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May 21, 2020, 6:00:00 AM

Weston McKennie Reflects on Schalke’s Bundesliga Return

The Bundesliga recently returned from its suspension due to the pandemic. Schalke’s Weston McKennie has admitted that playing the game feels awkward.

The German top-flight is the first high-profile sports league to come back after the pandemic hit. They have ensured the safety of all the players and staff involved with numerous precautionary measures set in place.

Schalke’s first match back was against powerhouses Borussia Dortmund which they lost 4-0. It was an upsetting loss for Schalke but it is good to have the Bundesliga back. Schalke only managed to have a week and a half’s worth of full training. This might be the reason why they looked shaky throughout the match last weekend.

McKennie said, ‘You have to really depend on your self-motivation and your self-drive to really give your 100 per cent in the game. Obviously we took a big L this past weekend in the Revierderby. In that game, you could really tell that we’ve been out of it for quite a long time’.

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It was a disappointing match for Schalke but there were a lot of lessons learned during the match. They had trouble holding on to the ball in midfield which the team has already addressed post-match.

It was an excellent gameplan for Dortmund that led them to victory. Erling Haaland picked up where he left off before the suspension, managing to open up the scoring for Dortmund. Raphaël Guerreiro followed suit with a brace and finally, Thorgan Hazard put on the finishing touches.

Hopefully, more leagues can come back soon but they take the necessary measures needed before they do so. The Bundesliga has made excellent decisions during this time which led to the return of the top-flight. Expect the Premier League and La Liga to devise similar plans to continue their matches.

McKennie is confident that he and Schalke will bounce back. He said, ‘For me, I may not have my best game, but motivation-wise to cover ground, to run there, to go into tackles here, I tried my best even though Dortmund was, I mean technically you came too late to every ball because they’re gifted like that and they play in those small spaces and that pressure’.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA