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Roberto Di Matteo takes charge of Schalke 04

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Roberto Di Matteo has replaced Jens Keller as the manager of FC Schalke 04, the club has announced.

According to reports in Germany, the Royal Blues have removed Keller from his post following just two wins from their opening seven games leaving Schalke 11th in the Bundesliga.

Schalke’s commercial manager, Horst Heldt has spoken out following the recent switch. He told Deutsche Welle: “We hope that changing coaches will create a new dynamic at our club.

“We are convinced that Roberto Di Matteo will stabilize our team and that he will manage to achieve our goals in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.”

Di Matteo has signed a contract with the club staying in the Ruhr until June 2017.

Poor start

Their most recent 2-1 defeat to 1899 Hoffenheim proved to be the final straw for the Royal Blues board who have been disappointed with the slow start to the new season.

Schalke, who finished third last season, are already nine points behind the leaders and reigning champions, Bayern Munich.

Just a week before Keller’s final game, his side had triumphed in the Revierderby as they beat Borussia Dortmund, another club in crisis, 2-1. They also played Bayern Munich earlier this season and earned a draw.

Despite these results, Keller’s side has only won once at home and it has been their poor results against top four rivals, Hoffenheim and Borussia Monchengladbach that has let them down.

Their defeat to German third tier side, SG Dynamo Dresden in the DFB Pokal was another low point for Keller.

He becomes the second Bundesliga boss to lose his job after Mirko Slomka was sacked as the Hamburg boss last month.

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Di Matteo arrives in the Bundesliga

This is the Italian’s first job since being dismissed as the Chelsea manager in 2012. During his time with the Blues, who he will later face in the Champions League on 25th November, he guided the club to an FA Cup trophy and the Champions League title.

After a poor start to the following Champions League campaign, the 44 year-old was axed despite winning the European title just six months before.

Before managing at Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo managed West Bromwich Albion and MK Dons from League One.

Overall, the former Premier League boss has a good managerial record despite being out of job for the past two years.

From the 177 games that he has managed, Di Matteo has won 91 of those giving him a win percentage of 51%.

January transfer window

This latest managerial appointment has no reignited transfer speculation regarding two of the club’s prized possessions.

Both Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Julian Draxler have been linked with moves away from the Veltins-Arena, predominantly towards the Premier League.

Arsenal are particularly keen to sign the German International, Draxler and could be tempted to buy another forward following a weekend misfiring against Chelsea where they lost 2-0.

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Topics:
Chelsea
Roberto Di Matteo
Germany Football
Bundesliga
Football

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