In what was billed as one of the top matches of the opening weekend of the Bundesliga, two new coaches in Marco Rose and David Wagner were looking to open their account at their clubs with a debut three points. Of course, neither side was able to capture the three points, but the game was nevertheless very interesting from a tactical perspective and we got a first look at both team’s tactics in the Bundesliga. There is no doubting Borussia Monchengladbach were the better of the two sides, but Schalke executed their game plan relatively well in order to frustrate and hold Gladbach to a stalemate. In this tactical analysis, I will look at the tactics employed by both teams and delve into the big talking point from Monchengladbach regarding their number ten role.
Gladbach lined up as expected in Marco Rose’s signature 4-4-2 diamond, with summer recruit Breel Embolo operating as a number ten. Schalke meanwhile lined up in a 4-4-2, which created an interesting tactical battle between Gladbach’s central midfielders and Schalke’s wide players, as I will address in this piece.
Gladbach looked like a signature Rose side, and many of the tactics seen at his previous club Salzburg were employed by Gladbach. One such similarity was the pressing structure of Gladbach which I’ve outlined below.