Sead Kolasinac has credited Norbert Elgert as the most important coach in his and Mesut Ozil’s career.
Kolasinac had high praise for his former Schalke coach recently, even revealing that the 60-year-old shaped him into the player he is today.
“Norbert Elgert is somebody you need to meet to learn why he has such an impact,” the 24-year-old told Arsenal Magazine.
“It was only really when I met him [that I thought I could make it]. He took me to one side and told me that if I pulled in the right direction, listened to him and did as instructed in the two years I had with him, I’d have the opportunity to break into the senior team.
“When I started working with him, I started to notice the progress – I was improving, tactically I was getting better and my game in general was getting better.
“You go to him as a boy and he moulds you into a man, helps you build your personality. He does that really well.
“You notice during every training session how much he loves his job. That’s why I think Schalke have been so successful at generating young players for the first team.
“A large portion of that is down to Norbert Elgert.”
Elgert has coached the Schalke u19s from 1996 onward and has therefore been a huge part of numerous German players’ development.
Julian Draxler, Manuel Neuer, Leroy Sane, Benedikt Howedes and Max Meyer were all coached by Elgert, which has led to him being widely revered. In fact, there are even rumours that he could be heading to Bayern Munich to help train their youth.
Elgert has entered into the final year of his contract with Schalke and whether he stays or goes, he’ll leave a huge legacy.
From what Kolasinac says, it seems that the German coach instills a certain self believe in young players as well as helping them with the tactical side of the game.
This is something that Arsene Wenger used to do. He was known for never shouting at his players and only wanting to support them rather than beat them down. Obviously, these days it appears that some like to take advantage of his quiet nature or that he’s been too soft at times.
I’d say we might see Elgert get put in charge of a senior team in the future but he seems to flourish influencing players at a younger age. Plus he’s already 60.