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Former Tottenham boss takes charge at Schalke

Christian Gross has been tasked with ending the club’s 29-match winless run.

Christian Gross (file pic).
Christian Gross (file pic).
Image: FrankHoermann/SVEN SIMON

CRISIS-HIT Bundesliga giants Schalke 04 have confirmed former Tottenham manager Christian Gross as a permanent successor to sacked head coach Manuel Baum.

Gross becomes the club’s fourth head coach in 2020, having signed a short-term deal until the end of the current season.

The 66-year-old, who saved Tottenham from relegation in the 1997/98 season, will be charged with guiding Schalke off the bottom of the table and ending their miserable winless run of 29 league games.

The Gelsenkirchen-based club have parted ways with two coaches since their last league win in January, with former Huddersfield coach David Wagner sacked in September and Manuel Baum following him after just 80 days in charge. 

In a management career stretching back over three decades, Gross has had spells in England and Germany with Tottenham and Stuttgart, and won multiple Swiss league titles with Grasshoppers and Basel. 

The Schalke job would be his first in Europe in eight years, following spells in charge of Egyptian giants Zamalek and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli Saudi. 

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He arrives with Schalke mired in one of the worst crises of their history, and two matches away from equalling Tasmania Berlin’s 54-year-old Bundesliga record of 31 games without a win.

“For Schalke 04, the next five months will be all about managing to stay in the Bundesliga,” sporting director Jochen Schneider told the official Schalke website.

“Christian Gross has shown in both Germany and England that he can successfully take on challenges like this. He will give the team clear instructions and will set us on the right path with his unwavering expectations. We are sure of that.”

His first game as Schalke coach will be away to Hertha Berlin on 2 January.

“We have to be goal-oriented and work towards result,” Gross said. “I want to feel the players’ enthusiasm at all times. We need to have a good atmosphere in and around the team to be successful again. I will give everything so that we can accomplish our goals together.”

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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