German football experts have attacked controversial Ghana star Kevin-Prince Boateng for his disastrous start to the Bundesliga season, blaming his lack of fitness for Schalke's shambolic showing in the league so far.
The far-reaching attacks from top-notch former Germany internationals Thomas Helmer and Steffan Effenberg after the play-maker's calamitous display in the early matches of the season seem to justify Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah's decision to bench Boateng at the World Cup.
Boateng has been Schalke worst player since the start of the season that has seen them losing their opening two matches of the season with the Ghanaian identified as the chief culprit in the defeats.
Schalke shockingly lost their German Cup match against third tier side Dynamo Dresden with Boateng described as a passenger as the result sent shock-waves across the country.
The disastrous trend for Boateng continued over the weekend as statistics showed that the 27-year old was identified as Schalke's worst player in the match against Hannover as statistics showed that he run the fewest kilometers amongst all the 22 players on the pitch.
This flies in the face of the Ghana international's public statement at the start of the season that he should be made the play-maker at Schalke claiming he can help them to win matches and secure titles.
But the German Bundesliga's top experts who are also former players have wasted time in identifying Boateng as they key problem in the Schalke set-up.
"Initially, I was impressed by his performance and his commitment, however his development has not continued", said Effenberg, who played for the German national team and also in the Bundesliga for several years.
"If you claim to be a leading player and want to play the '10' role, but cannot substantiate it with power - then I'm sorry, Mr. Boateng, then that's not enough for the starting line-up."
Another former German international who also does television analysis of the Bundesliga matches said: "Boateng does not fit precisely in such an important position. As a central midfielder you need a certain amount of fitness".
These views have proven damaging for Boateng who has has been struggling with knee injuries since he was flogged by AC Milan to join Schalke at a reduced price at the start of last season.
Boateng, who claims he was one of Ghana's biggest stars at the World Cup, was dropped from the Black Stars starting line-up in their World Cup opening match against the USA which the Black Stars lost 2-1 with the Germany-born star coming on in the second-half.
This resulted in his fury and led to Boateng questioning coach Kwesi Appiah's selection criteria for matches at the World Cup.
Asked if he was stunned to be left out in Ghana's starting match at World Cup, Boateng said: “Yes, I was surprised.
“Because you’re supposed to start with your best 11, but maybe the coach had a different idea.”
Boateng was sacked from Ghana's camp with the officials claiming he launched a verbal attack on coach Appiah but the revelation in Germany will paint the true picture of his form and fitness.
Do you think coach Kwesi Appiah was right to drop Kevin-Prince Boateng to the bench at the World Cup? Do you think Boateng can still help Ghana? Make your views known in the box below