You should try not to talk so much, friend. You’ll sound far less stupid that way.

Panathinaikos AO – 2028/29 Season Review

London has never seen anything like it – thousands of Greek football supporters, few if any of them wearing pants. It was an epic celebration, worthy of our achievement.

We’ve reached the pinnacle. Accomplished what no one believed was possible in the modern era. But we’re not done yet.

No, to be clear, the time has come to move on from Panathinaikos. A fresh start is needed, somewhere else. Somewhere unheralded, seen as being somehow “beneath” the elite. I speak with Zlatan and Jesse, and we’re all in agreement. We’ve found our calling.

Our resignations will be tendered when I meet with the Chairman, and announced to the players promptly. They’ve trusted us to guide them this far, stuck with us through thick and thin, even when other opportunities arose. We owe them this much, at least.

The celebration in Athens is in full swing when the news breaks of our departure. Leaving is bittersweet, at best. But we’re ready. It is time.

It is not the beginning of the end for us. Rather, it is the end of the beginning.

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What is there to say, really?! As far as the first stop in our journey could have gone, this was practically ideal. An incredible club, a triumphant path blazed through both Greece and Europe. No regrets whatsoever.

Moving on is always hard in these saves. We’ve got a side at the top of the world and, this time, the new Club World Cup is kicking off in just a few short weeks. As Gary would tell you, though, rules are rules. It is time to move on.

The good news is that there are 3 eligible clubs in need of a manager, so Nicolaj Bur is unlikely to be unemployed for long. More on that when the 2029/30 open thread is posted. For now, let’s turn on some Michael Bolton and look back at the 2028/29 season.

Goals for 2029/30: Get back into club management as soon as possible. Start managing on the international level, if an eligible nation opens up and looks like a “fit.”

European Review

We also need to take a quick look around Europe before we go further…

The Champions League was rather thoroughly documented in the open thread and live-blog of the Final. For those who are just tuning in now, Nicolaj Bur’s Panathinaikos beat Jorge Jesus’ Arsenal 1-nil in the final.

Great showing from Schalke, who keep threatening to become eligible. This is the 2nd year in a row where they’ve come close.

In the Europa League, Miguel Cardoso’s Chelsea beat Marcelo Gallardo’s Leverkusen, 3-nil.

In the Europa Conference League, Erik ten Hag’s Manchester City beat Marko Arnautovic’s Anderlecht, 4-1.

In the active leagues, Paulo Fonseca’s Liverpool won their second straight Premier League.  Diego Simeone’s Barcelona won their 6th straight La Liga title.  Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus and (Arsenal legend) Unai Emery’s PSG did their usual thing…boooooring.  Gallardo’s Leverkusen claimed the Bundesliga title. Murat Yakin’s Club Brugge reclaimed the Belgian title. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Crvena zvezda reclaimed their Super Liga title.  Stefan Billborn’s BK Häcken won their 5th Allsvenskan title in 7 years in 2028, but the competition is wide open this year.

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Save/Challenge Overview

If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are finding yourself a bit confused… Don’t worry.  The basic concept behind the Nearly Men save is explained here.  Just need to catch up? Each installment in Nicolaj Bur’s story can be accessed through the Nearly Men Archive.

And if you just can’t get enough…join us for The Ballad of Toothless Bob, a series conceived and co-authored by Seattle Red and Oriole that explores the world of Nicolaj Bur, away from the pitch. What is Project Arcturus? What lies beyond the twisted redstone door, deep in the bowels of the Santiago Bernabéu?


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