Under the watchful eye of new coach Gerard Nijkamp, Sparta sealed a point against Vitesse in stoppage time on Saturday night. Sven Mignans made the score 2-2.
He appears to have resigned, remaining in his chair, Henk Fraser, after the Sparta-Vitesse match. The FC Rotterdam coach, who usually trains hard along the sidelines, saw Sven Mignans making 2-2 in the final seconds. And now, right after the whistle blew, he seems to be internally celebrating a late equaliser.
Many, if not almost everything, have gone wrong in Sparta this season. But often there was still goalkeeper Madoka Okoi, who escaped the malaise. On Saturday evening, he, the excellent goalkeeper, is one of the main culprits in scoring Arnhem’s goals. He mistook Nikolai Baden-Frederiksen’s 0-1 result, and the Nigeria international – who later recovered with a number of good saves – is also responsible for the subsequent 0-2 result from Frederiksen himself. It is marked for the first half of Sparta. If Okoye really is a flop, who has to do it for the tormented Rotterdam Club?
Answer: Sven Mignans. With two strikes, one in the last seconds, he is the savior’s angel on behalf of the red/white. But what if Sparta has enough at this point to eventually stay in the Eredivisie?
And that seems to be exactly what got to Fraser in the final stage, who had already had a strange week at Het Kasteel. Last Wednesday, after the cup match he had already lost with Vitesse, he said he had no idea who would be Henk van Ste’s successor as Sparta’s technical director. On Friday he was immediately confronted by Gerard Nijkamp. Amazing, given that Fraser had the impression that it would be known who would become his chief technical officer. That’s what the coach, who has an impressive record at Spangen, said, at least last week.
The management of the Rotterdam club appears to believe that Nijkamp, who has spent the past few years mainly in the United States, will allow the struggling fish to enter Sparta for swimming again. As he watches from the stands, Saturday evening he will see that much remains to be done. Few players are tapping into their level at the moment. For example, Brian Smits was dramatic for 45 minutes against Vitesse, Emmanuel Emiga missed the opening goal on the opening stage, and Lennart Thee once again showed himself as a striker without self-confidence.
Fortunately for Sparta there are still Mijnans. Honestly, even after his second goal, Fraser still seems unfazed in his chair. Spangen’s current mood could not be more adequately articulated.
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