It is a normal day like any other. After all, which budding talent have Bayern Munich not scouted? At least in Germany. But this time, it isn’t about any budding talent and it isn’t about any talented random 17-year-old kid either.
This article is about the mastermind coach and the brain behind making Germany THE FORCE in world football. This one doesn’t even need a guess. Of course, this article is about Norbert Elgert, the man behind the success of Schalke and of Germany as a whole.
The man who was part of a vision,a vision to change the perspective of German football from the focus on mental strength ,typical of British football clubs,to a much more technical and efficient approach,which would ultimately lead to the building of a world cup winning side, Norbert Elgert is one of the finest names in Germany.
Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Howedes, the four academy graduates of the reputed Knappenschmiede (literally:”miners’ forge”) academy of Schalke 04 made the squad for the 2014 World cup. Norbert was a head coach of that very academy. In 2013, Bodo Menze, the director of Schalke’s youth system told UEFA that 37 players developed by the club were, at the time, playing for the game’s leading clubs, all of them tutored by Norbert.
Norbert has always stressed on using simple exercises to improve the technique and attacking play of young Schalke 04’ers. He has written a book on the principles of attacking play and has developed concerned attacking routines.
Along with this, he is also known to provide freedom to his players in their development stage.The direct play of Draxler that we are fortunate to watch and admire, Neuer’s sweeper keeper identity to Ozil’s up and down movement in search of space and the expertly observing manner of fellow teammates making parallel runs, all serve as examples of the 59- year old’s freedom giving coaching style.
Aside from footballing talent, Elgert aims to develop his players as human beings.
“Coaches should remain more than only lecturers of technique, tactics and condition,” he told NTV.
“Values like respect, honesty, helping each other, tolerance, fairness, togetherness and humility are more important than everything in this high speed society.”
The current line of players benefited from Norbert’s tutelage are Leroy Sane, Donis Avdijaj, Max Meyer, Kaan Ayhan, Sead Kolasinac, Timon Wellenreuther and Joel Matip. Most of these footballers are first team players for Schalke 04 while Donis is setting Austrian football in flames with his phenomenal play and good stats this season. Eight academy graduates started in the 4-3 win over Real Madrid.
What’s with the Bayern Munich rumor?:
Norbert has finally announced his resignation from the Knappenschmiede academy and he has also ruled out a move to Dortmund’s youth system, however, he has admitted to going for coaching in a challenging environment. Bayern’s youth environment is quite challenging.
For the past few years, the Bavarians have produced lesser top talents than the other clubs like Stuttgart, Schalke or Bremen. This has been contributed to lesser first team roles available to youth players due to the promotion of squad diversity catalysed by the arrival of Spanish and South American signings like Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, Thiago Alcantara, Xabi Alonso etc.
Bayern Munich’s interest in getting Norbert is confirmed by various sources, with the club’s motive in getting the proven mastermind, it is the first step in developing upon a reported 60 million fresh investment in building a new and better youth academy. The club has recognized its downfall in youth production and hopes to improve on it.
Norbert has yet to confirm that he is interested in the job of the Bavarians, but one thing is for sure is that this is a job he will look upon with excitement.