FC Schalke were treated to the Benito Rama show against Werder Bremen, and it’s time to call this exactly what it is—prime time television.
If you asked 100 FC Schalke fans what their biggest problem was going into this year, I’d wager at least 90 would say not having a proper goal-scoring striker. With the Mark Uth scoreless streak tracing back to January and Guido Burgstaller goalless in 25 shots, that “biggest problem” wouldn’t have been solved except for Benito Raman.
Schalke brought in Raman after he drove home ten goals in two straight seasons with Fortuna Dusseldorf. His speed made him a contrasting talent to the goalless duo that we are still struggling with, but it was slow going early on.
You know the drill with modern television, though. It can take a few episodes to really get into a show. Same goes with Benito Raman. Raman had some opportunity early on in the Bundesliga, but he wasn’t able to get himself settled into the role.
Then he slammed home a brace against Aminia midweek and the train had left the station. The plot was picking up, it was all looking good.
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Then he faced his old club and took home our man of the match with flying colors. He provided such a threat over the top with his speed and his creativity with the ball left defenses unsure of how to stop him. Compile that with unbelievable control that meant just about never losing possession.
Add to that another man of the match against Werder Bremen and we are seeing something special.
In his last two matches, he has played 150 minutes. In that time, Raman has numbers that are worth swooning over. Two goals, one assist, four dribbles completed, three chances created and just one possession lost. One.
Which I find to be the most remarkable thing about him. Despite being a dribbler who drives at defenses and finagles his way through tight spaces, he does not lose possession. Against Bremen, Amine Harit lost possession nine times. Raman lost possession zero.
it was perhaps the first match where Amine Harit wasn’t our biggest threat. The biggest threat was far and away Benito Raman, the speedy German hitman.
This is a tremendous sign going forward. There was concern that Die Knappen had grown too dependent on Harit, but seeing Raman handle the load while Harit half-way struggles means those concerns might well be over.