Tuesday, October 7, 2014 10:39 am
Former Chelsea and West Brom manager Roberto di Matteo has brought an end to a hiatus from football management following his appointment as manager of German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 today.
The 44-year old Italian signed a two and a half-year deal and comes in as immediate replacement of Jens Keller who was fired following an inconsistent start to the season at the Gelsenkirchen club, culminating in a 2-1 loss at Hoffenheim last weekend.
Schalke Sporting Director Horst Heldt stated “The team’s performances in recent weeks have varied greatly. Even the positive tendencies such as seven points collected from the recent busy league schedule and the icing on the cake that was the derby win haven’t shown a lasting effect.”
Heldt added “We’re lacking the consistency needed in order to achieve our goals. That’s why we have decided to take this step. We’re utterly convinced that Roberto Di Matteo will stabilise the team and achieve our goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League.”
Along with Keller, Schalke have also parted company with assistant manager Peter Hermann and goalkeeping coach Holger Gehrke.
Keller had led Schalke to fourth and third place finishes in the previous two seasons of the Bundesliga but a poor start to this season sees the Royal Blues languishing in 11th place with just seven points from eight matches.
In his place comes Di Matteo who has been without a club since November 2012 when he parted company with Chelsea, having won the UEFA Champions League earlier in his short spell as manager at Stamford Bridge.
Di Matteo, who also won the FA Cup with Chelsea, will take charge of his first match after the international break in the home match against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.