David Wagner

Photo credit: @s04

Schalke appoint former Huddersfield boss David Wagner

Leave a comment

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Schalke is bringing former United States international David Wagner back to the Bundesliga as coach.

[ MORE: Tottenham pull off second amazing UCL comeback in two days ]

The club says the 47-year-old Wagner, who previously coached Huddersfield in England’s Premier League, has signed a three-year contract through June 2022.

Wagner will inherit a side low on confidence after a lackluster season in which it only avoided Bundesliga relegation with a goalless draw against Augsburg last weekend. Schalke, which finished runner-up last season, hasn’t had a worse season since it was relegated in 1982-83.

The club fired Domenico Tedesco as coach following a 7-0 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League and turned to former coach Huub Stevens as an interim solution for the last eight games of the Bundesliga.

As a player, Wagner won the UEFA Cup with Schalke in 1997. He previously played for Mainz.

[ MORE: Tearful Pochettino hails Spurs “heroes” after another UCL comeback ]

Wagner’s coaching career began when he took charge of Schalke rival Borussia Dortmund’s second team in 2011, helped by friend and former Mainz teammate Jurgen Klopp. He was appointed Huddersfield coach in November 2015 and led the side to promotion in 2017.

Wagner performed a minor miracle by keeping Huddersfield in the Premier League the following season, but Wagner and the club agreed to part ways in January with the team last and eight points from safety with 16 games remaining.

Wagner, a former forward, made eight appearances for the United States.

Wagner or not, Schalke’s next manager hire big for USMNT

Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
1 Comment

Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie may get a manager who’s represented his same national team.

Former USMNT striker David Wagner is reportedly in “very advanced” talks to take the helm of the Bundesliga outfit.

[ MORE UCL: Spurs-Ajax recap | Eriksen reacts ]

Wagner, 47, was the Borussia Dortmund II manager before taking the job at Huddersfield Town and guiding the Terriers to the Premier League, but left the club in January en route to relegation.

Now with Schalke having dodged relegation and beaten rivals Borussia Dortmund this weekend under interim boss Huub Stevens, who himself has led the club on two other occasions.

The German-born Wagner won the UEFA Cup during a short stint as a player at Schalke, and was capped eight times by the United States.

But the move, whether Wagner or not, is significant for American soccer.

McKennie doesn’t turn 21 until the start of next season, and already boasts 44 Bundesliga appearances, a half-dozen Champions League matches, and six more German Cup slots.

He’s played in every central midfield position, as well as right back, right mid, and even a little center back and center forward. McKennie is one of the most industrious and experienced young players in USMNT history, but how much of his experience at the club level will even matter to Gregg Berhalter?

I mean, look at his positional usage at Schalke this season via Transfermarkt (right).

This could also become a David Alaba situation. The Austrian has played the majority of his Bayern Munich career as a left back, and then a center back. Yet the 26-year-old has only recently made the move to left mid or left back for Das Team, having been a center midfielder in World Cups and EURO tournaments.

So perhaps Wagner takes over at Schalke, and slots McKennie at right back. Does Berhalter think at all about whether Tyler Adams should go into the middle role and McKennie play a more natural right back? Or does Berhalter say Adams is his right back and McKennie a center mid, end of story?

Also, Wagner was a Danny Williams fan, so perhaps he’d consider the option of an All-American midfield with McKennie and Williams. Half-kidding aside, Schalke’s next manager and their intention for McKennie will be one of the more intriguing and important moves for the future of the U.S. midfield.

Reports: David Wagner set to take over Schalke

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to reports by German publication Bild and Sky Sports in England, former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner is the leading candidate to take over at Bundesliga side Schalke, with Sky reporting the two parties are “in advanced talks.”

The move represents a significant step up despite being fired at Huddersfield Town in January with the club in an ultimately unrecoverable position in the Premier League table, now guaranteed to finish bottom of the league sitting on just 14 points with two matches remaining.

Wagner has history at the German club, having spent two seasons at Schalke from 1995-1997 and serving as an unused substitute in the 1997 UEFA Cup final which Schalke emerged victorious.

The 47-year-old former United States international had made a name for himself at Huddersfield Town, earning promotion to the Premier League for the first time in club history in 2017 before keeping the team afloat in its first top-flight campaign against significant odds. This season was one too many, however, and the club sent him packing in a last-ditch effort to turn things around, although new boss Jan Siewart has been unable to do so.

The position at Schalke is open after Domenico Tedesco was dismissed in March with the club in a surprising relegation battle. A season ago, Tedesco was lauded with the club finishing second in the table, but they have struggled mightily for consistency this season. They suffered through a horrible run in early 2019 that produced just two points over eight Bundesliga matches, a run which saw Tedesco eventually dismissed. Interim boss Huub Stevens has recovered things somewhat, topping Borussia Dortmund last time out to jump six points clear of the relegation zone with three matches to go.

According to the reports, current Borussia Monchengladbach manager Dieter Hecking is another candidate to take over at Schalke, but the club at this point prefers the unemployed Wagner.

Huddersfield appoint BVB II’s Jan Siewert as new head coach

Photo credit: bvb.de
Leave a comment

The trend of German coaches landing some of the biggest managerial gigs in the world shows no signs of letting up anytime soon, as Huddersfield Town announced on Monday that Borussia Dortmund reserves boss Jan Siewert has been appointed first-team head coach.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s head of recruitment leaving club after one year ]

Siewert, who’s 36, replaces David Wagner, another graduate of the Dortmund II post when he was appointed at the age of 44 in November 2015 when Huddersfield were in the Championship. Siewert has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract which runs through the 2020-21 season.

A defensive midfielder during his playing career for lower-division German sides TuS Mayen, SG Bad Breisig and TuS Montabaur, Siewert began coaching with the German under-17 and under-18 national teams and quickly ascended to prominence when he moved to Dortmund, one of the world’s best production lines for young talent.

[ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo to plead guilty to tax fraud in Madrid court ]

Siewert’s maiden first-team voyage will be a tricky one, as he’ll now be asked to rescue Huddersfield from last place in the Premier League table, 10 points adrift of safety with 15 games left to play this season. If he’s unable to do so, the club will almost certainly lean heavily upon him to rebuild before giving promotion and PL survival another go immediately thereafter.

Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle explained the process by which the Terriers came to hire their new boss (MORE QUOTES):

“Let me start by addressing the obvious: ee enjoyed tremendous success under our previous head coach, David Wagner, and we’ve subsequently appointed a new head coach that bears many similarities to him — a young, aspirational German from Borussia Dortmund II.

“However, that does a disservice to Jan, who is his own man. There is much more to this appointment than that.”

“Given David’s success at Huddersfield Town, we knew that it was prudent to look to the future in case an offer came in that he couldn’t refuse. David was fully aware that we were undertaking this work. You must prepare for the future.

“Jan’s name came to our attention in his previous role as assistant manager and under-19 coach at VfL Bochum. We first spoke with him over two years ago and we’ve kept in communication since, watching his progress with interest.

“His reputation in the game is very good. He’s known as a coach who is ambitious, has many qualities and who has strong philosophies. As such, it came as no surprise to us when he moved to one of the world’s biggest clubs, Borussia Dortmund.”

Report: Huddersfield Town looking to BVB (again) for manager

1 Comment

If your hiring process isn’t broke, don’t fix it?

Huddersfield Town has reportedly requested permission to speak with Borussia Dortmund II boss Jan Siewert, going down the same route they traveled in appointing recently-fired manager David Wagner.

[ MORE: Bundesliga 2nd half preview ]

Bild has gone as far as reporting that Siewert, 36, will join the Terriers for a fee of approximately $400,000.

The 47-year-old Wagner had not managed a first team when Huddersfield hired him from BVB II in 2015. All he did was lead the club into the Championship and then the Premier League before successfully keeping the Terriers in the top flight.

That all changed this season, with Wagner and the club mutually parting ways this week with the Terriers buried in last place and the manager linked to a possible opening at Leicester City.

Siewart was an assistant manager at Bochum before joining BVB II. He’s managed RW Essen in the Regionalliga West, and was an assistant manager for Germany’s U-17 and U-18 sides.

Huddersfield has a murderous run of fixtures left, as points look to be at an absolute premium in erasing an 8-point gap on 17th.