The lost props seem to smooth Schalke's happy victory. But Coach Wagner needs to look for reasons for a mysterious decline in performance and looks forward to Amine Harit's transformation.
David Wagner could have said a lot about the morality and mentality of his people, the power to return to a lost game and claim a reward earned for the resolute power play of the last minutes. But he did not do that. Instead, the coach was lucky to see Schalke 04 still a 2-1 winner against Mainz 05 and his players were in need of a "very bad second half", especially when they were trying to fill the goal of the game: "Our biggest problem was possession of the ball."
This phrase sounded as if the Schalke had continued Friday night, where he had stopped last season. At that time, home games were hard to bear for the public sympathizing with guests. Franz Beckenbauer would have rightly said: "I do not know what it is, but football is not." The disappointed and angry whistles of the audience were like the turf, the ball and the oxygen of the air an essential element of home games.
Friday night, after the final whistle, there were no whistles, but euphoric noises. The final phase of the match was dramatic and exciting, with the winner Amine Harit's 89-minute shot. A little later, many of the players involved fell on the pitch as after a European Cup battle with extra time. Winners of exhaustion, losers of frustration. Mainz-05 had arrived relatively late to equalize by Karim Onisiwo (74.), but he looked better in the second half than the Schalke. "If you'd asked me after 1-1, who shot the next goal, I would not have thought we were," Wagner said. This admission should probably appeal to Mainz, whose manager, Rouven Schröder, had already become arrogant and had already scored three points: "After the 1: 1, we were significantly superior," he found the defeat that 39 he described as "mega frustrating".
Even the double passes saw Schalke's fans suffer for a long time
It's probably good news for Schalke 04 that Head Coach Wagner did not honestly object to Schroeder's biased assessment. Wagner is content to celebrate the three points and praise the energy during the final stages, while critically evaluating the overall performance. "After the match, there is no reason not to be euphoric," said Wagner, thus honoring a second half, "in which we have completely lost the thread," he said. said sports director Jochen Schneider.
In fact, about 60 minutes began a process that was at odds with the prevailing impressions: Schalke had started as a real home team. The central defensive block with Omar Mascarell, Benjamin Stambouli and Salif Sané was stable, with forts Suat Serdar and Weston McKennie dominating the midfield. The advance after 36 minutes was logical. The brilliant teamwork between Harit and Serdar has had a positive impact in the modern football textbook: the shooter rushes to the top, the smuggler finds the gap until the end. At the break, everything was clear: yes, football is again played on Schalke, with freewheeling and changing positions and even with real double passes – a support that was lost last year. And with a Harit, which makes new sensation on the place and no longer attracts the unruly, as in the pre-season. What was still missing: At Torgefahr. Guido Burgstaller is presented as a little advantage center-forward.
Why did the Schalke diminish successively until each ball immediately wins a new loss and each attack attempt rather than the opposing defense in danger, Wagner can not explain that, he wants to explore it now. He has not yet sounded the ups and downs of his team. "We have only been together for ten to twelve weeks, which is nothing," he said. But one thing is for him after the first and really promising to get to know each other: talking about the European Cup is in the current situation "totally unrealistic". Why should we do this, he asked rhetorically: "Because we have a big stadium and big spectators?" After the evening, we could think of some arguments: That Harit, who was lost in the pre-season, uses his art again and his art shooting technique is only one of them.