Schalke 04 made one big change to their starting XI against Werder Bremen and… it was about the smallest big change you could make.
Okay, so a couple of preludes really quick. First off, yes we try to stay positive about Schalke 04 here at Release The Knappen, but I’m human too, and I get frustrated. Secondly, I still have faith in David Wagner, strangely enough, so even with what I’m about to say, I’ll try not to lose touch with that fact.
That said… with the team in full-on desperation mode, David Wagner had to make something happen against Werder Bremen and his choice was rather anticlimactic. The big change was seeing Bastian Oczipka, who has started every match for Schalke, dropped for Juan Miranda.
That was it. The big change. On an individual level, it’s a big deal, the first match Oczipka hasn’t started. But on the whole? Who cares. Juan Miranda played well, so that was cool. Maybe Wagner deserves a little more credit for that, but overall, the complete lack of positive adjustment was bizarre.
Schalke 04 needed a change, but David Wagner chose… small
Not just that, but it was further thrown into flux when, between the 45th minute and the 60th minute, David Wagner made four subs that added new life into the match.
One of those subs happened to be Bastian Oczipka.
But again—nothing came of that particular move. The smallest big change that Wagner could have opted for. His other change was putting Nubel in for Schubert. Which did all of nothing as well, go figure.
A lot of going and figuring going on in this post. Go figure.
You want to know what a bigger big change would have looked like? Ahmed Kutucu instead of Gregoritsch. Nassim Boujellab instead of Caligiuri. Those are big changes. The kind that will make fans nod their heads and say, “Okay, I see you Wagner. Out here making changes and things.”
Then, even if Boujellab, or God forbid Kutucu, does struggle, Wagner can hang his 1904 had on his decision making and fans can have little to gripe about.
But when your changes involve swapping out a defender and a keeper, you’ve got it all kinds of mixed up.
Again, I have faith in David Wagner. Come next week, I’ll again believe that he’s seen the light and that Boujellab and Kutucu and Mercan and Bozdogan and the whole lot of youngsters will be starting. Don’t prove me wrong, David.