We had just reported about Augsburg manager Markus Weinzierl’s rejection of the Schalke job, and now the Royal Blues sprang a surprise and appointed Paderborn manager Andre Breitenreiter who had narrowly missed out on keeping Paderborn in the Bundesliga season. To neutrals, this might sound rather underwhelming, but what Breitenreiter had achieved in Paderborn over two years in charge is nothing short of brilliant. He led the small-town club into the Bundesliga and kept them in contention until the final day of the season, with a budget significantly smaller than that of competitors.
Given how limited resources were at Paderborn, Breitenreiter’s win ratio of over 36% is incredibly impressive. As we reported, we believe that Schalke either needed a big name or someone who could make a name for themselves. This appointment represents the latter and although Breitenreiter’s credentials are fairly well known by now, he still has to become an established proposition. As such, the former Hamburg striker does not risk losing his reputation or negatively affecting his career with this job. Indeed, this is an opportunity for Breitenreiter to prove himself at a higher level.
At Schalke, the incoming manager can expect a squad of the highest quality and a youth department that will continue to strive. However, he can also expect the pressure of having to win every game. Nevertheless, the Schalke faithful mainly expect an attacking style of play, something Breitenreiter is known for, and something that ultimately went against defensive expert Roberto di Matteo. At Paderborn, Andre Breitenreiter has shown that his players buy into his philosophy and do not run scared of the opposition, trying to defend. Instead, Paderborn’s tactics were based on principles of attack, despite its risky nature. This way, the club and the manager achieved to impress the neutral crowd.
With the available resources, Schalke and their new manager will certainly dip into the transfer market and it will be interesting to see as whom they identify as targets. Gelsenkirchen can now rest assured and look forward to team that will have a go in every game of the season, even when they travel to mighty Munich.