FC Schalke vs Monchengladbach: And that was without our best player

FC Schalke spanked Borussia Monchengladbach, and they did it all without their best player, as Amine Harit was out with an injury. What madness.

In my mind, signing Michael Gregoritsch was FC Schalke‘s big way to try to lessen the burden on Amine Harit. Our best player, our creative center, Harit had become a bit of a do or die in recent months. When he did well, so did we. When he didn’t, neither did we.

Against Borussia Monchengladbach, who have been competing for top spot in the Bundesliga, we were without Harit, and we may well have never seen a better overall attacking performance. All without our best man, Harit.

Let’s just look at some of these numbers— 13 created chances as a team. That’s two from Benito Raman, four for Michael Gregoritsch, and three for Daniel Caligiuri. Also known as everyone that would figure to flow around Amine Harit.

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19 dribbles completed. 19. That’s a huge number. Everyone in front of Omar Mascarell completed at least two dribbles. Suat Serdar led the bunch with four.

15 shots taken. Seven on target. That’s a healthy sample size, and a promising display against one of the best teams in the country.

All without Amine Harit.

It wasn’t just the numbers that spoke, however. The stat was brought up during the match, by the commentators, that Schalke had engaged in 50 more sprints and run a collective two more kilometers than their guests. What does that say? It says that Schalke just wanted it more. They fought harder. They fought smarter. They put in the extra legwork to ensure that they found enough space to make these numbers happen.

All without Amine Harit.

So what happens when Harit returns? Short answer—Pandemonium. You put this guy where Alessandro Schopf was against Monchengladbach and you spin the most agile cog back into the middle of a machine that has continued to evolve. Schopf wasn’t even bad, he just isn’t Amine Harit. There was the opportunity for so much more from that role that Schopf wasn’t able to latch onto.

And I have every reason to believe that Harit would have been able to. Because he’s Amine Harit. Our best player.

Next: 5 Things Learned Against Monchengladbach

I can’t wait to see what happens when you put Harit with Raman, Serdar, Gregoritsch, Caligiuri… hell whoever you want to slip in and out of that handful of players, you’re going to end up with something pretty damn special.

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