FC Schalke: Could defense ever win a Bundesliga title?

Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke probably need help with their attack, but could a solid defense ever be enough to win a Bundesliga title? We’re the closest test.

There’s a saying in American sports that defense wins championships. In the Bundesliga, I don’t think that’s accurate. Before getting properly spanked by Bayern Munich, FC Schalke had arguably the best defense in the league. Borussia Monchengladbach were right there in the same boat. Same as Bayer Leverkusen.

But there is one thing that separates the Schalke’s, Leverkusen’s and Monchengladbach’s from the Bayern Munich’s, Borussia Dortmund’s and RB Leipzig’s, and that thing is about twenty goals.

Through superior attacking play, those three hot shots don’t have to defend as much because they’re always so busy scoring goals. Take Dortmund’s 5-3 win over Augsburg as an example. Dortmund didn’t defend. Like, at all. But they scored so many goals they couldn’t help but win.

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FC Schalke have a crazy good defense. Keep in mind, as you appreciate this defense, that our two top centerbacks are out. Salif Sane and Benjamin Stambouli are out for the year. We are currently at the whims of a 19-year-old prospect and our third-choice centerback.

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Ozan Kabak has been incredible and he’s only going to get better. But therein is why I asked the question—the majority of our present and future talent is invested in this defense. In a league where superior attacking teams rule.

You can see hints of this attack coming to life. Benito Raman is a budding super star and there’s hopes in Michael Gregoritsch. Amine Harit is always going to be the cog that keeps the machine buzzing and it’s reasonable to think that future investments will be made into this attack.

But until then, we have to make due with what we have. Which is why the question must be pondered. Is there a such thing as a Bundesliga defense so capable that it negates the superior attacking play?

Let me be the first to tell you—Nah. You have to attack with the big guys or you have to fight for third or fourth place. But to think that any defense can withstand three elite attacks? That’s six matches out of the year? Doesn’t work.

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Build around Raman. Harit. Build for speed and power. If we can score 15 more goals than we are now, we would be top of the table. Easy. No question. Our defense has, and will, win us matches, but it won’t win us titles.