Andre Breitenreiter, an expert in football, provides valuable insights for Huddersfield Town supporters.

Former Schalke and FC Zurich boss Andre Breitenreiter will be unveiled to the media as Huddersfield Town’s new head coach later this week

Tomorrow afternoon, Andre Breitenreiter will formally be introduced to the media as Huddersfield Town’s new head coach. The 50-year-old replaces Jan Siewert and David Wagner as the third German manager of the Terriers since 2015.

What will Breitenreiter add to the city, then? The sole publicly accessible video of Breitenreiter speaking English is from a 2022 FC Zurich press conference for the Champions League. Breitenreiter has only ever coached in Germany and Switzerland, so even though his English is competent if not completely fluent, it remains to be seen how well the former attacking midfielder, whose most successful playing career ended at Hannover 06, where he won the DFB Pokal in 1992, could manage a team in England with an English-speaking assistant staff.

Although backstage personnel specifics have not yet been released, it is reasonable to anticipate the arrival of a group of assistants who are acquainted with the manager. An analysis of Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff at Liverpool, where half of the group consists of German-born coaches Andreas Kornmayer, Andreas Schlumberger, and assistant manager Peter Krawietz, is expected. Breitenreiter, who was born in Langenhagen, is unlikely to be able to sign Darius Scholtysik, who he helped lead FC Zurich, an underdog team, to its first Swiss championship in thirteen years in 2021. Hoffenheim has Scholtysik on contract till the end of the current campaign.

What kind of Breitenreiter coach is Town purchasing? When considering Breitenreiter’s career retrospectively, his one-season stint at Schalke 04 in 15/16 stands out in particular. Critics of the German league expressed dismay at his abrupt departure after he led the team to a respectable fifth place and Europa League qualification with a 46% win percentage. Even though the team’s results were mixed, looking back, the former striker—who scored 82 goals in his 17-year career—was one of the better additions to the seven-time German champions, who are currently only four points above relegation in the second division after 14 managers had taken over.

Apart from his achievements with the Swiss club, the Terriers’ newly-appointed boss is acclaimed for his stay with Paderborn 07 between 2013 and 2015 and the club’s first-ever promotion to the top tier in 2014. Despite missing out on the title to FC Cologne, the side gained a reputation for playing a high-impact counter-attacking style of football and were the second-highest scoring team in the league that season. Former Stoke City and Norwich City midfielder Mario Vrancic played under Breitenreiter at Paderborn and has given an insight into his man-management skills. “He is a great fit for English football,” he said. “I was waiting for Andre to get an opportunity in England, it worked well in the two years at Paderborn; he has a great management style and is the main reason we got promoted.”

Breitenreiter succeeded the well-liked Sebastian Hoeness at Hoffenheim, but the team struggled with injuries. It is believed that Breitenreiter’s relationship with billionaire investor and founder of SAP Software Dietmar Hopp deteriorated over time, leading to his dismissal after just nine months on the position. The team has performed only slightly better under American coach Pellegrino Matterazo. The team celebrated their best success under current Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann by qualifying for the Champions League between 2017 and 2019.

Two points above the drop zone, in 20th place in the Championship, is the Town team Breitenreiter inherits. Breitenreiter, who is regarded as a promotion specialist, has the immediate responsibility of keeping the team in the division.

The Terriers’ owner, Kevin Nagle, has expressed his intention to guide the team back into the Premier League. Breitenreiter, with his experience in the Bundesliga and European competition, could be well-suited to growing Town back into a top-tier player if the team can stabilize in the Championship and make smart summer recruitment decisions.

Breitenreiter has penned a two-and-a-half-year contract, giving him the opportunity to put his stamp on strategy, at least in the short term. But he will need the resources to rebuild the squad and make the Terriers a serious force once again.

Mike Rietpiesch, who played with Breitenreiter in the Germany U21s side, has backed Breitenreiter to turn around their fortunes. “Huddersfield have a big opportunity with Andre,” he said. “As a player and a coach, he has shown strong leadership skills. It’s a challenge, but he has a success-driven personality.”

For now, a trip to 11th-placed Watford awaits on Saturday, followed by an opportunity to compare notes at the top of the table with another former Dortmund U23s coach and Breitenreiter pal, Daniel Farke on the March 2.

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