Schalke: 5 things we learned from 1-1 draw with Paderborn

Schalke 04, Ahmed Kutucu (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Ahmed Kutucu (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images) /
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FC Schalke 04 were stunned at home by a surprisingly strong SC Paderborn 07, as they dropped points in a 1-1 contest at the Veltins Arena. Here are five things we learned from the disappointing result.

After a 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich, a goalless draw with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, and a controversial comeback victory over Hertha in the DFB Pokal, Matchday 21 was supposed to be a confidence-booster for Schalke.

Playing at home against the league’s worst team in terms of points, Schalke were expected to defeat Paderborn convincingly, even without Suat Serdar, Jonjoe Kenny, and Daniel Caligiuri.

Instead, the Royal Blues didn’t even look like the better team on the pitch for much of the game, needing a substitute goal from Ahmed Kutucu to get ahead. The opponents eventually broke through and held on to a 1-1 draw, meaning Schalke have dropped more valuable points in their race for a Champions League place.

Here are five things we learned from an action-packed afternoon in Gelsenkirchen.

1. Ahmed Kutucu is better than Michael Gregoritsch

Schalke need to be wary of the sunk-cost fallacy and the primacy effect with Michael Gregoritsch, because he may not be deserving of a starting spot. After a dream debut, including a goal and and an assist, against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Gregoritsch has literally been the worst player on the pitch in each of the Royal Blues’ last three games.

He hit a new low against Paderborn, failing to do anything against the league’s worst side. Gregoritsch made poor decision after poor decision, showed an abysmal work rate, and didn’t seem to care about finding space despite playing as the central striker with Benito Raman unselfishly working on the right.

Schalke’s attack came to life in the second half when Ahmed Kutucu joined the game for Gregoritsch. And he scored. Even at the age of 19, Kutucu is a much smarter player than Gregoritsch tactically, as the latter has shown no mental development over the past few years in the Bundesliga.

Gregoritsch has talent, but Kutucu has more talent and is the more efficient player. Since the Augsburg loanee will simply head back to his parent club after the end of the season, David Wagner owes him nothing. Consider him on a short leash.