You are here: HomeSports2015 05 13Article 357965

Soccer News of Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Why Schalke kicked out Kevin Prince Boateng

It was the big bang that Schalke manager Horst Heldt had announced after the disastrous defeat against Cologne on Sunday. On Monday morning, three stars were sacked from the team.

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam had their contracts cancelled irrevocably, it is certain that they will not play a single match for Schalke anymore. The third player who felt Heldt’s iron fist was Marco Höger, but the 25-year-old midfielder was given a week’s suspension to rethink his attitude.

“The relationship of trust with Boateng and Sam is gone”, said Heldt, “And for Höger, we have doubts about his loyalty. He will have the chance to think about that for a week.”

It is a desperate attempt by Heldt and his coach Roberto Di Matteo to save the remaining glimpses of hope in what has been a dreadful season for all parties involved. However, many experts doubt whether sacking players as leverage against the squad is the right way to get a tumbling team back on track. The minimal goal to reach a Europa League spot is in danger.

What role did coach Di Matteo play? According to German newspaper Bild, the former Chelsea manager had a while ago requested Schalke boss Clemens Tönnies to get rid of the so-called Boateng-Gang after the season. The gang, comprising the sacked players Boateng, Sam and Höger, but also Roman Neustädter and Dennis Aogo, has now been torn apart prematurely.

In view of the disastrous performance against Cologne, Heldt and Di Matteo decided not to wait any longer, and the main reason was Kevin-Prince Boateng himself. In a secret meeting with the manager and the coach, KPB had promised to give his very best in his last three matches for Schalke.

But instead of keeping his promise, the top-earner at Schalke (8m Euros per year) showed nearly no effort at all. In an interview with Bild, Schalke boss Tönnies supported the decisions of his subordinates and defended the harsh measures: “Now everyone knows what’s on. Those who put up a fight against Paderborn on Saturday will have nothing to fear.”

With respect to KPB, Tönnies added in the TV show Audi Star Talk: “Prince tends to oversee his own mistakes and search for them in others. He had stopped helping the team while dragging everybody down. There is no chance for a comeback at Schalke. This thing is done.”

Heldt even went a step further and said: “This was only the first measure. We’re going to the bone, it can hit everyone.” Will it even hit himself and Di Matteo? According to Bild, it won’t – yet. But should Schalke not qualify for the Europa League, the next big round of sackings will only be a matter of time…