Schalke: Apparently Suat Serdar is pretty damn important

Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images) /

FC Schalke can’t seem to figure out how to win Bundesliga fixtures, but maybe it’s as easy to fix as really, really needing Suat Serdar to come back.

FC Schalke are doing a lot of things right, despite the anticlimactic results and the distance steadily growing between them and a Champions League berth. Mainly, they are defending really well. And they are defending well no matter who is back there. Jean-Clair Todibo, Ozan Kabaka, Matija Nastasic, it really doesn’t matter.

But contrary to the defense, at the other end of the pitch things aren’t going all that well. There isn’t a lot of creation, there aren’t a lot of shots taken, and because of it, this team only looks capable of amassing one goal tops. Often times less.

David Wagner tried to address this issue by bringing in Michael Gregoritsch. Combining him with Benito Raman looked to be a great start, but there is something missing deeper in the pitch, and I do believe that something is Suat Serdar.

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There’s a clear disconnect between the attack and the midfield. Weston McKennie has great intentions getting forward, but he’s a headstrong player who can get a bit unwieldy at times. Omar Mascarell is as defensive as they come.

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Alessandro Schopf has been trying to fill in for Serdar, but he’s more the Amine Harit type, needing to stay further forward to be truly effective.

Serdar runs the gambit. He’s a box-to-box. He can transition play from defense to attack and he also just so happens to be our leading goal scorer. You take that out of an already fragile attack and things get even dicier.

I don’t think that Serdar’s return will fix everything, but it would be one hell of a start. It would give us that spark, that individual inspiration from deep that no one has been able to replicate. And it’s also giving us a pretty good idea of what we need to build a sustainable attack going into next season. We need more connectivity. More attack coming from deeper. We can’t just keep counting on Harit to do everything. Because when he has off games with no Serdar to back him up, it’s a lost cause.

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It’s been frustrating, but don’t lose track of all that’s going right amidst all the stuff going wrong. There’s still plenty to be excited and optimistic about moving forward, that’s for sure.