Schalke Under Pressure

Schalke, the club from Germany’s industrial heartland, have announced that management candidate Markus Weinzierl, currently in charge of Bundesliga high-flyers Augsburg, rejected an offer from the Royal Blues and will remain in charge of the Bavarian side instead. The club had previously negotiated with Weinzierl for about two weeks, but Schalke does not seem like a favourable destination for anyone at the moment.

The club have recently parted ways with former Chelsea player and manager Roberto di Matteo, after the club’s general manager Horst Heldt took the blame for making a genuine mistake when picking the Italian. The developments at Schalke are generally interesting to watch from a neutral viewpoint, as it seems as though, managing the club has become a less attractive proposition over the years. Although the club was classed as Europe’s seventh richest club only last year, the feeling is that Schalke’s approach to the sporting side of things is rather inconsistent.

In the last ten years alone, the club appointed nine different managers. In other words, no manager lasted much longer than a year. Taking over at the club is clearly a challenge, but the idea of turning things around in such a short period of time due to the impatience of senior management and fans alike, is a rather daunting prospect. Weinzierl must have known, that joining Schalke might destroy his reputation very quickly, and that the hard work he has put in throughout his career so far, might be undone in less than a season. It might just be true that taking over in Gelsenkirchen is only for those who have not achieved anything yet, or those who have a wealth of experience. In this respect, Jens Keller, manager at Schalke from December 2012 to October 2014, made his name at the Royal Blues, as he was an unknown quantity when he took over. Roberto di Matteo on the other hand, was a young manager with a Champions League trophy to his name, and his stint in Gelsenkirchen only undermined his achievements and might have destroyed his career.

Therefore, Schalke might arguably only be an option for the likes of Carlo Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp, who have earned their credentials and would just as easily land high-profile jobs after leaving a club. Nevertheless, whoever ends up getting the job, there is a lot to look forward to. Passionate fans, a great stadium, a strong squad, an incredibly professional environment, Germany’s best youth academy; these are only some of the perks of managing Schalke. We are intrigued by the current situation at the club and will watch the space for this summer’s major announcement.