I live in the moment. Just not THIS moment.

Borussia Mönchengladbach – 2029/30 Season Review

Gallons of Altbier cascade down Zlatan’s bare flesh, as he shrieks in delight. His goatee is back, but the hair will be much longer in returning.

Junter lurks in the corner. Not moving a muscle. Silent. But I can feel him watching us with his beady eyes. Oh, yes. He’s watching…

Not that anyone else even notices. No one is sober enough to care.

Gladbach’s first Bundesliga title since 1977. It has been 53 years. The scenes? Epic. The Altbier? Frosty, and never-ending.

Truth be told, we were fortunate in the extreme. Without the distractions of a European or DFB-Pokal campaign, our focus could remain on one, single goal.

It also didn’t hurt that Bayern was melting down so fast that a Swedish teenage girl was giving speeches at the UN about it.

Whatever the circumstances, we’ve done it. The Meisterschale is ours. But the real works starts here. A youth revolution is in progress. We need to revamp the squad over the coming year, while fighting on multiple fronts, and with the Board’s expectations raised.

Let’s do this.

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A dream start to life in Germany, but the narrative above is spot-on. We raced out to a lead in the Bundesliga with no distractions whatsoever once we were dumped from the DPB-Pokal. That gave us a huge advantage over the likes of Dortmund, Bayern, et al. (And Bayern truly did implode under Tuchel…but Nagelsmann has now taken over.)

We could rely on a 20-man squad, with virtually no need to rotate beyond our 1st XI. (I do love the 9-player subs bench in Germany…)

Going forward, we need that 22-man squad and I’ve already decided that a number of players from this year won’t be here come August. Too old, too expensive…or worth a fortune on the transfer market, while I’ve got talented youth to slot in.

This is a bit of a risk, because the Board (having seen the Promised Land) are “requiring” a Top 4 finish in the Bundesliga and that we reach the Champions League Knockout Rounds.

Which means that a full-blown squad review is coming. The youth we’re turning to are brilliant, even if we didn’t sign all (or even most) of our targets.

I’m looking at you, Lars. Our primary target…who opted for Toulouse over the #Bur-volution taking place in Germany. That isn’t a typo.

“Reek, Reek, it rhymes with Lars…'”

For now, though, let’s keep things moving. The 2030 World Cup is right around the corner…

Goals for 2030/31: Defend our Bundesliga title. Make a run in the Champions League. Get an international job before I lose my mind.

European Review

The Champions League was a rather dull affair this year, with (Arsenal Legend) Unai Emery’s PSG defeating Michel’s Real Madrid in the final, 2-1.

That means that PSG have completed the challenge and are no longer eligible…so I’m both annoyed that they won, and thrilled that I don’t have to manage them to glory at some point in save.

In the Europa League, Rui Faria’s Wolves beat Mano Menezes’ Dortmund on penalties, after a a 1-1 draw.

In the Europa Conference League, Torsten Lieberknecht’s Köln beat Aleksandar Dragovic’s Standard, 2-1 after extra time.

In the active leagues, Paulo Fonseca’s Liverpool won their third straight Premier League.  Diego Simeone’s Barcelona won their 7th straight La Liga title…only for Diego to f*** off to Milan to take over at Inter, of all places.  Raul Valbuena’s Juventus and (Arsenal legend) Unai Emery’s PSG did their usual thing…even after Maurizio Sarri’s retirement. Niko Kovac’s Genk claimed the Belgian title. Antonio Conte’s Panathinaikos (*cough*) enjoyed a relatively straightforward title defense. Nestor el Maestro’s Čukarički claimed their 2nd Super Liga title in 4 years, challenging the established order in Belgrade and Serbia.  Jess Thorup’s IFK Göteborg won their first Allsvenskan title since 2007.

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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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