This way to the top: Bundesliga newbie Domenico Tedesco has revived the fortunes of Schalke in double-quick time. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Lukas Schulze/Getty Images
This way to the top: Bundesliga newbie Domenico Tedesco has revived the fortunes of Schalke in double-quick time. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Lukas Schulze/Getty Images
Bundesliga

Schalke mastermind Domenico Tedesco: From Bundesliga 2 relegation saviour to Bundesliga runner-up

Everything has gone so quickly for Domenico Tedesco in just a year. In fact, the only thing that no longer comes fast is his food. "I can't just decide to go to McDonald's, get myself a Big Mac and sit there eating it and relax any more," explains the 32-year-old. "If I do go, it's now only the Drive-Thru."

The loss of anonymity and slight improvement in his diet is a small price to pay for the Schalke boss, whose rise has come at breakneck speed.

Watch: Domenico Tedesco's Schalke revolution

Now an impressive permanent fixture in the Royal Blues' dug-out and a Bundesliga household name, Tedesco was barely known beyond his own living room and the chat rooms of the most discerning German football connoisseurs when 2017 rolled round. 

Come on, outside of Germany, hands up those who had heard of Domenico Tedesco a year ago? Don't be shy, because even for the man himself, it has been a blur.

"It has gone damn quickly. It has been light speed," admitted the man who worked outside the limelight as Hoffenheim's Under-19 coach just 13 months ago while the Bundesliga was still in awe of the man who did not get as good marks as him in coaching school, Julian Nagelsmann

"As a family, we try to live as we did before. You can see us at the play park with our little daughter or shopping in the supermarket."

- © gettyimages / Alex Grimm

His arm-round-the-shoulder brand of man-management has allowed Tedesco to wheedle the best from his squad. Max Meyer has been coaxed into abandoning a more attacking role to drop back into a deeper midfield position to stunning effect, Leon Goretzka has flourished under his new boss, while the whole squad has been rejuvenated.

And remember, many of these players were the same that left Schalke outside of the European qualifying positions last season and have been orphaned of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the Dutch striker who would surely have contributed a double-digit goal tally.

Instead, that burden has been shared across no fewer than 11 men in the Bundesliga, meaning just seven of the outfield players have not hit the net, while they boast the second-best defensive record in the league.

It has been an effective combination, winning matches, but not necessarily fans among the purists, with accusations against Tedesco — like with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho — that he favours pragmatism to pick up his points.

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