Schalke: Learning from the past to build a better future

David Wagner of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
David Wagner of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Schalke are in a transitional period of trying to get back to consistent European-level competition, and they can learn from the past to aid in that transition.

This year almost turned into something pretty special for Schalke. They were pushing upwards towards the top of that able despite persistent injuries to the defense and fans started to think that maybe the transition had already been made. Maybe David Wagner had already flipped the switch and made Schalke Bundesliga title contenders yet again.

It isn’t looking like it’s panning out that way, though the improvements are still there, and they are still incredibly obvious. But in order to take those last couple of steps forward, we have to look back at a past where the top of the Bundesliga table was well within grasp.

Make no mistake about it—Schalke belongs in the top four of the Bundesliga table. But in order to get back there, they can learn a lot from where they’ve come. Namely, eliminating the Bosman. For the past few years, free exits like Sead Kolasinac, Leon Gortezka, and soon Alexander Nubel have crippled the club.

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It’s no surprise that when you look at when consistent European competition disappeared, you will also see a slew of important players walking for free.

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As it stands, with Benjamin Stambouli, Alexander Nubel, and Daniel Caligiuri all potentially walking for free, the Bosman’s may strike again this year, but with David Wagner in charge, hopefully, that problem can be eliminated hereafter.

That’s not the only area where we can learn from our past, however. Past successes gave rise to plenty of iconic Schalke players who were crucial in building out the fortunes of the club.

I already highlighted Klaas Jan Huntelaar in depth, largely because he is the main thing we are missing these days. We can replicate what Jefferson Farfan brought. We can replicate what Jermaine Jones brought. These are the guys that build out our successes in the 2010’s era. And if we want to build on that success again, we already have some one-ups.

Our defense is better, that’s for sure. We’ve got a manager who is dedicated to the club for the on haul, that’s for sure.

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There’s a lot to look at in the past that we can use to be an example of how to move the club forward. Schalke are headed in the right direction, they just a few more steps to complete the transition back to success.