Analysis: Schalke heading for new horizons with figurehead Wagner

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, July 9 (Xinhua) -- A well-deserved vacation seems no reason for Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp not to care about his old companion David Wagner. The 2019 Champions League winners support in several phone-calls might indeed be helpful as the challenge the former Huddersfield Town manager is facing couldn't be bigger.

The 47-year-old former Premier League coach is nothing less than the figurehead of a profound renewal process for one of Germany's most famous football clubs. Structural changes haven't been more significant in the Royal Blues' history.

Schalke's new structures still need to survive the ups and downs of an entire season but times of arbitrary decisions made by mighty officials are said to be over. Schalke's new board-member sports Jochen Schneider made Wagner the spearhead of a movement the entire club is expected benefitting from.

"Success in Huddersfield always was a common achievement," 1997 UEFA Cup champion Wagner commented adding that always needs to be remembered at Schalke while heading for new shores.

While Wagner is the side's 10th coach in 10 years has Schalke expanded its structure around the team to address the needs of modern football. A general sports coordinator joined the Bundesliga outfits as well as a supervising scout, a psychologist, an integration manager, and a video-analyst and a managing director only taking of the professional teams demands.

After Schalke's difficulties emerged from its inconsistency over the past years, it is on Wagner having to initiate a re-launch on the pitch affecting the entire club. The German-Italian manager is a top line innovative coach, who has the charisma and honesty to bring the fans, the community, the players, and the club together to act as a unity.

But as ever at Schalke emotions need to be kept under control as the club's natural force has always led to thoughtless reactions. "To convince people is the challenge as it is to play football that pleases fans," Wagner underlined after the club's pre-season training start.

To express goals is counterproductive Wagner emphasized. "It means to limit yourself; therefore, it is nonsense. You need passion and to invest effort and keep your ambitions alive," Wagner said, talking about his experience in the Premier League.

"I have experienced what is possible when you can get beyond your borders as a group," the Schalke coach commented.

To push the boundaries seems inevitable for a regional force like Schalke that might gain fans in all parts of the country as well but is lacking further growth as on international markets. "We are in danger to lose contact and therefore be left behind," Schalke's board-member marketing Alexander Jobst stressed adding the club needs to forget about the past but face reality and adjust the club to the requirements of modern times.

After failing to qualify for international competitions, Schalke has to count on rebuilding in several sectors. "Inconsistency was the club's biggest problem, that needs to be solved over a longer period," former Schalke and Chinese Super League coach Felix Magath commented.

Wagner claims to feel Schalke's heartbeat, emotions, and power. "That's all me, but it will take time and everyone's effort," the Schalke coach said.

Considering that it might take some more of Klopp's supporting phone-calls as Wagner's job is simply to reinvent and revitalize one of the country's most vivid football clubs. Enditem

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