Schalke 3 Wolfsburg 0

A true confidence-boosting win for André Breitenreiter and Schalke 04. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar finally got on the scoresheet again, the defence kept a clean sheet and the Royal Blues are now in the all-important fourth spot, just two points behind Hertha Berlin in third.

In my opinion however, the bigger story here is Wolfsburg. Dieter Hecking and Wolfsburg have problems. Since beating Manchester United to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League, the Wolves seemed to have lost all momentum. Exactly why this has happened is hard to pinpoint. A squad that contains the attacking talents of Julian Draxler, Daniel Caligiuri, Max Kruse and Andre Schürrle should not be eighth in the table behind Mainz 05. In mitigation, Wolfsburg are not a team that are used to competing on two fronts. Dealing with the greater exposure they have this season requires experience.

Following up on last season’s excellent second place was always going to be difficult. However, the fans would have expected to be in the fight for the top four, not cut off six points adrift in eighth. Hecking has to find a solution that utilizes his attacking talents in the best possible way. Perhaps, the return of the Champions League will get the team more focused. A winnable last-16 tie against Ghent could give the club the shot in the arm it needs to get their domestic campaign back on track.

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