Three-man chain and flat passes: Geraerts’ influence can already be seen

Schalke’s new coach Karel Geraerts was able to celebrate his debut with a 4-1 win against Heracles Almelo – and his successful approach.

He sets the new direction at Schalke: coach Karel Geraerts.

He sets the new direction at Schalke: coach Karel Geraerts.

IMAGO/Team 2

The initial situation wasn’t necessarily intentional, but it served a purpose. When Schalke were behind early on in the friendly against Heracles Almelo, the new coach Karel Geraerts was able to see for himself how much of the desired winning mentality was already in the team. “I told the team on the first day that I wanted to see a group that defends itself against resistance and always wants to win,” the Belgian reported afterwards and was delighted with a 4-1 win against the Eredivisie eighth team.

Geraerts said he was “very satisfied” with this result, and to a large extent this also applied “to my team’s game.” The new head coach also recognized that the victory was one or two goals too high in the end: “In the end it looks clear, but it was a tough fight.” Nevertheless, not only the four goals, some of which were worth seeing, made for a successful afternoon from Schalke’s point of view, the performance was also a positive indication of where things can go under Geraerts.

Also in the future in the 3-5-2 system? Geraerts still leaves the basic order open

The 41-year-old had his team line up in his preferred 3-5-2, and it was noticeable how few long balls were played straight from the back – a requirement, as he revealed after the game. However, Geraerts left it open whether this basic order with a three-man chain will actually remain in the future: “That doesn’t automatically mean that we will always act like that in the future.” He wanted to see “how the team plays in this system.”

And he was probably confirmed. Especially in scenes like before the 3-1, when central defender Marcin Kaminski used the unusual space forward to do a little solo followed by a pass into the penalty area. Kenan Karaman was the beneficiary of the fine preparatory work. The fact that the solution with short balls from the defense is still unusual was shown by two bad passes that Henning Matriciani and Tomas Kalas played before the break – one was punished by the young German striker Lasse Wehmeyer with the early deficit, the other was saved Justin Heekeren against Wehmeyer.

Geraerts will also be referring to these scenes when he addresses situations “that we could have solved better.” Weighing up when a break is necessary is part of the learning process: “The team must not act naively. We also have to play with our heads.”

Comments are closed.