David Wagner: We’re in a position that we can attack from
Schalke’s preparations on the new season began just over a week ago. Head coach David is pleased with the performances of his players. “The guys have got into good condition in pre season,” said the 47 year old. “They have carried out our summer plan really well.”
One of the newer faces of the Royal Blue squad is Benito Raman. The Belgian spent the previous season with Fortuna Düsseldorf and will now have his sights set on pushing forward with S04 following the club’s disappointing 18/19 campaign. “We are very pleased to have pulled off this transfer and expect him to continue where he left off at Düsseldorf,” said Wagner on the forward.
We are expecting Benito to continue where he left off in Düsseldorf.
The Royal Blue coach underlined a number of qualities in the 24 year old’s game. “He can play on the wing, as well as in the middle because of his goal threat, speed and ability to find space, but above all his technical ability,” said Wagner, who was also an attacker during his playing career.
Schubert returns from summer break early
Alongside Raman, Markus Schubert is another new arrival ahead of the new season. The 21 year old goalkeeper, who joined the club from Dynamo Dresden and represented Germany at the U21 European Championships this summer, decided to return prematurely from his summer holiday in order to train with the Royal Blues.
Weston McKennie will join up with the team at the training camp in Mittersill (26th July – 3rd August). The midfielder has been representing the United States in the Gold Cup as they reached the final before losing 1-0 against Mexico. “Weston should remember that he has had a good tournament,” said Wagner on the 20 year old. “He was a goal threat and it was a great honour for him to lead out his country as captain. Now it is important for him to rest and recover before looking forward to the new season,” said the head coach.
Praise for youngsters
Therefore, McKennie will not be available for the upcoming friendlies gainst Stadtauswahl Bottrop (12/07), SG Wattenscheid 09 (14/07) and FC Twente (23/07). As such, it is likely that, especially against Bottrop and Wattenscheid, a number of faces from the youth team will play, similarly to the 3-1 win against TW Oberhausen. “There is fantastic support from the players from the second team in training and in matches,” praised Wagner, who is hoping to soon be able to rely on a number of currently unavailable first-team players once again.
Even though these players are not always able to take part in training sessions, they are being fully integrated with the rest of the squad, ensured Wagner. “In this respect, I have to praise the physiopherabpy and rehabilitation staff, who are doing a fantastic job,” said Wagner. “The unavailable players are present at every video briefing and tactical meetings. Even when they’re not training, in theory they still get to see what we’re doing and can also observe one or two sessions from the outside.”
A certain flexibility is advantageous – and we want to be able to adjust in the coming season.
Looking ahead to the coming season, Wagner says that there is a gap to fill at the top. “But the past few weeks have given me the feeling that we are in a position from which we can attack,” said the head coach, who also explained that he prefers a back four to a back three in defense, but also added, “I am not a fan of once specific style. But a certain flexibility is advantageous – and we want to be able to adjust in the coming season.”