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Wagner sacked

The David Wagner era at Schalke is officially over as the club’s head of sport Jochen Schneider finally released the embattled coach on Sunday morning following yet another defeat, this time at home to fellow strugglers Werder Bremen.

Despite previously sticking by Wagner, who only joined the club in May 2019, a statement issued by Schneider said “Unfortunately the first two matches haven’t seen the required improvement in performances or results. We have therefore decided to go down the route of starting afresh with a new coach.“

The club had hoped for a turnaround in results and performances this season, but two games in and the prognosis is just as bleak as it was at the end of the 2019-20, which saw Schalke plummet down the table on the back of a 16 game run without a win.

The new season got off to a disastrous start with an 8-0 defeat at Bayern Munich, followed by yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Werder Bremen, who had made a similarly poor start to the new campaign in losing 4-1 at home to Hertha Berlin. In a battle of possibly the two worst teams in the Bundesliga Schalke looked poor from the start, conceding two goals from set plays before haof time.

Whether a new coach will be able to turnaround a team which has conceded 49 goals in the 18 games since they last won is a moot point. Schalke is a club in crisis, suffering from crippling debts and a lack of matchday revenue in the 60,000 capacity Veltins Arena. There was a distinct reluctance to part ways with Wagner, but the disappointing start to the season and the lack of any improvement in performance left the club with very little alternative but to look for a new coach.

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