Kevin Prince Boateng happy about his bad boy image turnaround.

The name Kevin Prince Boateng mean different things to many people. His past in German football is a never ending story. Loathed by some for ending Ballack’s dream of playing for the Nationalmannschaft at the last world cup. All that is history as the prodigal son has finally come back to the Bundesliga.

In an interview with Kicker, Boateng bared his mind on so many issues. He is happy that the Schalke fans accepted him on his debut for the club against Leverkusen.

Also, three years away from the Bundesliga has made him mature. He said, “the stereotype with the bad boy image is closed.I have learned to focus on the job and in the process to respect other people and be happy myself.”

The public perception of his conduct was the main reason for his turnaround. He added,”i did not want to hear the but to my name any more. Based on the belief, a talented player..but.”

Boateng made a name in football circles for his fight against racism and he gave a five minute talk at the United Nations.

He looks forward to his next match against Mainz this weekend.

Picture courtesy of Eurosport.

Armin Veh decides to stay in Frankfurt.

The weeks of speculation over Armin Veh’s exit from Frankfurt to Schalke has come to an end. He has decided to extend his contract till end of June 2014.

Veh was forced to make a decision after immense pressure from Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke. Veh will sign the contract in a press conference on Teusday.

Veh was able to make up his mind for Frankfurt because the management decided to increase investment in procuring new players and keeping old players like Sebstien Jung.

Veh has been the coach of Eintracht Frankfurt since first of July 2011.

Ralf Rangnick resigns from Schalke 04 due to health reasons.

Schalke 04 annouced today that Ralf Rangnick,the coach,has resigned due to health reasons. Ralf Rangnick is quoted as saying,”based on a burn out syndrome,i am not in a position to lead the team.” He also said, “after a long thought,i felt that i need a break.”

Rangnick took over from Felix Magath in March this year.

Schalke will hold a press conference to give further details later in the day.

After the death of Robert Enke, most clubs in the Bundesliga now take burn out symptoms seriously. I wish Ralf Rangnick all the best in his recovery.

Felix Magath sacked but the drama is not over in Schalke.

The sack of Felix Magath as coach and manager of Schalke 04 put an end to weeks of speculation that all is not well in Schalke. Felix Magath replied through his lawyer,Ralf Höcker,that they are not aware of the sack. Hours later,Magath officially announced his resignation from Schalke 04.

The antecedents from the statements of Schalke and Felix Magath indicate a bitter divorce that might end in court. Schalke accuse Magath of transfer irregularities while Magath believe he did not do anything wrong. At stake is the financial compensation for Felix Magath which is put at 12 million Euros.

Magath came to Schalke with a mission to win the Bundesliga. In his first year, they finished second behind Bayern Munich. This season they are placed 10th in the league with the expectation of wining the FA cup. They also qualified for the quarter final of the champions league. He achieved modest success with Schalke.

The crisis between Magath and the supervisory board of Schalke has a lot to with the management style of Felix Magath. Peter Neururer put it bluntly when he said,“the things that Felix Magath destroyed as manager could not be repaired by Felix Magath as coach.”

Schalke 04 is a club with tradition but Magath could not identify closely with the club. He learned under coaches like Ernst Happel and Branko Zebec to be at arm’s length with his players and fans. His last-minute attempt to use Facebook to communicate with the fans was semi succesful.

In the coming days, i hope Schalke and Magath can settle their differences in peace.

Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick is back to Schalke as coach. I wish him goodluck.

Schalke thrashed in Kaiserslautern. Felix Magath is not amused.

How can one explain the current performance of schalke in the Bundesliga ? They are top in the champions league but flop in the Bundesliga. Their last match against Kaiserslautern in Betzenberg was a 0-5 humilation by Kaiserslautern.

The champions league may be the zenith of football but the Bundesliga is the height of egalitarianism. There are no longer big or small teams. Schalke has learnt a bitter lesson.

The last time Schalke lost by 0-5 margin was 19 years ago against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Felix Magath, the manager of Schalke is disappointed at the performance of the team. He said,”it is not explainable how a team that played in the champions league with only a change of position,three days later perform so poorly.” He promised there would be consequences. Already he has shortened the christmas holiday of the players.

Manuel Neuer, the goalkeeper who picked the ball five times from the net has already sound alarm bells. He said,”if we play every game like this, we would be relegated.”

Magath is under pressure to take drastic actions to avoid a repeat performance next time. A look at their next opponents in the league are no push over. Schalke will play against Bayern Munich, Mainz and Cologne.

Schalke fans are losing their patience. Some fans on saturday were already calling for “Magath raus”(Magath must go)

Marco Kurz, the manager of Kaiserslautern complemented his players for a wonderful performance, “we played with so much passion and heart.”

History will judge Magath, if his Wolfsburg model will ultimately work in Schalke. Sadly,time is not on his side.

It is crunch time in Bundesliga.

Who will be the Bundesliga champions this season ? It is a question followers of German football league have been asking. The top contenders for the title are Schalke 04 and FC Bayern Munich. Both teams are tied with 64 points. Bayern is presently in pole position because of superior goals difference.

Schalke manager, Felix Magath is confident,“Bayern will not win the remaining two matches.” Uli Hoeness,FC Bayern Munich president countered, “ they are trailing behind us and only hope that we stumble.”

As usual the Bundesliga is exciting because anything can happen. It is crunch time.

The remaining two matches for Bayern are against VFL Bochum and Hertha BSC. Bochum and Hertha are battling against relegation. They are not willing to go down without a fight. Time will tell if both matches would be easy as Arjen Robben, opined that Bayern needs to win both matches and they are champions.

Schalke will face Werder Bremen and 1.FSV Mainz 05. Bremen will try to defend their present third place when they play in Gelsenkirchen. Mainz 05, definitely aim to round up a good season under manager,Thomas Tuchel, at home against Schalke.

Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and VFB Stuttgart have their eyes set for Europe league.

On another note, Hamburg, sacked Bruno Labbadia yesterday. Hamburg lost woefully against Hoffenheim 1-5 last weekend. It was clear after the match that Labbadia had to go. Dieter Matz, a Hamburg expert, believes the players do not have an alibi anymore. Labbadia is gone but the problems remain the same.

Hamburg is a team without consistency in leadership both on and off the field. May be they should take a cue from next door neighbor St.Pauli. Holger Stanislawski, the manager of St. Pauli is a symbol of stability. St.Pauli look poised to play in the Bundesliga next season.

It is a given that Kaiserslautern are back in the Bundesliga. The other teams have to wait for at least one more match to know their fate.

Muslims protest against Schalke 04 Song.

Muslims are not amused over a Schalke 04 song with reference to Prophet Mohammed. The club song titled “White and Blue, How I Love You”, made reference in the third verse to Prophet Mohammed as follows, “Mohammed was a Prophet who doesn’t understand football but from all the beautiful colours he came up with blue and white.”

The song has been in existence since 1924. All Schalke 04 fans closely identify with the song. Even Felix Magath had to learn the song as part of his orientation.

Schalke 04 management takes the protest seriously. It is a good sign that they are not insensitive to the protests.

However, many people are curious why the sudden reaction to a song that is age old. A plausible answer might be ” the mounting resentment in Germany’s Muslim community after politicians were slow to condemn the murder of an Egyptian woman in a court in eastern Germany about a month ago.”

Muslims and Schalke fans need to seek a common ground to solve the impasse.

Can Gerald Asamoah make the cut at Schalke 04 with Felix Magath ?

The career of a soccer player is subject to variation. Sometimes, it is like a Roller-coaster. Gerald Asamoah is a veteran of so many battles. Most times, he survived the battles unscathed. But this time, can he survive the tough scrutiny of Felix Magath, popularly known as qualix ?

FC Schalke 04, participated in T-Home-Cup, last weekend with dismal results. They lost to FC Bayern and VFB Stuttgart. Conspicuously missing in the line up for Schalke 04 was Gerald Asamoah.

Magath,justified his absence with the excuse that he had some shortfalls. He also said in Der Westen, “If Asa  is not so good in an area, then he must work extra hard.” Is it a prelude for more things to come ?

Asamoah has a contract till 2011. He is the oldest serving player at Schalke. Presently, he has to contend for a place in the team with 4 other strikers.

No matter the outcome of his present battle, Asamoah’s service for Schalke through the years, is no mediocre attribute.