Frank Kramer and Rouven Schroder wrapped up their pre-match press conference yesterday and I had some takeaways from the Q&A with the media.
Maybe it's just me but the whole presser seemed tense and awkward. Sure, it is understandable considering the immense pressure the coach and the club feel during this difficult skid.
In the early minutes, Schroder interrupts Kramer to respond to a journalist (Robin Haag) when talking about on-trial player Timothée "Kollo" Kolodziejczak. Kramer looked surprised by the interruption. Perhaps Schroder noticed Kramer stumbling on how to respond. Either way, certainly an awkward exchange.
The tone in this presser was certainly defensive. It started with Schroder getting defensive about the on-trial Kollo. Naturally, it was going to be such a presser when a lot of the questions surrounded Kramer and his potential firing due to results like the Leverkusen match. With every question asked of Kramer, he was shorter and shorter in his responses regarding possible firing. He continually referred to "our sole focus is on the next match and anything outside of that we ignore."
Kramer too was defensive when asked why he isn't using the newer players like Mollet or Karaman more. He talked a lot about new players who need time to adapt to a new league and new country. Ironically Van Den Berg started after being at the club for only two days.
Schroder too came to Kramer's defense saying the issue was not the coach. He also called out Bild for their sensationalism reporting and conjuring up rumors that are categorically untrue.
What was evident is that both men continued the "we need to have a stronger attitude and mentality" over and over again.
It was nice to hear Kramer was open to switching to a back three instead of the back four. This was necessitated because of the many injuries at the back, but the fact he is flexible with this is a positive result.
Last season we mostly played in the 3-back system, and we were wildly successful. Kramer pointed out that in certain phases of the game, it would turn into a 5-back unit. Last season Thomas Ouwejan and Mehmet Can Aydin routinely helped out defensively and offensively. This is something we all have been clamoring to see again.
Kramer also explained how Hoffenheim currently use a similar system and uses a diamond midfield to play the open, playful style they do as a result. What Kramer failed to clearly explain was how he would change things tactically offensively, if at all, to start getting some scoring production. He was pressed on it by Eichmann from Sky. Coach seemed to tiptoe around the question quite vaguely.
It was an okay presser considering the pressure faced. Let's see if any changes are made tactically on either the defensive or offensive side of the game. Also, we will need to see if the team does come out with an improved attitude and Schalker mentality as Schroder and Kramer explained were crucial to our success.
We are the sole match this Friday night, so all eyes will be on Schalke and Frank Kramer. Let's see. Gluck auf!