign ended with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga runner-up position—five points back from Bayern Munich. A runner-up finish in the DFL-Supercup—which they also lost to Bayern Munich—only sweetened the pot.
The 2010 – 2011 season, meanwhile, was the most bizarre in Miners history. On the one hand, the soccer club performed abysmally in the Bundesliga, ending the year with a record of 11 wins, seven draws, and 16 losses for an out-of-character 14th place finish. And yet, the poor performance—which left the soccer team 35 points behind league champions Borussia Dortmund—did not extend beyond the borders of the Bundesliga.
Indeed, in 2010 – 2011, Schalke 04 won both the DFB Pokal and the Supercup, and reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League—their best-ever performance in the continental competition. It was like the Schalke 04 soccer squad that was playing in the cup and continental matches was a completely different team than the one playing the league games.
Since then, 04 have made something of a comeback in the Bundesliga (coming in third in 2012 and 2014, and finishing fourth in 2013), but also failing to win any additional trophies in German or continental competition.
The 2014 – 2015 Campaign
While title hopes are never far in from the minds of Schalke supporters, right now fans in the Schalke away shirt 2015 – 2016 are mostly hoping that their football club can do better in 2015 – 2016 than they did in 2014 – 2015.
Indeed, the 2014 – 2015 campaign was one of the more disappointing seasons in recent Schalke 04 history. After a slow start, the soccer squad slowly ascended the Bundesliga standings table, eventually reaching as high as third place by February. But a dismal spring run—the Miners only won three of their final 14 games—dropped the football club to sixth place. The lukewarm performance led one-year manager Roberto Di Matteo to resign his post.
Now, the Miners will be coached by Andre Breitenreiter—a former manager of TSV Havelse and SC Paderborn. Breitenreiter will look to balance the talents of current Miners stars—such as midfielder Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar—with new transfers like Junior Caicara. But is Breitenreiter the right man for the job? Or does his status as Schalke’s 14th coach in a decade indicate a consistency problem at Veltins-Arena?
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