FC Schalke 04 – Match Report vs Bayern Munich 18/09/20

The opening game to the 2020/21 Bundesliga season saw Bayern Munich show no signs of complacency as they smashed Schalke 8-0. The Champions League winners put in a dominant display, and with their improved lineup, playing them is going to be a scary task for the rest of the league. David Wagner’s Schalke fell apart at the end of last season. Injuries and issues behind the scenes of the club means they’re in a poor financial position and haven’t strengthened over summer. They’ve lost McKennie to Juventus and Nübel to Bayern, and no longer have Jonjoe Kenny and Todibo on loan. They haven’t replaced or strengthened and I see them having a very poor season, with Wagner’s days probably numbered.

Schalke set up in a 4-4-2, but were fairly feeble against Bayern, who are so dangerous and clinical that they are able to create chances from any situation and turn a slow phase of possession into a goal scoring chance instantly. They started well by getting a chance but struggled the rest of the game and weren’t able to keep the ball due to poor structure in possession and Bayern’s press which never allowed them to have any control or to lower the tempo.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ozan Kabak

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Turkish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 25/03/2000
  • Current Club: Schalke
  • Career: Galatasaray, Stuttgart, Schalke
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kabak played as the right centre back in the back four and had as good a game possible for a centre back who has conceded 8 goals. In possession, he received the ball well, taking good touches. He was calm under pressure and progressed the ball into midfield well with well-hit passes and was able to break the Bayern lines. At one point he found himself in midfield being swarmed and did very well to protect the ball and find a teammate. He also carried into space well a few times.

Kabak is 6’1 with a good build and is a bit stocky and showed good strength in the challenge, putting on good pressure from behind. He also showed okay athleticism which was a bit mixed. His changes of speed were good and over short-medium distances he kept up with attackers but didn’t have the best acceleration at times and some of his recovery runs could have had more energy and potentially lacks explosiveness.

He put in some good defensive stops and was good 1v1, with some good tackles and anticipation to cover and collect loose balls. But, was less effective at defending space and his positioning needed to be better at times. He needed to check his shoulders and scan more often, at times adjusting his positioning too late and didn’t react to runners quick enough. He showed himself as a good individual defender but needs to develop his positioning, awareness and decision making a bit from this game, the system and playing in a poor team affects this. He didn’t tend to press out of the line, the one time he did was quite poorly timed and fouled Sane with a strong challenge.

Rating – A2

Overall, a tough game for any centre back. At just 20, Kabak is good physically and in possession, as well as aspects of his defending but showed some clear areas to improve from this game.

Amine Harit

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Moroccan
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 16/06/1997
  • Current Club: Schalke
  • Career: Nantes, Schalke
  • Position: 10
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing on the left wing on the 442, as Schalke tried and failed to counter, most of this play went through Harit and they focused their attacks down his wing. He received the ball very well and is elegant in possession. He protects and retains the ball well with nice tight control and good use of his body but is ultimately not physical enough to keep it and drew several fouls. The Moroccan is 5’11 with a very slim build and lacked aggression or strength.

He showed a good burst and okay overall pace over medium distances and was able to carry the ball on down his wing and into space. He carried the ball well at speed and showed some good technicality with his passing but ultimately wasn’t able to create anything or have a big impact on the game.

Out of possession he was good in the middle third in the mid-block, he was well positioned and pressed out at the right time, able to slow play down his wing and force them backwards at times. However in the defensive third, he could switch off a bit and his energy and work rate dropped, however this could have also been due to the scoreline and let his head drop because of it.

Rating – B2

Rabbi Matondo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Welsh
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 09/09/2000
  • Current Club: Schalke
  • Career: Cardiff (Y), Manchester City (Y), Schalke
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

The Welsh international winger played on the right wing before being subbed off in the 65th minute. He’s 5’9 with a very slim build and no physicality, he is a great athlete with good technical ability but failed to impact the game. At half time he’d only taken 12 touches, taking another 6 before being brought off. He didn’t show enough for the ball and his support for teammates wasn’t great, taking up narrow positions where he wasn’t accessible.

He received the ball well, he showed quick feet and tight control. He’s explosive and a tricky winger but his decision making was slow and wasn’t strong enough to drive at the defence and was pushed off the ball easily by a very physical Bayern side. He lacked directness in his play and is still a very raw player who needs to refine his game. This will improve with game time as right now he still looks fairly inexperienced.

Rating – D

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