Jurgen Klopp’s friend David Wagner has been sacked by Bundesliga side Schalke, the German outfit have confirmed this morning.
“We had all hoped that we could improve on the pitch together with David Wagner,” explained the club’s head of sport, Jochen Schneider.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the right performances and results from the first two games of the season for this to happen.”
The news after they were beaten 3-1 at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday, with an 8-0 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich on the opening day also fresh in the memory.
Schalke, the biggest rivals of Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund, finished 12th in the league standings last season, just six points above the relegation play-off spot.
They have not won a game since February and last won a Bundesliga match in mid-January. In that time, Robert Lewandowski has netted a remarkable 26 times for Bayern Munich.
Wagner’s previous job was in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town, who he guided to the top flight before departing in January 2019 for Schalke, the team that he had played for in the late 90s as a player.
Klopp and Wagner conducted a joint post-match interview at Anfield when Liverpool played Huddersfield in October 2018.
Wagner had previously explained that it was Klopp who had told him to take the Huddersfield job, and when he left, with the Terriers eight points adrift at the bottom of the top-flight, the Liverpool boss was quick to remind reporters of the job his friend had done.
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Klopp said at the time: “What I told him, I can tell you: he should be really proud of what he achieved there. [Huddersfield’s success is] one of the most special stories in football in the last three-and-a-half years.
“For me, it probably won’t be considered a big success but as a manager, you know that it is unbelievable to do what he did this season to keep his squad so confident in a run with bad results, unlucky moments.
“They were always close to drawing and they lost, or close to winning and they drew. That’s the story of the season.”
Schalke are expected to appoint a successor to Wagner in the coming days.