Schalke 04 was without their chief goal threat Amine Hari against FC Augsburg, so let’s consider that he would have provided this drubbing.
Schalke 04’s ridiculous goal drought continued against FC Augsburg. The return home was supposed to give them a lift, even without the fans, but this was not the case. Not helping the matter was the absence of Amine Harit, who missed the match due to an injury sustained last weekend.
While we don’t often play the hypothetical game here at Release the Knappen, I’m making an exception here because this match, in particular, seemed like a match that Amine Harit would have changed the face of.
Schalke had so much possession. nearly two-thirds of it, in fact. But they couldn’t make the most of that possession. Alessandro Schopf was quite a positive creative influencer, but his movement and passing alone weren’t enough to spring any attempts on goal easy enough not to be squandered.
What might Amine Harit have changed for Schalke?
What Die Knappen needed in this one wasn’t more strikers. That isn’t what they’ve needed in awhile. What they needed was more creativity, more pinpoint movement on and off the ball, and that’s why the hypothetical in me has been believing that Harit would have turned this match around.
Amine Harit is at his best when he’s given the ball a lot and provided with options around him. He isn’t the kind of guy that can handle it all on his own, but with the right supporting cast, he is a game-changer.
This may sound crazy, but the supporting cast was there, they just didn’t have a chief supplier. Rabbi Matondo was there for some serious, speedy runs into the box, Michael Gregoritsch was firing at the ball, and as mentioned, Schopf was quite good with his movements on and off the ball. He just didn’t play the chief supplier all that well because he doesn’t have the close control that Harit does.
Had Harit been in that attack, preferably in favor of Daniel Caligiuri, this match might have looked much different. Which doesn’t do us much good, I realize, but it does give be the slightest bit of optimism that maybe some of the pieces are there, if we can just figure out how best to use them.
Harit’s ligament injury has not been fully diagnosed yet in terms of a return, but my blind optimism is clinging to his return as the piece this new attack was missing.