Manuel Baum: Put the problems behind us and find solutions

New head coach Manuel Baum is looking forward to his new challenge with the Royal Blues. The 41-year-old discussed his new club, the current sporting situation, Naldo, the academy and his son’s wishes during his first press conference on Wednesday (30/9).

Manuel Baum

Manuel Baum on…

…his decision to join Schalke:
I’m really looking forward to this challenge. I know the responsibility I have to both the club and the fans. I believe that I can help FC Schalke 04 and I can help lead the club up the table, to where they belong.

…his previous connections with Schalke:
FC Schalke 04 is a club rich in tradition, which I always followed during my childhood. I still remember putting the Panini stickers in my sticker book with a Schalke badge on as a young boy. I’m proud to have been given the chance to coach this amazing club. I’m really positive about this task and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

…the current sporting situation auf Schalke:
We’re all aware of the current situation. My approach will be to put the past behind us and to look ahead. We need to find solutions to our problems to get back on track. The team has a lot more potential than they have shown recently. We need to focus on small successes at the moment and not start dreaming of things way down the line. Our confidence will grow with the more success we have. For me, it’s important that we put the problems behind us and find solutions.

Our confidence will grow with the more success we have.

Manuel Baum

…his first impressions of the team:
I’m starting this job well informed, as I’ve been following Schalke’s progress, as well as other Bundesliga clubs’ in recent weeks and months. I also had several conversations before joining. As a result, I have been able to learn a lot about the team in a short space of time. We will work towards utilising the team’s strengths, which they definitely have. I am confident in the quality of the team and I’m looking forward to working together.

…another new addition to the coaching team:
I know Naldo from his time as a player in the Bundesliga. He was always extremely good at thinking tactically as a player. He has a lot of experience at Schalke too. He knows the team, the club and everything that goes with it. He is somebody who can invest a lot of energy too. I’m certain that he will be able to help us with his qualities and experience. Naldo has his heart in the right place and he will be a real asset to our coaching team.

…another new assistant coach:
We will add another assistant coach to my coaching team, although I am already looking forward to working with the guys already here. The quality of the coach is more important than how quickly they are appointed.

Naldo was always extremely good at thinking tactically as a player.

Manuel Baum

…his visit to Schalke last weekend:
My visit was planned a while ago. I met with Norbert Elgert on Friday to speak about young talents because of my role with the DFB. I also watched the U23s game on Saturday to see Levent Mercan, among others (I have coached him in the U20s). I had also visited other clubs as Germany U20s coach in previous weeks.

…working with talent:
The Knappenschmiede is well known by almost anybody interested in football in Germany. It’s like a seal of approval. I think integrating academy players into the first team is very important. We all know how many talented players the Schalke academy has already produced. Players from your academy help to create more of an identity. At my previous club Augsburg, the whole stadium once got up to applaud an academy player who was making his Bundesliga debut.

…his two son’s wishes:
As I was packing my suitcase, my five-year-old son asked me if I was no longer coaching Germany U20s. I showed him a YouTube video on my laptop that was recorded by a fan in the Nordkurve while the club anthem was being sung. I got goosebumps from that video and my son quickly understood what Schalke means. He then had two requests: He wants to watch a game auf Schalke and I can’t go home without bringing a shirt back.


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