Schalke

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Round 33

Schalke 1 - 4 Wolfsburg
2020-06-20 14:30 More Reports
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Round 34

2020-06-27 14:30 More Previews
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Bundesliga
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Schalke

In


Markus Schubert (gk) Dynamo Dresden; Ozan Kabak (def) Stuttgart; Benito Raman (att) Fortuna Dusseldorf; Jonjoe Kenny (def) Everton – on loan; Pablo Insua (def) Huesca – end of loan; Fabian Reese (att) Greuther Furth – end of loan;

Out


Breel Embolo (r) (att) Borussia M’gladbach; Ralf Fahrmann (sp) (gk) Norwich – on loan; Sebastian Rudy (sp) (mid) Hoffenheim – on loan; Cedric Teuchert (sp) (att) Hannover – on loan; Sascha Riether (sp) (def) end of career; Jeffrey Bruma (sp) (def) Wolfsburg – end of loan; Benjamin Goller (mid) Werder Bremen;

Schalke’s domestic struggles, particularly in defence, were constant throughout the previous campaign and the Miners lost the most matches in the entire top flight by more than two-goal margin. Change was inevitable and this summer ex-Huddersfield’s coach David Wagner was appointed in charge. Proving in the Premier League that he can achieve good results with limited finances, Wagner is seen as very good fit for Schalke as the team’s finances are poor and relying on youth seems to be the trend at the minute. Apart from Embolo, none of the other players that departed this summer was expected to see much playing time under Wagner and it seems that the new boss has strengthened the group slightly. He signed promising young centre-back Kabak and explosive winger Raman, both of them likely to become regular starters, but most of the other signings made were simply to add depth. Wagner likes possession-based football and already in pre-season it was obvious that both Bentaleb and McKennie will be very important in the heart of the midfield. It seems almost every forward pass will be going through them. Also Wagner will rely on the few experienced squad members to guide the youngsters, with Oczipka, Caligiuri and Konoplyanka seen as senior players, despite all of them only just turning 30. All-in-all this season is seen by most pundits as transitional one, with Schalke set to look for new identity and in the process developing several youngsters.

Target


Solid top-half finish is the main priority. Place in Europe seen only as desired bonus this transitional season, not as a priority.

Season Review
2019/2020

№12: Schalke

Schalke was off to a great start into “project rebuild” under new coach David Wagner as the team first achieved good results. However, they became the laughing stock of the Bundesliga as they lost an all-time low of 16 games in a row in second half and ended up far off in 12th position. Their performance in the first half of the campaign was respectable. Taking merely that half, S04 would have ended up in 5th position and would have met their own target to play in a European competition for 2020/21. The defensive performance seemed particularly convincing as Schalke was among the teams that had conceded least goals after 17 rounds. However, those first 17 games also foreshadowed Schalke’s later development. Throughout the season, Schalke’s attacking game remained unorganised and uninspired. This culminated in them scoring merely 9 goals in the final 17 games of the season. Accordingly, Schalke scored the second-least points of all sides in the second half of the campaign (9). Many players seemed to develop positively under Wagner at first. Previously disappointing players such as Amine Harit, Omar Mascarell and Benjamin Stambouli quickly became key regulars under Wagner. Suat Serdar stood out as both the top scorer and the key player in midfield. Yet, they fell short of their initial shape in the second half. Even more so, it proved a big problem that many key players were missing injured in final matches. Consequently, Schalke have recently sacked their fitness coaches. Moreover, there were confusions around the goalkeepers when regular keeper Alexander Nübel confirmed his transfer to Bayern Munich after the season. Wagner then seemed to prefer substitute keeper Markus Schubert. However, neither Schubert’s nor Nübel’s performances were sufficiently stable after this announcement so that Wagner ended up rotating between the keepers several times, creating even more unrest. Schalke have announced they will continue with Wagner. To rebuild the team successfully, they will yet not only have to change their tactics and training regimes. They will have to appease the restless club environment that was shaken by scandals around chairman Clemens Tönnies and financial problems during the CoVid-19 crisis.


Player of the Season: Suat Serdar

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