KENYA BROWN - Sunday, September 27, 2020
Schalke's continued run of poor performances has led the board to finally drop the hammer on head coach David Wagner as it was announced on Sunday that he was fired.
News of the 48-year-old's firing came after the Royal Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen on Saturday to extend their losing run to 18 games. Their slump actually started in the previous season when the Bundesliga returned to action following its winter break.
The German-American coach was appointed as head coach of Schalke in May 2019 after leaving then English Premier LEague team Huddersfield Town, and appeared to have been making progress as he had them in the top half of the standings and challenging for a European place.
However, the losing streak along with a heavy 8-0 loss to reigning champions Bayern Munich to start the new season put the writing on the wall as management decided it was time to let Wagner go.
"We all hoped that we'd be able to achieve the sporting turnaround together with David Wagner," Schalke sporting executive Jochen Schneider said. "Sadly, we did not get the results and performances needed for it on the first two match days. We therefore decided to go the path of a new beginning, personnel-wise."
Schneider thanked Wagner and his staff, adding that it was not an easy decision to let them go.
Schalke's woes cannot be squarely blamed on Wagner as the team have suffered greatly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been forced to impose a salary cap for new signings and offload some of their top players. Weston McKennie was sent out on loan to Italian giants Juventus as part of their efforts to manage their budget.