Reuters Soccer Blog
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Schalke 04 had high hopes for the 2008/09 season but after only a few weeks it was clear the pre-season favourites, with only three wins in the first nine league matches, were just non-starters.
Coach Fred Rutten saw things go even worse as they were eliminated from the Champions League, then the UEFA Cup and were even dumped out of the German Cup by second-division Mainz.
Schalke fans, among the most fervent supporters in Germany, were fuming and demanding the sacking of manager Andreas Mueller and coach Fred Rutten. “Rutten Raus” and “Mueller Raus” chants taunted the pair in almost every match following the winter break.
Even when Schalke scored, their fans would jeer and whistle. Mueller was sent packing in March and a 2-1 defeat against Hamburg sealed Rutten’s fate as well.
I’ve blogged before about the wealth of youngish goalkeeping talent in the Bundesliga, a list headed by Rene Adler at Bayer Leverkusen, Manuel Neuer at Schalke and Bayern Munich’s new number one Michael Rensing.
While Adler remains first choice in Leverkusen, and Neuer will certainly regain the gloves from the 19-year-old Ralf Faehrmann as soon as he’s fit, Juergen Klinsmann might just be getting a bit worried about Rensing, who had a shocker in Bayern’s 5-2 defeat at home to Werder Bremen at the weekend.