Sarpsborg 08

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Round 13

Rosenborg 5 - 1 Sarpsborg 08
2020-08-09 21:30 More Reports
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Round 14

2020-08-15 17:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2020

Sarpsborg 08

In


Mohamed Ofkir (mid), Sadefjord), David Mitov Nilsson (gk), GIF Sundsvall), Alexander Jakobsen (mid), Norrkoping), Joachim Soltvedt (mid), Sogndal), Anton Salétros (mid), Rostov - loan)

Out


Jon Helge Tveita (sp)(def), Brann), Bart Straalman (sp)(def), Rodez), Niklas Gunnarsson (r)(def), Stromsgodset), Kyle Lafferty (sp)(att), Sunderland), Matti Lund Nielsen (r)(mid), Reggina), Kristoffer Zachariassen (k)(mid), Rosenborg), Lenny Nangis (sp)(att), Mario Pavelic (r)(def), Rijeka - end of loan), Kristoffer Larsen (sp)(mid), Alexandre Letellier (r)(gk), end of loan), Stefan Skalevik (sp)(att), IK Start - loan)

Sarpsborg had a tumultuous and mostly dire last season, just about saving themselves after a late surge of form. They never should have been in such dire position given the quality of the squad they have and it seemed like a logical decision when Geir Bakke stepped down at the end of the season, having done wonders with this small club in the last five years. The new man in charge for the season ahead is Swede Mikael Stahre, who had extensive experience in the Allsvenskan, while also having stints in China and the USA. He uses mostly the same tactical setup as Bakke used to, with two banks of four, but is expected to bring more freshness to a squad that grew stale last season. Sarpsborg signed some interesting players in the close season, with quite a few coming from Sweden as well-known to the new manager. They all have good experience and pedigree and the aim seems to be lifting the overall experience of the squad. However, the Blues from the outskirts of Oslo lost their talisman in the last couple of years in Kristoffer Zachariessen, who was lured by Rosenborg and leaves a gaping hole in midfield. A few other mainstays in Amin Askar, Jon Helge Tveita and Matti Lund Nielen have left as well while Niklas Gunnarsson will be missed at the back too after having a big impact in keeping the team up last season. Sarpsborg seem to have a pretty flexible and interesting squad ahead of the season but the lack of cover at full-back is a worry. Also, the strike force was poor and ineffective last season and currently comprises of a few veterans who are past their best and promising but frustrating youngsters.

Target


Aiming for the top half of the table.

Season Review
2019

№12: Sarpsborg 08

Sarpsborg opened up the season with ambitions for something big and major after a sensational run in the Europa League at the end of 2018. There were again some interesting signings, even if some real quality in the squad was lost during the close season. Yet, it proved a frustrating and inefficient start of the campaign for Geir Bakke and his side as they missed too many chances and failed to beat poor teams on regular basis early on. That quickly set them back and put them at the bottom end of the table. Indeed, they had a shocking run of just one win at the midway point and got into full crisis mode by the height of the summer. Bakke was allowed to pretty much overhaul the squad and brought a number of new players who were expected to have immediate impact and steer the team to safety. Indeed, Sarpsborg improved defensively in September and October and claimed a few decent wins against direct rivals that moved them out of the bottom places and with a bit of breathing space. Yet it all still boiled down to the final couple of games after a very poor loss at Kristiansund. The team eked out a couple of unconvincing draws in these games and just about kept their place in the league on the basis of superior goal difference. Despite the relief of survival, there is no hiding that this has been a poor season all round for a team that has been going place in recent years. Bakke deserves the chance to rectify that in the close season but the squad looks too unbalanced in certain areas.


Player of the Season: Kristoffer Zachariassen

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