Schalke has been in crisis all season and remains in the danger zone of the Second Bundesliga even after the dismissal of coach Thomas Reis and the appointment of Karel Geraerts. On Saturday, things went wrong again against Fortuna Düsseldorf (5-3). Left-back Thomas Ouwejan drew negative attention by refusing to shake his coach's hand after an early substitution in the first half. He received a disciplinary punishment for this.
Stevens, who turns seventy in two days and won the UEFA Cup (1997) and two German cups with Schalke, hopes the club quickly closes ranks. 'Of course, this makes me angry,' says the Limburger to Kicker. 'There is a lack of unity in the club. When you get the feeling that players are not giving everything for a club, you need to handle things with a slightly firmer hand. Players generally need to push the boundaries more.'
It seems that Stevens approves of Geraerts' decision to temporarily demote Ouwejan to the second team. The Belgian coach also publicly questioned whether the players realize how precarious the situation is. Stevens, an expert in avoiding relegation in the Bundesliga, agrees. 'If things don't change quickly, it will also become difficult to stay in the Second Bundesliga.'