Schalke have taken drastic action after their defeat to Cologne on the weekend, suspending attackers Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam indefinitely, and midfielder Marco Höger for a week.
Schalke has indefinitely suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam, while midfielder Marco Höger is also suspended but only for a week, according to a statement on the club's website:
"Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt announced there would be consequences after Sunday's defeat away to 1. FC Köln and the first action has been taken: Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam have been suspended with immediate effect. Marco Höger is suspended from training and first-team action up to and including Saturday, 16th May."
Suspending Boateng is perhaps less surprising, given the attacker's moody tendencies, but for Sam, who signed this year, to be shown the door was unexpected. Höger, who has been one of the most consistent players at the club this season, to be given a week out also came as more of a shock.
On Monday afternoon, Heldt spoke to the press outside the training ground. "I spoke to the players. Now it's about a reaction." When asked about what was said the meeting, Heldt simply replied: "That's between the players and I." The sporting director also hinted although Sam or Boateng were only suspended, the pair would not play for the club again. Höger's future at the club would be decided after more talks on Sunday.
After the poor performance in Schalke's 2-0 defeat to Cologne on the weekend, it was clear changes were to be made. With the club in sixth in the Bundesliga, the occupy the final Europa League qualifying spot but their form is more representative of a relegation candidate, having won just once in the last eight games. Rivals Borussia Dortmund is now only two points behind them, as is Werder Bremen.