FK Partizan / Netherlands – 2031/32 Season Review
The initial promise of our annihilation of Red Star has given way to cold, hard reality.
We have work to do in Belgrade. No one would deny it. The Board is pleased with our immediate impact and understands that the coming season is one for development… The real rub comes in 2033/34, when the demand is crystal clear — win the Super Liga, or else.
For now, the fairy tale continues on both the personal and professional fronts. We’re making an unexpected home in Belgrade. With Stana. And with Jesse, Bozidar and Zlatan at Partizan.
Everything’s coming up Nicolaj.
I’ve already said how excited I am to be at Partizan, but I’ll say it again. I love being here. Just like Malmo and Panathinaikos, it is good fun on every level.
As noted above, we’ve got some work to do. There is some real talent in the squad, and youth development in Serbia is always solid. But we lack depth. I’ll put up a full squad review, probably late in the 2032/33 season as the squad comes together.
This next year is also about getting the pieces of the puzzle in place — both at Partizan and with the Dutch.
In terms of the Dutch, the Euros will be one last hurrah for a few older players (including Frenkie), but after that we need to start focusing on the next generation (and youth coming through) which will form the backbone of the sides I’ll take to Japan 2034 (and beyond).
Goals for 2032/33: Challenge for the Super Liga title. Make a run in Europe. Make a run at the Euro 2032, before rebuilding the Dutch squad with an eye towards Japan 2034.
In the Champions League, Raul Valbuena’s Juventus defeated Albert Celades’ Valencia, 3-1:
So close, yet so far for Valencia, a side who Gladbach beat on away goals last year en route to their title. This looked like it would be the year for Valencia, as they eliminated Erik ten Hag’s Man City, Mourinho’s PSG and Nagelsmann’s Gladbach in the knockout rounds.
In the Europa League, Marcelo Gallardo’s Wolves continue to look like a club on the verge of breaking into the elite, claiming their 2nd Europa League trophy, beating Nestor el Maestro’s Aston Villa, 2-nil.
In the Europa Conference League, Edson Seidou’s Manchester United needed extra time to beat Antonio Mohamed’s Gent, 2-1:
And in the active leagues, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea won their first Premier League title since 2017, while (Arsenal Legend) Unai Emery led Barcelona to their 9th-straight La Liga title. Raul Valbuena’s Juventus won their 11th straight Serie A title (their 20th title in 21 years)… Julian Nagelsmann’s Gladbach claimed their 2nd Bundesliga title in 3 years, while Bayern’s poor form continued. In Ligue 1, Jose Mourinho’s PSG reclaimed their title after the defending champions, Cristian Zapata’s Lyon, lost at home on matchday 38. Simone Inzaghi’s Club Brugge won their 4th title 6 years, picking up where they left off after Murat Yakin left for Mainz. Antonio Conte’s Panathinaikos were rampant once again, claiming their 8th straight title. Finally, Mickael Le Bihan’s IFK Norrköping claimed the 2031 Allskevnskan title, their first since 2015.
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?