Schalke 04: There are two teams here, and they’re both losing

Schalke 04 can’t seem to win a match, and while David Wagner figures out the current team, the other team is being left out. And now they’re both losing.

My thread following the Werder Bremen loss is pretty simple to follow—David Wagner needs to make changes to the Schalke 04 team—actual changes. And I mean changes beyond just swapping goalkeepers and starting Juan Miranda over Bastian Oczipka.

What’s happening here is that David Wagner has two teams to choose from. He has the team he chose the majority of against Bremen, with loanees and guys leaving the club at the end of the year; and then he has the team he should be playing, with a bunch of players that will populate the future of the club, and who actually will be here next year.

The more Wagner chooses the first team, the more the second team loses. Which is inconvenient, because the first team keeps losing too, so what’s happening here is both teams that Schalke could be using right now are losing simultaneously.

David Wagner has two Schalke 04 teams to choose from

Does that sound extra pessimistic? It kind of is. But it also makes things easy for David Wagner to make a change that will make everyone happy. And that change is as simple as I’ve been making it sound in previous articles.

Stop playing guys that won’t be here next year. Start playing—and keep playing—the guys that fight, the guys that want a result, the guys that have something to play for after this season ends.

It wouldn’t even take much. Leave Schubert in. Let Kutucu and Boujellab replace Caligiuri and Gregoritsch. See what happens. Leave Rabbi Matondo and Weston McKennie and Ozan Kabak in there and let them continue to grow.

At the very least, we would then have guys with more fight than we’ve had in these past awful 11 matches. Isn’t that what we want? A fighting chance?

And even if those changes still produce losses, we’re still winning in letting our young players get more minutes, which is a win, and we’re seeing just how much we will actually need come the transfer window, and if our youth system can supply us with some of the answers we hope to find from external sources.

Because honestly, I’m tired of signing players who aren’t up to the level we need to be at. Would much rather see that time and effort given to Knappenschmiede products, even if it’s ahead of schedule.