With so much on the line for the upcoming Revierderby, David Wagner has to get Schalke 04 as ready as he possibly can to avoid one big pitfall.
The Bundesliga is back, and how appropriate that it is getting started with the most storied rivalry in Germany (and the world)? Schalke 04, hoping to regain their footing, and Borussia Dortmund, hoping to continue where they left off. For David Wagner, the task is massive but relatively simple.
There is a lot on the line. More than just pride, Schalke are at risk of dropping three places, all the way down to the middle of the table, if they can’t get a result here. Even if they can get a draw, they still risk dropping. A win, though, guarantees retention of a European spot through the last truly daunting match of the season.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking key players and what’s at stake and why this match is different than all the rest, but there’s also the fact that this season has been wildly unpredictable, so it’s hard to settle on complete confidence or complete nervousness for this one.
David Wagner is crucial in setting the foundation for the rest of Schalke 04’s season
Which is where David Wagner comes into it. These are strange circumstances that we’re living in. Perhaps talking about momentum and recent history has been thrown completely out the window since the last match was back in March. How do you build on, or turn around, a result that far back?
For Wagner, that’s where his job comes in. Despite the poor string of results, his club still sits in control of their own destiny. They performed so well in the first Revierderby at the Veltins and they performed so well against Borussia Monchengladbach that there is clear talent and ability on this team.
But after the string of results against Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and FC Koln, Wagner has to ensure that the bleeding has stopped, and that the club is in the right mindset to get back into a competitive headspace.
The thing about those three matches is that, sad as it is to say, Die Knappen quit. They were defeated early and it only got worse. It was truly awful and it shook the hope and faith that fans have in the Royal Blue.
This Revierderby is all about hopes and faith. Even if we lose (God forbid) there has to be a reinvestment of hope and faith, otherwise, this season is going to be tough to stomach.