A Sign Of More To Come For Schalke 04?
Just How Far Can Schalke 04 Go?
Schalke 04 is one of Germany and Europe biggest clubs. However, the team could never achieve great success in terms of trophies. Apart from their initial years, they never won a Bundesliga, although managing to finish on second-place on five occasions.
The 17/18 season of German top-flight league has shown a new face for the Royal Blues, as they are playing great football and managing to make a great season. My propose here is to make an analysis of what changed in their style of play compared to their last season, which they finished only 10th, a bad position for a team of their magnitude.
We start by taking a look at “ins”: important players who came from the team, be it from definitive transfers, loans or even from their youth system.
The Croatian came from Juventus FC on loan, with a chance to gain more game time and develop skills. Playing as a winger, at Schalke he found immediate success, embedding in their 3-4-3 system perfectly.
The Moroccan, who came from Nantes, is a very young and talented player. Having great speed and dribbling, he is starting to become an ever and ever more important player for the club.
A lad who made his name in Frankfurt colors. Oczipka joined Schalke as a backup after the departure of defender Benedikt Howedes. However, he proved to be a very worthy player for the back three of the Royal Blues. Having a very constant season.
Him, alongside Christian Pulisic, is one of the best players in the USA national team. Ever since making his debut in the Bundesliga he already proved to be a very good playmaker in the midfield and also a goal scorer. For
sure, one to look to the future.
Together with a variety of great players, Schalke 04 also got a very important factor. New coach Domenico Tedesco, who arrived just after a half-season in 2.Bundesliga side Erzgebirge Aue (which he saved from relegation). Being the youngest ever coach in Bundesliga history with only 32 years, after graduating from Hennes-Weisweiler-Akademy (Germany coaching academy). Tedesco had a very difficult mission ahead. Make a great first season with Schalke 04. I would definitely say he’s one of the candidates for manager of the season as Schalke have been nothing short of superb this season.
However, for the surprise of almost everyone, he managed not to do a “good” season only. But even better than that. Putting his side on 2nd place, he is managing to stay ahead of teams who had more financial power and higher expectations. Such as Borussia Dortmund or Bayer Leverkusen.
Domenico Tedesco tends to play with a high intensity and attacking football style. Using most of the time a 3-4-3 with two pace-wingers and one central striker. His midfield tends to attack also, with two midfielders open on the sides of the pitch having a cover of two central midfielders, who can attack and defend very well. This play style is possible due to their very strong and concise back three, which is very organized, due to captain Naldo, and tend to make few mistakes.
The “revolution” brought on by Tedesco brought fresh air for the Ruhr team, who can make great matches this season. Their most two important were, of course, the two Revierderby’s, the first being a contender for match of the year. As they came back from a 4-0 deficit and managed to draw, and the second being a clean 2-0 win in the Veltins-Arena.
With the great season, Schalke 04 is having, their aim now should be to make a big impact in Europe football. Be it making it off the group stage of the Champions or trying to win the Europa League (yes, it’s possible for them), they have all the necessary components to have an even better next season.
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