Roberto Di Matteo appointment is a smart move by Schalke 04

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From the industrial town of Gelsenkirchen where the grand club of Schalke 04 is situated to all over Germany and beyond, Royal Blues fans would have woke on Tuesday morning in both shock and sheer delirium.

Indeed, the paradox of news greeting Schalke fans the world over on Tuesday should come more of a blessing, with any feelings of aftershock blending into a blue wave of optimism.

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At just before 7am, GTM, on Tuesday, news broke that the Royal Blues had taken the decision to sack manager, Jens Keller following the club’s dismal start to the 2014-15 Bundesliga campaign, which saw Schalke having just picked two wins out of their last seven league fixtures.

Although, the vast majority of managers are relieved of their duties on the back of several months of poor results alongside both fan and player revolts, a large contingency would agree that Keller didn’t deserve to lose his job.

Having taken over from Huub Stevens after an equally as disastrous start to the 2012-13 Bundesliga campaign, Keller was thrown in at the deep end that December, and somehow managed to turn things around, guiding the club to a final fourth place.

Indeed, the 43 year old manager was able to build upon his promising first season in charge at the helm and lead Schalke to a comfortable third place in the season just gone.

Although with president, Clemens Tönnies, and the rest of the Schalke hierarchy keen to build upon their previous two promising campaigns, the club’s shake and bake start to the current campaign left Keller as a dead man walking, even despite his best efforts.

Although there is content summarising why Keller was unlucky to lose his job after just seven games into the season, the immediate appointment of former Chelsea manager, Roberto Di Matteo has got heads turning.

Indeed, his appointment just minutes after Schalke had taken the swift decision to part with Keller has left each Royal Blues fan beaming from ear to ear this morning, and it is hard to blame them for feeling this way.


Schalke fans would have no doubt first come into contact with Di Matteo, in the 2012 Champions League final when his below par Chelsea side shocked German football with Bayern Munich suffering a humiliating defeat on penalties in front of their own loyal supporters.

How Royal Blues fans would love the soft-spoken Italian to accomplish what he did during his eight month tenure as Chelsea manager in 2012, by guiding Chelsea to two pieces of silverware, with the FA Cup being the latter.

Despite being referred to as one of the big boys in German football, the industrious Ruhr side outfit have not won the German championship since it was re-branded as the Bundesliga in 1993, with their last triumph coming five years earlier in 1958.

Although, Di Matteo might have won two of the biggest trophies in world football during his short stint as Chelsea manager, Schalke have landed a man who has all the qualities needed for the Royal Blues to develop as a team.

Currently, the Gelsenkirchen outfit are in need of a motivator and a manager who can turn any negative situation into one lined with positivity, a trait which the former West Bromwich Albion coach has excelled in, in the past.

Although Schalke are not in the same trouble as league struggler's, Hamburg, Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart are in, one gets the feeling that confidence levels within the club are rock bottom, something which Di Matteo has to achieve via positive results.

However, the 44 year olds appointment is a stroke of master class by the Gelsenkirchen outfit, with the German media insisting that his arrival in Germany is on the same scale as was when Pep Guardiola started his Spanish rival at Bayern Munich a year earlier.

The Royal Blues certainly have a squad worthy of not only challenging the likes of Bayern and Borussia Dortmund for domestic success, but indeed with the crème de la crème of European football.

The Schaffenhausen-born manager is a breath of fresh air for Schalke following seasons of a pick and mix style of managerial appointments, something which has caused friction at the club in recent years.

Although, Di Matteo is not expected to hit the ground running at the Royal Blues, his appointment will no doubt cause a new industrial revolution at the Ruhr based club, something which could quite possibly eclipse that of Borussia Dortmund’s.

Roberto Di Matteo

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