Schalke part company with head coach David Wagner

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Schalke have relieved head coach David Wagner of his duties in the wake of Matchday 2’s 3-1 home loss to Werder Bremen.

Wagner, 48, heads for the exit door with the Ruhr district club bottom of the standings and without a win in 18 league matches stretching back to 17 January 2020. The defeat to Bremen was their fifth in a row, and came just a week after an 8-0 humbling at the hands of record champions Bayern Munich on the opening weekend.

“We all hoped we’d be able to turn a corner with David,” explained Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider. “Unfortunately, the first two matches of the new season haven’t delivered the necessary performance levels and results. We’d like to thank David and [his coaching staff] for all their efforts to get Schalke back on track.”

Wagner took charge of Schalke ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, following the club’s worst top-flight campaign in 36 years. The former Huddersfield Town and Borussia Dortmund reserves boss provided the necessary lift as the Royal Blues lost just twice during the first half of the season, but one win, six draws and 10 defeats in the Rückrunde plunged them from fifth at halfway to a final standing of 12th – only seven points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

The downward trend has only continued in 2020/21 with those aforementioned losses to Bayern and Bremen. Propping up the post-Matchday 2 table with a goal difference of -11, Schalke have now scored a league-low 10 goals in 19 Bundesliga matches in 2020, whilst failing to keep a clean sheet in 14 – another unwanted league worst. Wagner signs off on the third longest winless run of any Bundesliga coach (18), after Heinz-Ludwig Schmidt (20, Tasmania Berlin) and Bernd Hoss (21 games, Blau-Weiß Berlin).

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