After the shameful 1: 3 defeat against Werder Bremen, David Wagner is no longer tenable at Schalke. The coach is not a support, but has been a risk to the club for a long time.
There are three more games to go. Three more games without a win and David Wagner would set Bernd Hoss’s age-old record. With Blau-Weiß 90 Berlin, Hoss was without three points in 21 Bundesliga games in a row. That was 1986/1987. It is worrying that Wagner has come so close to this 33-year record.
“Every new game is a possibility,” said the Schalke 04 coach in an interview with Sky after the 3-1 defeat to Werder Bremen. It was said that the miners are no longer “holding out”. At least at the memorable press conference after Clemens Tönnies left in the summer of 2020, board members Alexander Jobst and Jochen Schneider had said this. To then continue as head coach despite the historically bad second half of the season at Wagner. The 48-year-old had long since become a burden to FC Schalke 04. Now, after the 1:11 start to the season with two clear defeats and a winning streak of 18 games, he is simply unstoppable.
Photo series with 15 photos
From “lactate junkies” to all-male soccer players
In both the catastrophic 8-0 in Munich and the 3-1 at home against Werder, Schalke presented itself as a team that has forgotten how professional football works. This development, from the acclaimed “lactate junkies” who enraptured the Bundesliga with tremendous current values in the first half of the season, to fast paced old-school football, must be personally recorded by the Royal Blues’ head coach.
In fact, throughout his tenure, Wagner has failed to provide the team with solutions to all of the tactical contingencies that modern high-speed football can provide. While his predecessor Domenico Tedesco was accused of being strategically intelligent, his changing formations and orientations, Wagner’s stubborn adherence to the match plan drawn up before kick-off must be criticized. While coaching colleagues such as Julian Nagelsmann seismograph every small change in the game, analyze it and adapt their own construction to it, Wagner lets the calamity quietly approach him with his hand on his chin. So also against Werder.
Deciphering Wagner’s tactics is child’s play
Wagner was unable to give the Royal Blues a capable concept for game-changing, possession-focused football. And that against an opponent like Werder, who is a guest in the Veltins-Arena – albeit without spectators – and for that reason alone plays more reactively than acting. So it was easy for coaching colleague Florian Kohfeldt to decipher Wagner’s “One Trick Pony” and get a deserved and important away win.
After the game, Wagner was pugnacious when he said, “I am confident I can be part of the solution.” He had previously given the unique opportunity to find a drastic and spectacular solution: he should have announced his resignation at half time. This would have taken the burden of the past nine months off the players and the club in an instant – and saved himself from the embarrassment of setting Bernd Hoss’s profitless record. But from now on the motto “Keep it up” prevails at Schalke. Progress looks different.