FChristian Heidel is silent for a moment and enjoys the effect of his answer. Someone wants to know from the manager of FC Schalke 04, how great is the backing for coach Domenico Tedesco after the bad start of the season, Heidel replies: "Zero!" Then he looks amused into the baffled faces of his audience, before he some enlightening sentences appends. "Backing needs someone who is counted or uncertain for whatever reason," says Heidel, Tedesco said such supportive measures had never been necessary. This unconditional cohesion is perhaps one of the key reasons that FC Schalke 04 is recovering more and more.

On Tuesday evening, the district club in the match against Galatasaray Istanbul (21.00 clock in the FAZ live ticker for Champions League and Sky) the door to the knockout stages of the Champions League wide open, in the DFB Cup, the Schalke have reached the round of the last 16 teams , and in the Bundesliga they have recently collected ten points in five games. The trend is right, but many questions remain unanswered.

What are the reasons for the weak start of the season with five defeats in the Bundesliga? Why does the intent to play a faster-paced, more attractive football put the team in such serious trouble? Is Schalke with his squad actually a club that belongs to the four strongest teams in the league? These are questions that do not only concern the work of the trainer, Heidel is responsible for the management planning. Does his transfers possibly lack the required quality? A newspaper has recently calculated that only seven of the 23 players that the sports director has signed up to in his two-and-a-half years at Schalke will undoubtedly make the team better. Or is it the coach who does not exhaust the potential?

There are no coach change rituals anymore

All these considerations may be relevant, at FC Schalke in the year 2018 they can no longer be assigned to individual persons. Heidel and Tedesco form a coach-manager symbiosis, as they are rare in the league. He had "no doubt about him for a single second," said Heidel in an interview with the "kicker" about Tedesco, "I made that very clear to him, because I felt that it was important to him to know that Schalke from nobody disputes with the persons involved ".

The manager responsible for unusual rest on Schalke: Manager Christian Heidel (right, next to sporting director Axel Schuster) in the first leg in Istanbul.

The old coaching change rituals, which belonged to folklore at this location for decades, no longer exist. This not only ensures peace in the environment, it has established a new culture of communication. Journalists are no longer understood as hostile troublemakers, but as people who can be persuaded with arguments as well as the players. Thus, the once-feverish atmosphere in this club has changed fundamentally.



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