Schalke’s sports director Rouven Schröder said the brutal sentence calmly: “We agree that Buyo will continue in the summer – but not as head coach,” he said in the direction of head coach Mike “Buyo” Büskens, who was sitting next to him, who muted the remark let pass. Büskens has recently won five games in a row – and still no future in his post. What’s going on at Schalke again? Does Schröder want to surpass the king of cynicism, Felix Magath I?
A year and a half ago, as manager of the second division team Würzburger Kickers, Magath set a new standard for ugly trainer dismissals when, three days after publicly asserting that the coach could continue working in peace, he announced the termination of the same coach. So what? he said: “The coach can continue to work in peace – just somewhere else.”
The fact that Büskens did not burst into tears (which he is always capable of when it comes to Schalke) was because Schröder’s statement actually had no Quälix quality. Even if Büskens, 53, also wins the other matches after the second division top game against Werder Bremen on Saturday and thus gloriously manages promotion, he will not remain director but return to his role as permanent assistant coach. That was agreed from the start, when he replaced the sacked Dimitrios Grammozis, that’s still his declared wish, and that’s probably sensible and wise.
Büskens is the right man at this moment to take the royal blue world on his shoulders, but as a permanent cast of directors he is far too Schalke and therefore far too much melodramatic. Still, it could be strange when, in the summer, the new coach finds his predecessor on his staff, being sedan-chaired to the training ground and honored with memorials all over town.
Will Schalke even reject promotion to the Bundesliga in the end?
But Schalke are not that far, only this 31st matchday comes, which puts the second German division back in the center of Europe’s top football: Who cares about the umpteenth repetition of Liverpool against Guardiola-City? Where is it more gripping than on Supermega Saturday with Schalke versus Werder, first versus second, and St. Pauli versus Darmstadt, third versus fourth? What summit could be bigger than the meeting of the blue-white and green-white goal factories? Bülter & Terodde vs. Ducksch & Füllkrug, that doesn’t sound like Messi & Neymar against Ronaldo & Benzema, but almost. If Uefa doesn’t have any plans for a Champions League in the second division in the drawer – at the latest they will think about it.
Will Schalke still take part? Maybe they reject the promotion – they like it pretty well in their exile in the lower house, and things are going suspiciously well in Gelsenkirchen: there is peace in the club, the board is efficient, the supervisory authorities appreciate the finances, and the sport attracts 62,271 People in the arena – just a year after the relegation, which according to Schalke’s tendency to catastrophe was more than just a sporting declassification: it was like a nervous breakdown with a simultaneous loss of livelihood.
A controversial thesis says that relegation can have a healing effect on overweight traditional clubs. Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart may confirm the theory with all sorts of reservations, Schalke and Werder may just be joining. At Hamburger SV, however, it is also evident that purification through relegation is only advisable in the event of rapid re-emergence.