Schalke 04 have sacked coach Markus Weinzierl after just one season, replacing him with Erzgebirge Aue’s Domenico Tedesco.
Despite being appointed only last summer, Weinzierl has paid the price for Schalke’s worst campaign in six seasons, as they finished only tenth in the Bundesliga.
Tedesco, despite only starting his senior coaching career with Aue in March, has signed a two-year deal with the Royal Blues.
Underwhelming year under Weinzierl
Much was hoped from the fresh pairing of former FC Augsburg coach Weinzierl and sporting director Christian Heidel when they arrived twelve months ago, but it proved to be another false dawn in Gelsenkirchen.
They never truly recovered from losing their first five league games under Weinzierl, and were never placed higher than eighth as they missed out on European qualification for only the second time since the turn of the century. They could at least count on the consolation of reaching the quarter-finals of both the UEFA Europa League and the DFB-Pokal.
Despite the season ended nearly three weeks ago, it has taken until now for Heidel the cut short the tenure of the 42-year-old, explaining that after “monitoring closely” the campaign just gone, it was decided “a change was necessary in order to achieve the desired development.” He did admit though that the decision “was not an easy one to make.”
The next Nagelsmann?
Aged just 31 years old, it is easy to draw comparisons between Tedesco and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann, even more so as he too was a youth coach at Hoffenheim and they completed the UEFA Pro Licence together. He had been in charge of the club’s under-19s before joining 2. Bundesliga side Aue in early March.
The Violas had looked in deep relegation trouble when he arrived but they won six out of the 11 games under him to eventually in fourteenth place, three points clear of danger. However the call of a Bundesliga club cleared proved too much to resist for Tedesco.
Despite his obvious inexperience, Heidel explained he was “convinced” about how Tedesco wants to “shape the sporting future of the club.” He also questioned whether other clubs “would take their chances on such a young and innovative coach.”
After igniting the coaching careers of Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel during his two decades at 1. FSV Mainz 05, could Heidel have given another promising young coach their chance to shine?
Quotes via Schalke 04.