Schalke’s starting XI against Werder Bremen was not what you would call “forward-thinking,” but David Wagner has to put the future on hold for the present, apparently.
David Wagner is not having a very good time lately. Schalke 04, in general, isn’t, but Wagner, the man making all the decisions, has to be at his wit’s end to figure out why his top-four side can’t get a single point from anyone.
And sure, you lose Mascarell and Serdar and Harit and you’ve thus lost your three most important midfielders and that sucks, but especially against Werder Bremen, there was a particularly unpleasant trend in the Royal Blue starting XI—at least six of the starters won’t be with the club next season.
Wagner called on Nubel, Caligiuri, Gregoritsch, Kenny, Miranda, and Todibo—all six of these guys for sure won’t be at the club unless Caligiuri signs a new deal.
Schalke’s future shouldn’t be lost in translation
It’s all rather odd that as Die Knappen’s desperation grows worse, Wagner turns further away from long-term fixes and looks more towards immediate fixes.
By my logic, if the present isn’t working, the best thing you can do is start working in the future of the club. Let them get their legs underneath them. Guys like Ahmed Kutucu, Nassim Boujellab, and Levent Mercan are all talented young men who will be here next year and who could prove to be solutions that save us money in the transfer market. But we wouldn’t know that if they don’t get any time to play.
Instead of them, Wagner has turned to loanees and departees, guys who aren’t in this for the long-term.
So I have to ask—who would be more inspired in this situation? Guys who don’t care what happens to the club because they’re leaving anyway, or guys that have been here for years, grown with the club, and have a vested interest in how the club grows and progresses?
It’s amazing to me that Wagner would be willing to continue to put off the future at the club in order to send out more players who are clearly only here for the present. Who wins in that situation? Bayern Munich wins because Nubel gets to play. Barcelona wins because Todibo and Miranda get to play. Schalke? Schalke doesn’t win.
I get that you have to try new things when your team is in a situation like this, but why can’t those new things be beneficial to the long-term future of the club? Especially seeing as how he hasn’t even tried Kutucu, Mercan, or Boujellab yet.