Schalke have had a start to the season which is nothing short of a disaster. The German club have played five Bundesliga games so far, and lost every single one of them.

Rock bottom of Germany’s top division, there’s obviously a lot of anger among fans of the club. General manager Christian Heidel only joined Schalke this summer, as did manager Markus Weinzerl, and Heidel seems to have been sending blame anywhere other than themselves.

There appears to have been a consistent set of leaks from the club blaming several players for the problem, criticising their attitudes and character.

Now, Heidel has told SportBild the club were always likely to struggle, given the exits of Leroy Sane and Joel Matip, to Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.

“We have lost Joel Matip, we lost Leroy Sane. And a year ago Julian Draxler. These were all pillars.

“Last year, we hung a lot of success on Sane and Matip. Without Matip and without Sané we also have problems. ”

It was always expected Sane would leave in the summer, and Matip’s free transfer move to Liverpool was announced in February, so it’s not as though the club didn’t have time to find replacements.

SportBild point out Schalke had a record summer for spending, one which Heidel bragged about more than once.

Of course none of that would excuse just how bad the start has been. The club have a very reasonable squad for the Bundesliga, and perhaps Heidel needs to stop making excuses, stop any leaks slamming players, and try to bring everyone together.