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Legenda - The career of Luka Elsner

Started on 2 April 2020 by grismosw7
Latest Reply on 13 August 2020 by Justice
January 2021

Jan 2 – Match Day | Friendly vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Home)

We beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 behind goals from Makengo and Niakate.

Jan 3 – Team News

Fullback Anas Hamzaoui agrees to a long-term contract extension keeping him at the club through the 2022/2023 season.

Backup Enzo D’Alberto agrees to a long-term contract extension keeping him at the club through the 2022/2023 season.

Jan 4 – Team News

The team held a press conference today after a week of rumors regarding the future of Luka Elsner. The club announced that Luka Elsner has resigned effectively immediately. Elsner has agree to become the manager Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga. Union SG will be paid €120K in compensation.

While I hate to leave in the middle of the season, I cannot imagine a much better position coming available to Elsner at this point.

Intro to Schalke

Expectations are quite high but achievable. The team is currently 9th in the table, with the expectation to Qualify for the Europa League. Mostly likely a top 7 finish will do the job. At this point the team has not won a game since a 3-2 win away against Hannover 96 back on November 7th. That is two months without a victory. After a fast start where we were sitting as high as 3rd in the table this is a remarkable turn of fortune.

Squad Review

My first impression of the squad was a bit of disappointment. There are some good pieces but not as much young talent as you would expect for a club like this. One of the delights however are two wonderkids that were brought in during the summer transfer window.

Antonio Marin arrived from Dinamo for €14.75M.
Fabrice Hartmann arrived from RB Leipzig for €10.75M.

Players out on Loan:

We have a nice transfer budget to address some issues in the winter window.
€14.75M is available for transfer fees.
€8,962,000 per month is available in payroll.

We will first look to add a backup goalkeeper (third option) and a left footed backup central defender. I would also like to improve our defensive midfield options. Additionally we will look to improve our youth setup as things are pretty bare down there.

Tactical Adjustment

During his time at Union SG, Elsner exclusively played a 4-2-3-1 and adjusted the mentality depending on the opponent and situation. He never deviated and was criticized by the fan base for not doing so. Frankly it was the best formation for the squad and there were not very many other options with what we had.

The move to Schalke presents a time to adjust, the team lacks any qualified CAM. So initially we will open with a 4-3-3. We want to attack but still be responsible defensively. We will look for quality of possession, not just pure possession. We will build from the back, but not hesitate to counter if the opportunity is there. We will also look to press a bit more than Elsner did during his tenure at Union SG.

Jan 7 – Team News

We have decided to recall Salif Sane from his loan at Fenerbahce.

Jan 9 – Match Day | Friendly vs. MSV Duisburg (Away)

Not a bad opponent to start with…we make easy work of them, winning 5-1.

Goals from Origi, Naldo, Bentaleb (2), and Max.

Up next is FC Augsburg (Home), currently at 15th in the table.

Jan 16 – Match Day | Bundesliga vs. FC Augsburg (Home)

FC Augsburg are slight favorites heading into the match, their form is better but not by much. We will be without Bentaleb, he is suspended. Nkunku will get the start.

The boys come flying out of the gate with 5 shots on goal in the first 6 minutes of the match but no goals to show. FC Augsburg open the scoring off a corner kick, our goalie was indecisive and got caught in bad position allowing an easy goal. Origi had a chance to equalize in the 80th minute but was denied in a 1v1. We played well enough to deserve at least a point. Schalke 04 0, FC Augsburg 1

Jan 23 – Match Day | Bundesliga vs. RB Leipzig (Away)

RB Leipzig are heavy favorites, no one is counting on this to be the match where we end our 7 match winless streak. Daniel Caligiuri is suspended for the match. Diego Demme is suspended for them. Max Eggestein is doubtful with a sprained ankle. We have to take advantage of their weakened midfield.

Again we played really well but were unable to find a goal. We conceded in the 69th minute with Konrad Laimer scoring his 2nd goal of the season. Our next three matches are against the bottom of the table, hopefully we can right the ship and end this streak. RB Leipzig 1, Schalke 04 0

Jan 27 – Team News

Ralf Fahrmann suffers a hip injury today during training and has been ruled out for 3 months. We just rejected a transfer offer for him because we did not want to lose him mid-season. Our search for another goalkeeper just intensifies.

Jan 30 – Match Day | Bundesliga vs. Arminia Beilefeld (Home)

As the home team we are slight favorites. Beilefeld currently sit 18th in the table. We have to win this match. Uth gets the start over Origi and Nkunku started over McKennie. Nubel is the goalkeeper of the future for us, it’s time to see if he is ready.

Unbelievably disappointing to lose yet another match where we were clearly the better team but failed to capitalize. We almost got the equalizer in the final minute but they hold on. We have now lost 5 matches in a row. Schalke 04 1, Arminia Beilefeld 2

League Table

Jurgen Klopp is the manager at FC Bayern. They are undefeated in all competitions, including the Champions League. They play Atletic Madrid in the First Knockout Round.

We have to get things moving in a positive direction or we are in danger of digging too big of a hole to climb out of.

The transfer window closes on the February 1 - Elsner has been working the phones vigorously.
A massive move in the right direction but so far it's been a struggle. With time, hopefully you can improve your form and get the club back on track.

Transfers In

Mahmoud Dahoud (Dortmund)
• Bought for €6.25M
• 25 years old from Germany
• He has appeared in 5 matches, registering 1 assist this season.

Our first transfer completed is a controversial one. We do not want to make a habit of doing business with our rivals but Dahoud gives us some much-needed depth in the midfield and he was pretty cheap considering his potential. He already has a strong skill set that we can build upon.

Carlos Salcedo (VfL Wolfsburg)
• Bought for €8.5M
• 27 years old from Mexico with 35 caps.
• He has appeared in 8 matches this season.

Salcedo addresses a need for the future, with Naldo retiring after the season we wanted to address the position sooner than later. He also provides us some more depth after selling Benjamin Stambouli to AS Roma. He is extremely physical and a highly capable defender.

Maxwel Cornet (OL)
• Bought for €2.9M
• 24 years old from Ivory Coast with 7 caps.
• He failed to make an appearance for OL this season.

He gives us a nice change of pace on the wings, our standard wing players are very technical but Cornet gives us a much-needed boost in athleticism. He still has plenty of room to grow and should give us adequate first team cover for the rest of the season and into the future.

Loans In

Constantin Frommann (SC Freiburg)
• 22 years old from Germany
• He has appeared in 27 matches for SC Freiburg II this season, registering 9 clean sheets.

Simply added due to the injury to Ralf Fahrmann. We needed another goalkeeper and the transfer market was void of anything worthwhile and we did not want to overpay.

Transfers Out

Benjamin Stambouli (AS Roma)
• 30 years old from France
• He has appeared in 17 matches for Schalke, registering 1 assist and 2 players of the match.

It was a simple decision to sell him. He is too small to play adequately at center back and we have better options in the midfield. Additionally, he does not fit the athletic requirements that Elsner requires of his team.

Overall, we did not make any moves to shoot us right up the table but we address some depth issues and spent very little money.

  • Elsner picks up his first win against VFL Bochum on a goal from Nabil Bentaleb in the 31st minute.
  • Weston McKennie gets the winner in our second match of the month against FC Heidenheim.
  • Bentaleb scores his second goal of the month in the 76th minute but we allow the equalizer moments later and settle for a draw with SV Werder away.
  • A goal from Marco Reus in the 2nd minute cause us to throw out our gameplan, he played well before allowing a second goal in injury time to Odsonne Edouard.

Seven points out of twelve - definitely a move in the right direction.

Nabil Bentaleb

Bentaleb scored two goals in four appearance this month, he also had four key passes.

Ralf Fahrmann

Fahrmann is still receiving specialist treatment from his hip injury that he received in training in January. He is expected to return to training in late March with a possible return to the lineup in April.

Mark Uth

Uth is currently rehabbing from an abdominal strain suffered in training in the 16th of February. He is expected to return to training in early march.

We moved up the table to the 10th but still have a long way to go to get to Europa League qualification. FC Bayern are still on a roll, Hannover 96 gave them their first draw of the season with an injury time equalizer.

We have to find a way to at least get six points this month, even better if we can steal a point away to Hertha BSC. The schedule for April & May are brutal with 6 out of our last 7 matches against the top 8.

  • Disgusting display of football by VFB Stuttgart, they could not be bothered to leave their own end and we could not break them down.
  • A goal by Allan Saint-Maximin in the 64th minute sealed our fate as our attack continues to sputter against Hertha BSC.
  • A shocking explosion of goals lead by Origi’s hattrick and Hartmann’s brace

Baba Rahman

Rahman was suspended for the Stuttgart match but ended the month with 4 assists against SC Freiburg. He had 6 key passes, won 100% of his tackles, and had 7 interceptions in 2 matches.

Ralf Fahrmann

Fahrmann is currently working in the rehabilitation phase of his recovery. He is behind schedule and it looks like he will miss the entire month of April and perhaps the rest of the season.

Youcef Atel

Atel pulled a hamstring in training on the 29th of March. He is expected to be out 1 to 2 weeks.

FC Bayern easily wins the league, now it’s just a matter of can they do it without a loss.

We remain 10th in the table but are only 4 points from Europa League qualification, gaining 3 points from last month. It should be an exciting two months with some many teams in contention for qualification.

A make or break month with four matches against top 8 of the table. I would be happy with six points but I am afraid that may take us out of qualification contention.

Schalke Annouce Contract Extension for Daniel Caligiuri

  • The deal secures the veteran defender through the 2021-2022 season.
  • Caligiuri takes a €70,000 per month wage cut to stay with the club.
  • Caligiuri has appeared in 20 matches this season with 1 goal, 1 assist, and an average rating of 6,88.
Small steps in the right direction lately but still some work to go. A tough run of games ahead but if you do manage to navigate through them successfully, you put yourselves into a very good position.
2020-04-17 13:39#268746 ScottT : Small steps in the right direction lately but still some work to go. A tough run of games ahead but if you do manage to navigate through them successfully, you put yourselves into a very good position.

Definitely will be a stressful finish to the season!

  • Hartmann’s goal in the 27th minute gives us the victory against Hannover 96, 1-0.
  • FC Bayern scored in the 2nd minute but Origi scored in the 39th and assisted on Bentaleb’s goal in the 45th minute to go into the break up 2-1. Unfortunately, Brandt (58’) and Goretzka (77’) hit us back in the final 45. Tough loss.
  • An even match Bayer 04 but a poor match from Nubel costs us a chance for a point.
  • Another hattrick from Origi and a goal & assist from Rahman give us the 4-1 win vs. Hoffenheim allowing us to jump them in the table.

Divock Origi

Origi single handedly kept us in the match with FC Bayern and finished the month with a hattrick against Hoffenheim. For the month he appeared in 4 matches (starting 3) and scored 4 goals while registering 1 assist. After a slow start to the calendar year he is coming on strong at the end of the season.

Constantin Frommann

As soon as we get Fahrmann back from his injury Frommnan goes down in training with a twisted ankle. It is safe to say he will miss the remainder of the season. He has yet to make an appearance since joining the club on loan at the transfer window.

Antonio Marin

Marin is expected to miss the rest of the season with a thigh strain suffered in training on the 23rd of April. Marin was beginning to be a playmaker for the squad with a goal and an assist this month before missing the Hoffenheim match.

We jump up in the table to 9th with the win against Hoffenheim, before the match we were 12th. We are only 1 point away from Europe League Qualification versus 4 points entering them month.

FC Bayern’s first loss in the league is against bottom of the table Arminia Bielefeld. Amazing!

Unbelievable depth this year after FC Bayern.

A big finish to the season with 3 matches to get us into the top 6. We are playing much better and I like our chances but need some help to get there.
Loving the detail in your updates. Keep it up!

  • Bentaleb’s goal in the 15th minute was answered minutes later by Alassane Plea, but Origi scored the winner in the 43rd minute off of an assist by Dahoud to win at M’gladbach. We moved to 7th in the table!
  • Hartmann with a beauty in the 32nd minute erases the penalty by Wolfsburg but we have to settle for the draw. We drop to 8th in the table. Needing 3 points and help against Frankfurt.
  • Nicolai Muller scored in the 7th minute for Frankfurt to create a bigger hole for us. We answered with a goal from Dahoud in the 40th minute. In the 85th minute sub Mark Uth scored giving us the late victory and securing Europa League Qualification!!

Mahmoud Dahoud

Dahoud was outstanding in all 3 matches! He scored the equalizer at Frankfurt and assisted on Origi’s winner at M’gladbach. He easily could have had another 3 assists as he put Origi in great position throughout the month but poor finishing by Origi.

As we enter the summer break we have no injuries to report.

We needed help on Match Day 34 and we got it! Arminia Bielefeld beats Hannover 96, SV Werder drew with Stuttgart and Hoffenheim drew with SC Freiburg. The perfect ending sees us get to 6th in the table, however 7th would have been enough with FC Bayern winning the DFB-Pokal.

2020/2021 End of Season Awards

Fans Player of the Season

Baba Rahman

1st – Baba Rahman (53%)
Rahman took control of the left back position upon Elsner's arrival, starting in 14 out of 19 matches with an average rating of 7.25 he was by far our best and most consistent player of the new year. He ended the season with 9 assists, 6 during the final 14 matches. He also scored his lone goal of the season in a crucial win against Hoffenheim. He was also stellar on the defensive end with 34 interceptions in the final half of the season.

2nd – Weston McKennie (19%)
3rd – Divock Origi (17%)

Goal of the Season

Fabrice Hartmann vs. Hannover 96 – Friday April 2nd 2021

Signing of the Season

Mahmoud Dahoud
€6.29M (from Borussia Dortmund)

Dahoud appeared in 10 matches after making the switch to Schalke, he scored 1 goal and registered 2 assists with an average match rating of 7.2 and an impressive pass completion rate of 90%.

Young Player of the Season

Weston McKennie

Top Goalscorer

Divock Origi
15 goals in 31 appearances.

Most Assists

Baba Rahman
9 assists in 27 appearances

Transfers In

Felix Uduokhai

  • Bought for €9.5M from AZ Alkmaar.
  • Central Defender; 23 years old from Germany.
  • Last season he played in 35 matches with an average rating of 7.02 for the Holland side.
  • A tall, strong, athletic center back who should be a staple to our central defense for the next several years.

Birger Meling

  • Bought for €5.25M from Aston Villa.
  • Left Fullback; 26 years old from Norway.
  • Last year he appeared in just 5 matches after multiple injuries kept him off the pitch.
  • He will give us more than adequate cover for Baba Rahman at the left back after selling Philipp Max.

Alex Blesa

  • Bought for €6.75M from Barcelona.
  • Midfielder; 19 years old from Spain.
  • He appeared in 4 matches last season with Barcelona, scoring 1 goal.
  • Blesa is expected to be loaned out this season but we are excited about his future at Schalke.

Matheus Fernandes
  • Bought for €8.75M from Botafogo.
  • Defensive Midfielder; 23 years old from Brazil.
  • He made 30 appearances last season, earning 5 player of the match awards.
  • Fernandes will be given a shot at earning a spot in the rotation but he may also be going out on loan for the upcoming season.

Nicolas Griguol
  • Bought for €10.25M from River Plate.
  • Striker, 20 years old from Argentina.
  • Last season he played at FC Metz (Ligue 2) and appeared in 38 matches, scoring 22 goals and registering 8 assists.
  • Like Fernandez, Griguol will be given a chance to earn the backup spot behind Origi but is expected to go out on loan. He is extremely athletic but needs to improve his finishing.

Milan Miletic
  • Bought for €200K from Borac (Bosnia).
  • Goalkeeper; 18 years old from Bosnia.
  • Last season he appeared in 26 matches, allowing 25 goals and recording 9 clean sheets for Borac.
  • He will be our third goalkeeper this season as a really cheap option with some upside but not expecting him to ever really make an appearance at Schalke.

Sandro Frolich
  • Bought for €5M from SV Mattersburg.
  • Central Defender; 18 years old from Austria.
  • He has a huge upside and we are hoping he is playing along side Uduokhai in the future.

Transfers Out

Alessandro Schopf
  • Sold for €18.5M to Everton.
  • He appeared in 25 matches last season with 4 goals.
  • The signing of Maxwel Cornet made him expendable as he saw his playing time significantly reduced once Elsner arrived.

M’Baye Niang
  • Sold for €12.75M to Wolves.
  • He appeared in 6 matches last season.
  • Niang failed to score or even create a chance in his few appearance for Elsner.

Philipp Max
  • Sold for €11.75M to Fiorentina.
  • He appeared in 9 matches last season as Baba Rahman took control of the left back spot.

Steven Skrybski
  • Sold for €2.9M to Mainz 05.
  • He was on loan at Mainz last season, scoring 12 goals and registering 4 assists in 31 appearances.
A great rise up the table towards the end of the season to finish in a European place. Divock Origi seemed to make a huge difference, scoring 15 league goals, he can always be a man you can rely on for goals(and scoring from quick corners...). Hopefully Luka decides to keep him long term, and also some great signings coming in and some decent business going out. Love the layout of your updates too! Keep it up ;)
2020-04-21 08:43#268911 Eoin97 : A great rise up the table towards the end of the season to finish in a European place. Divock Origi seemed to make a huge difference, scoring 15 league goals, he can always be a man you can rely on for goals(and scoring from quick corners...). Hopefully Luka decides to keep him long term, and also some great signings coming in and some decent business going out. Love the layout of your updates too! Keep it up ;)

Thanks, I am really excited about the group we have coming in!

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