Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand is at the centre of criticism in Germany after his error allowed Samuel Eto’o to open the scoring at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
• Brewin: Three things
Hildebrand’s form has been the topic of discussion ever since his arrival at Schalke in 2011. The former Germany international appeared to have turned his fortunes around but his first-half mistake at Stamford Bridge will invite more scrutiny.
"I’ll get it in the neck again, and everyone will call for a discussion," Hildebrand said after the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea Wednesday night. On Thursday morning German newspapers called Hildebrand’s return to Stamford Bridge a "nightmare".
"Will Hildebrand be kicked out of the goal?" German tabloid Bild asked, before polling their readers online where 59 percent voted against Hildebrand by noon on Thursday.
The German broadsheet FAZ, who ran a big Hildebrand feature headlined “Without that something extra” ahead of the Chelsea game, mocked him and said that his mistake has now made him “the most-loved German keeper since Bert Trautmann” in England.
In the wake of Hildebrand’s disastrous performance, the local football weekly Reviersport reported that Schalke general manager Horst Heldt is now keen to sign Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas during the winter break.
"Casillas at Schalke, a crazy idea?" the paper said and claimed that, according to their sources, it is a bit more than just a thought as Casillas has voiced his concerns about his place in the Spain national team, adding that Schalke had also managed to lure Raul to the Veltins Arena from Real Madrid in 2010.