Saturday’s match-up between Schalke and Hoffenheim showcased an interesting battle between the two youngest managers in the history of the Bundesliga.
32 year-old, Domenico Tedesco’s side triumphed 2-1 over 30 year-old, Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim as Schalke responded in the perfect manner to their previous two league defeats.
The two managers have now won one game each against each other, after progressing through Hoffenheim’s youth set-up together. Theoretically, an early managerial education through the same institution should mean they have developed similar ideas and fundamental ways of going about their job.
Such progress through the set-up of Hoffenheim, where they worked together, has equipped them with the know-how when moving onto first team level.
With both sides in the top ten after the result on Saturday, the two mangers are proving their worth in the Bundesliga, as they disprove the theory that plenty of experience is necessary to be a good manager.
On an international scale, Arsene Wenger is an example of an experienced coach who has managed Arsenal for over 20 years, yet increasingly young managers are almost by-passing the playing side and going straight into management, or as early as they possibly can.
Nagelsmann and Tedesco are not the only Bundesliga mangers in their thirties with Werder Bremen’s, Florian Kohfeldt aged 35, and 38 year-old Manuel Baum head coach at Augsburg having been Academy Chief at the club.
What’s more, Sandro Schwarz at Mainz is just under the 40 year milestone. Eddie Howe at Bournemouth is a prime example of a young manager who has not been overwhelmed by the task of coming up against managers with vastly more experience in the Premier League.
If an acceptable amount of managerial experience has been learnt, and the coaches possess a shrewd knowledge of the game, then it is ultimately irrelevant how young they are.
Tedesco’s Schalke side moved up to fifth after their win on Saturday, and are very much in contention for Champions League qualification as the race for second is very tightly-contested by five teams on a similar level of points.
Goals from Thilo Kehrer and Breel Embolo proved enough for Schalke, despite a 78th minute consolation from Andrej Kramaric.
The win would have been sweet revenge for Tedesco against his long-term pal, after Hoffenheim won the return fixture 2-0 earlier in the season.
Commenting on the game, the victorious gaffer said: ‘
‘We saw two different halves today. In the first 45 minutes we played a diamond in midfield so that we could have a certain physicality in the number ten role and then have two players going for the second balls.
‘‘That caused Hoffenheim a few problems. We were robust and our courage made us dangerous in front of goal.’’
Such comments reflect a manager who is proactive when adapting the formation during the course of a match. Alongside Nagelsmann, the Schalke boss is likely to be around for many years to come, and given their rise so far, they are both exciting prospects.