Schalke 04: 5 most pivotal games of the 2019-2020 season so far

David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Schalke, David Wagner
David Wagner, Schalke (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke 04 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Dec. 15

Eintracht Frankfurt are no longer one of the best teams in the league and are still finding a new identity after selling superstars Sebastian Haller, Luka Jovic, and Ante Rebic in the same summer, but with Filip Kostic, they are always tricky customers.

Schalke managed to win this mid-December game 1-0, and they did so despite an awful red-card challenge from now Bayern-bound keeper Alexander Nübel.

The red card to Nübel meant that Markus Schubert got his first shot in goal since signing with the team for free in Dynamo Dresden, and he hasn’t looked back since. Schubert is the superior goalkeeper to the former captain despite being two years younger, and it all started in this game.

Schalke 04 at. Bayern Munich, Jan. 25

The difference between the conversation surrounding Schalke 04 before and after this game is astonishing. Coming into the match at the Allianz Arena with Bayern, the Royal Blues couldn’t have been riding higher after dismantling Marco Rose‘s Champions League-caliber Borussia Mönchengladbach side in a 2-0 victory that wasn’t remotely close.  Michael Gregoritsch looked like a star loan signing in his debut, scoring and assisting for Die Knappen.

It all came crumbling down against Bayern, in a much worse way than their 3-0 loss at the VELTINS-Arena in the Hinrunde.

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David Wagner was tactically outclassed, Schalke’s entire system was exposed, the midfield was overrun, and Jonjoe Kenny put together one of the most disastrous performances by any player in the Bundesliga that season (and somehow Schubert took all the blame for one nervy mistake).

Schalke haven’t been the same since this loss, though they have recently started recovering the pieces, including “only” losing 1-0 to Bayern in a later DFB-Pokal fixture.