Real district devils! Schalke 04 on the trail of the Tasmanian and Red Devils

That was devilishly good! It was January 17, 2020, when FC Schalke 04 cleared Borussia from Mönchengladbach 2-0 on Friday evening. “Newcomer Gregoritsch leads Royal Blue to victory”, it was said at DAZN. Shortly after the break, Serdar scored the first Bundesliga goal of 2020, ten minutes later, after a brilliant combination, newcomer Gregoritsch made it 2-0. The squires were in fifth place, the gap to second place was just three points. Everything in it. So everything, except for the championship trophy. What followed after the cool 2-0 win? A rough 0: 5 swatter at Bayern Munich. Well, take it easy. Wipe your mouth, drink a few beers and peek your next home game. After a 0-0 win at the Old Lady in Berlin, the home game at home Auf Schalke against SC Paderborn 07 followed. Nothing more was devilishly good. As a “baby born” they only played 1: 1 against the bottom of the table from Paderborn. One or the other got a bit musty and pissed off.

Insane! In Mainz, too, Schalke couldn’t get past a goalless draw. But now, a home win and stay on top! The duel against RasenBallsport Leipzig was a disaster. “Royal blue goes down in red flood of goals,” it was now at DAZN. “It’s all going too fast for Schalke,” said the commentator when the goal was scored to make it 5-0. Is there improvement in sight? Puff cake? 0: 3 in Cologne and a lean 1: 1 against Hoffenheim. Then came the corona break. It really could only get better. But it wasn’t! With a 0: 4 at Borussia Dortmund, the game was resumed. The season was an unparalleled disaster. 0: 3 against Augsburg, 1: 2 in Düsseldorf, 0: 1 against Bremen, 1: 1 at Union Berlin, 1: 1 against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1: 2 in Frankfurt, 1: 4 against Wolfsburg and a final 0: 4 at SC Freiburg. You played like a relegated team, but you were lucky that the points cushion from the first half of the season was big enough. The 2019/20 season ended with rank 12.

New season, new luck? Again puff cake. Believe it or not, the miners were slaughtered at the reigning German champions with a whopping 8-0. “The master’s attention to success” is the name of the game at DAZN. And that was said politely. “An evening to enjoy in red,” explained the commentator. And for royal blue? From the rain in the eaves. The madness took its course. There was a 3-1 defeat against SV Werder Bremen, and it was safe to say that it was better that so few spectators were allowed. For heaven’s sake, an S04 fan couldn’t do that to himself anymore. Mockery and ridicule were poured out. The usual slogans were waved at the press conferences. You have to learn from it and draw conclusions. Nothing happened. At RB Leipzig, Schalke 04 lost 4-0, against the Eiserne from Berlin-Köpenick they won a point (1: 1).

And now it became historical, dear friends! The derby in Dortmund was lost 3-0 – and now there were no fewer than 21 league games in a row that were not won. 1. FC Nürnberg was overtaken in those statistics, now they were level with 1. FC Kaiserslautern, SpVgg Blau-Weiß 90 Berlin and SG Dynamo Dresden (at that time still 1. FC Dynamo). However, Schalke managed what others had not “managed” to do. While the other representatives had such disastrous negative series in the course of a season, the epidemic persists in Schalke across the seasons.

Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at the series of the other three. As luck would have it, I was there live in the Rudolf Harbig Stadium on October 15th, 1994. In front of 20,750 spectators, Ekström scored the goal of the day in the 18th minute. 1. FC Dynamo Dresden won 1-0 against 1. FC Kaiserslautern and was 12th at the time. Who could have guessed that there would now be 21 games without a win ?! It wasn’t until May 20, 1995 that Dynamo was able to celebrate another victory. They won 2: 1 against none other than FC Schalke 04! We hold on: last win against Kaiserslautern, first win against Schalke 04! In the end, Dynamo Dresden was relegated in terms of sport, received no license for the 2nd Bundesliga and found itself in the Regionalliga Nordost. It would be years before Dynamo Dresden would return to professional football.

The next case: The Red Devils from Betzenberg. It happened in the 2011/12 season when there was no win from October 2011 to April 2012. In October 2011 there were two more victories to celebrate, at FC Schalke 04 and against SC Freiburg. Months of tears and hardship followed. It was only on the 32nd matchday that 1. FC Kaiserslautern could win again. On April 21, 2012, they won 2-1 against their neighbors Hertha BSC. The Berliners were fed up, but the victory was of no use to the Red Devils. Similar to the Dynamo Dresden case, the negative series ended far too late. 1. FC Kaiserslautern said goodbye to the 1st Bundesliga with 23 points, and we all know where this once proud club is now playing.

We draw another bow. At the end of the 1985/86 season, Hertha BSC was relegated from the 2nd Bundesliga to the major league, and at the same time SpVgg Blau-Weiß 90 made the leap into the football club. Changing of the guard in West Berlin ?! The appearance of Bernhard Brink and the BW90 team in the current sports studio will not be forgotten. “We’re hot for blue and white …” The first home game against 1. FC Kaiserslautern on August 9, 1986 wanted to see 36,722 spectators. The game was lost with 1: 4, but at least Karl-Heinz Riedle scored the first Bundesliga goal for the blue-whites in the 24th minute. It was the equalizer to 1: 1.

And hey, the first victory was seen on the third matchday in the home Olympic Stadium. The game was shot in front of 33,000 spectators, a 1: 2 turned into a 3: 2. Kalle Riedle made the 81st and 90th + 1. Minute two more stalls. Now it was really like: “We’re hot for blue and white…” Who could have guessed that a series of 21 games would follow without a win? The bad series ended on April 24, 1987. On Friday evening, Eintracht Frankfurt in the Waldstadion won 3: 1 in front of 8,000 spectators. Again Kalle Riedle scored two goals. Speaking of which, when I count through I am currently even playing 22 games in a row without a Bundesliga win, but maybe I just made a mistake or a game was postponed in between. The ZDF colleagues will already know.

The fact is that FC Schalke 04 can still achieve great things. And climb to first place in this ranking. Tasmania Berlin holds the all-time record! As SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin, the club moved to the 1st Bundesliga at short notice. Some of the players were on vacation when it was said: Hey, we’re playing in the 1st Bundesliga in 1965/66! Hertha BSC was banned due to financial irregularities, and Tasmania was allowed to take over instead. Without further ado, the players became full professionals and had to see whether they were up to the task in the football club. There was nothing to lose.

Said and done. In front of 81,524 spectators (!) Karlsruher SC was beaten 2-0, both goals scored by Wulf-Ingo Usbeck. It was two gates for eternity! However, nothing could be won in the following 31 games. Sometimes a brave point, but not a victory. But the negative series shouldn’t run into nirvana. If the successor club SV Tasmania Berlin (founded in 1973) were to play in the 1st Bundesliga one day – I even assume that * winkersmilie * – this stupid series would probably continue from a purely statistical point of view. But as I said, a stop has been put to this matter. On May 21, 1966, around 2,000 spectators celebrated a 2-1 win against Borussia Neunkirchen in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Lothar Zeh and Wolfgang Neumann scored the goals and thus prevented the ghastly series from continuing sometime in 2034. The guys from SpVgg Blau-Weiß 90 Berlin can be just as happy. Her negative series was also formally ended. And of course, also those of Lauterer and Dynamos from Florence on the Elbe.

Writing records across all seasons – only FC Schalke 04 can do that! Now it’s time to break the record of the Tasmanian Devil from Berlin-Neukölln. Guys, you can do it! 31 games – a breeze. Against VfB Stuttgart it will be a draw on Friday, and a defeat is planned for Mainz. Good luck for! And when it gets bombshell, Rot-Weiss Essen will be played in 2022/23. My turus colleague and best friend in the Pott is as happy as Bolle! 😉

Photos: Marco Bertram, Fabian S., Arnaud Schonder, Marco Hensel

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