Schalke 04 will be without Ozan Kabak in the Revierderby, but his timetable is clear and it’s easy to digest. Full speed ahead!
Part of getting Schalke 04 back to their early season form has to revolve around getting their personnel choices back to where they were in the early parts of the season. That’s not exactly something you can rush, but if you can put it in perspective and put a timetable to it, we have to feel a bit better about our prospects ahead.
So, with David Wagner hitting the microphone for the first press conference in months, all ears were perked to hear what state the club was in. The training video was promising, we saw plenty of bright and smiling faces, but the confirmation didn’t come until the presser.
Wagner only mentioned three names specifically that were not available for the Revierderby—Omar Mascarell, Benjamin Stambouli, and Ozan Kabak. Needless to say, that’s a little bothersome.
Ozan Kabak will be back at Schalke soon
For Mascarell and Stambouli, there is no timetable set, which is double bothersome because they could both fill the same crucial role.
But for Kabak? He is back in full training, as we saw, but he just isn’t ready to suit up against Dortmund in the Bundesliga return. While that is a bit of an annoyance, Wagner pinpointed that it would just be another week before he was back in contention.
I shot my wad early, celebrating that we may see Kabak and Salif Sane together for the first time in the Revierderby, only to be met with the news that this will, in fact, not happen. But the news is significantly lifted by the timetable that Wagner set. While we won’t see it right away, the Sane/Kabak partnership is just around the corner.
The good part about all of this is we should be in perfectly fine fettle with or without Kabak and with or without Sane as well. This defense has proven so adaptable over the course of the year such that, even with our fourth and fifth options, we were still perfectly capable of stacking up against any given attack.
So while the news of Kabak’s unavailability may not be the happiest of news, sticking a timetable on it makes it perfectly digestible. This club is getting back to their best possible state and it’s all happening really quickly. Now we just need a nice, conclusive result against Dortmund and it’s full speed ahead.