Sparta Rotterdam

Eredivisie
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Sparta Rotterdam

In


Denzel James (att)( Noordwijk); Jurgen Mattheij (def)(Excelsior); Bryan Smeets (att)(TOP Oss); Laros Duarte (mid)(PSV U21); Dante Rigo (mid)(PSV on loan); Khalid Karami (def)(Vitesse on loan); Abdallah Aberkane (def)(Ajax U19); Ariel Harush (gk)(Beer Sheva);

Out


Gregor Breinburg (mid)(De Graafschap); Édouard Duplan (att)(released); Roy Kortsmit (r)(gk)(released); Janne Saksela (sp)(def)(released); Giliano Wijnaldum (def)(released);

After two years in Eerste Divisie Sparta Rotterdam are back in the league that best suits them. They are in fact one of the oldest football clubs in the Netherlands (founded in 1888!) and can also boast an impressive record having won 6 titles (the last in 1959) and 3 national cups (the last in 1966). Last year they ended the regular season in 2nd position (11 points from the champions, Twente). In the playoffs' second round they defeated Oss, while in the final they had the better of De Graafschap, who had finished 17th in Eredivisie. The main architect of the promotion was undoubtedly Henk Fraser, a coach capable of modifying the system of play according to the opponent and to the men available: so last year he alternated 3 and 4 man defence, playing either with 1, 2 or 3 forwards. During the summer transfer market they held most of the first string players, aiming above all at reinforcing the squad with the inclusion of midfielder Dante Rigo on loan from PSV, former Excelsior defender Jurgen Mattheij and a few other promising players.

Target


Being a newly promoted team the minimum goal is to stay in Eredivisie: however, considering the blazon of the team, it is reasonable to expect something more. Furthermore the coach knows the environment well and has a solid team at his disposal with an interesting attack (last year they were the best attack of Eerste Divisie with 78 goals).

Season Review
2017/2018

№17: Sparta Rotterdam

The season 2017/2018 turned into a nightmare for Sparta Rotterdam, after they dropped to the Jupiler League at the end of the season by losing out to FC Emmen in the final of the promotion/relegation play-offs. It was a tough campaign, in which coach Alex Pastoor was replaced by Dick Advocaat during the winter break, but the latter failed to keep Sparta in the Eredivisie, despite loads of experience. Sparta Rotterdam have played well in some games this season, but this was not enough to stay in the Eredivisie, Too many matches against their rivals in the bottom half of the league table did not result in victories and some heavy defeats were suffered against the top teams. A 0-7 defeat on home soil in a Rotterdam derby against Feyenoord, for example, resulted in the dismissal of coach Alex Pastoor. The results in the second half of the season were better than before the winter break, but the confidence after a good result was always fragile. There was no stability at any point throughout this season. Sparta at least managed to avoid immediate relegation by collecting enough points to keep FC Twente below them on the ranking table. The results were not that bad towards the end of the campaign, so Sparta seemed set to survive the promotion/relegation play-offs. The semi-final against FC Dordrecht was started off with a 1-2 victory in Dordrecht, but Sparta survived with a narrow escape on home soil by coming back to 2-2 after a 0-2 deficit. It all went terribly wrong in the second leg of the final against FC Emmen. Sparta were in a pretty good position after a 0-0 draw in Emmen and they took a 1-0 lead on home soil. However, FC Emmen scored the equalizer and scored two more goals to celebrate their first ever promotion to the Eredivisie. It is pretty difficult to pick a player of the season for Sparta. There were a few players that have done pretty well, but Robert Muhren is definitely the player who scored the most important goals. He will leave the club, though, just like many others. Several players were added to the squad on loan from other clubs, during the winter break. Those will not return at Sparta after the summer break. Some contracts of others have not been extended, so the starting line-up at the start of the new season will look a lot different from the starting eleven in the last few games of this season. Coach Dick Advocaat will be replaced by Henk Fraser.


Player of the Season: Robert Mühren

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