The Royal Blues played an intoxicating first round under the 49-year-old last season, finishing fifth after matchday 17, tied with arch-rivals BVB. But in the second half of the season there was only one victory, after the Corona break, the Royal Blues gave a terrifying picture and stumbled towards the end of the season.
After a messed up start to the current season, Wagner had to leave, and things haven’t gotten much better since then. After the 0: 4 clap in the Revierderby against BVB, relegation seems to be only a matter of form. (Bundesliga table)
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How could it possibly come this far? “We competed at Schalke and had a clear idea. One of them was that a team that was almost relegated had to be changed. We had discussed that and was what we had in mind,” said Wagner, who was responsible for the 2019 / 20 took over the scepter in Gelsenkirchen, im CHECK24 double pass on SPORT1.
Wagner: Too few winter transfers
Wagner’s plan: “When you’ve had so many negative experiences in a dressing room, you have to get some fresh air in. It’s obviously easier as a new coach.” In the discussions with him, the financial possibilities were also discussed. “ The timetable was that we would have to play between nine and twelve in the first year, single-digit in the second year and international again in the third year.”
But there were no great jumps in the table – or on the transfer market. “Eight weeks later, there wasn’t much of the financial possibilities,” explained Wagner. In the first summer they would have written a black zero. “Much less than what we actually planned without Corona. We still played a very good round thanks to the loans.”
But in the second half of the season it was difficult. “We had a lot of injuries. That’s the story. We lost Stambouli and Sané in November. We thought we’d get them back in January,” said Wagner.
In January it was foreseeable that it would not work. “That is why we should have acted more strongly in this transfer window, with the preliminary round, because in the second half of the season other players, Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell, Ozan Kabak and Daniel Caligiuri, were out for a long time.”
A club like Schalke is no longer competitive when other teams sign Haaland or Schick. “If you are not lucky when it comes to injuries, you are a team that plays to stay up,” stated Wagner.
Line-up against BVB “certainly not the best idea”
But Wagner himself also made some mistakes. “ The fact that I didn’t publicly explain how things were going during the winter break in order to maybe build up some pressure and create transfers is definitely a mistake I made,” he admitted.
Even the time after the Corona break, when Schalke looked rather unfit compared to the competition, Wagner did not show the best hand. “ The stress control with the Corona break was difficult for all of us. I certainly didn’t have the best idea to send players like Serdar or Caligiuri, who had not played for a long time, to the derby right from the start in the first game after Corona . “
But there was also criticism of individual decisions beforehand, such as the appointment of Alexander Nübel as captain in order to persuade him to stay at Schalke. Wagner defended these decisions, however: “Nübel as captain or the goalkeeper change – those are decisions that I still stand behind. We got four goals against Dortmund at the time, three against Bremen, after this Corona break we had to find each other again and Establishing stability. That was the approach. The idea, which was also born out of the team, was the right idea at the moment. ”
After the derby clap about the restart, nothing worked at Wagner’s Schalke team. “We were then no longer able to continue playing like this. But if you’ve played such a preliminary round and the discrepancy was so extreme, it can’t be turned in a club like Schalke.”
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Wagner toying with England
The current situation is also partly due to bad luck with injuries. “For more than a year this club has been confronted with an injury problem that is second to none. If you look at the starting eleven against Dortmund, there is a Hoppe, Thiaw, Becker and Boujellab – four players who are good football players, but just very young too, “explained Wagner.
At the moment the quality is not good enough or according to the fight for relegation. “It doesn’t look good and it’s more hope than faith, but hope should stay as long as it goes.”
Wagner’s future has not yet been determined, but the coach, who was on the sideline at Huddersfield Town before joining Schalke in the Premier League, has precise ideas. And he is still completely convinced of his abilities. “I want to and will work as a coach again. I can explain why we played such a first half and a second half. In the end, I have to communicate what I am convinced of.” (Bundesliga match schedule and results)
Wagner would continue to find England very interesting. “But I hadn’t planned anything that had happened in my coaching life so far. It just happened and a lot was great. That’s how I’ll continue to do it.”