Schalke announced their fifth manager of the season on Tuesday. It is about a stranger, Dimitrios Grammozis, whose objective is an impossible mission: save from relegation a team that has only reaped 9 points in 23 days and, with 11 to play, is another 9 from salvation.
Much has to change Schalke to work the miracle as they have only achieved one win in 39 days, including the last 16 of last season.
But Grammozis takes up the challenge after Swiss Christian Gross was fired on Sunday. Sign until 2022, if he avoids relegation, and has nothing to lose this 42-year-old coach who during his active time played 143 games in the Bundesliga with the shirts of Hamburg, Kaiserslautern and Cologne and was a youth international with the Greek team.
He has only trained in lower categories
Born in Germany, Grammozis has so far only managed in lower categories: Bochum youth in 2015 and Darmstadt from February 2019 to June 2020. Since then he was without a bench and on Friday he will make his Bundesliga debut as a coach hosting Mainz , penultimate in the table, in a game that, if won, would give a glimmer of hope to the Schalke fans.
“We are convinced that with Dimitrios Grammozis we have found the right coach for the last third of the season,” says Peter Knäbel, Schalke’s new sporting director after his predecessor Jochen Schneider was also fired.
“We all know the sports situation, but there are still 11 league games left and we want to be as successful as possible. Dimitrios is the right choice for that ”, remarked Knäbel.
The four previous technicians
David Wagner, hired in July 2019, started the season on the Schalke bench but was fired last September. Manuel Baum relieved him although he did not spend three months in office when he was relieved in December. Huub Stevens spent just 4 days as interim and Christian Gross was in command of the historic Gelsenkirchen team until he was fired on Sunday after the debacle the day before against Stuttgart (5-1).
A win that, within a deep restructuring, also cost the position of sports director Jochen Schneider, team coordinator Sascha Riether, physical preperator Werner Leuthard and assistant coach Rainer Widmayer.