No Matter How Full The River, It Still Wants To Grow

FK Partizan / Ivory Coast – 2034/35 Season Review

I’ll readily admit one thing.

I should have told Stana about Selene the moment she returned.  Not that she’d have been pleased, but the reality was that I had not done anything wrong.  I had nothing to hide. 

But now I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

For my omission to be somehow discovered.

And I find myself thinking of Selene.  Remembering our time together. 

Of course, by not telling Stana, it now looks like I do have something to hide.

Maybe I do.

The reality is that seeing Selene again – only for a few moments, more cryptic than anything else – has rekindled a flame that I thought was long since extinguished.

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A big year for Nicolaj Bur.

Obviously, the highlights on the field were: (1) winning the World Cup with the Dutch; (2) immediately securing the Ivory Coast job; (3) reaching the Champions League knockout stage and acquitting ourselves well, for the most part when facing some of Europe’s elite; and (4) continuing our utter dominance in Serbia, securing the Super Liga title with 35 wins from 37 matches, a record 107 points, with a +87 goal difference and only 8 goals conceded. 

This is still an absurdly young squad, in our first year playing with the “final” PM Haaienbek tactics.  We’re only going to improve from here, and generally have enough financial muscle to keep ahold of the players we want to keep (one immediate task this summer will be contract renewals).

I don’t see a need for big changes with the squad, so there will only be modest tweaks (Ismaili is on his way out, to make room for Didier Kone, a young Ivorian forward). My impression continues to be that 2035/36 is a year when we’ll be capable of making a run in the Champions League, provided that some luck falls our way, and a legitimate contender in 2036/37.

Goals for 2035/36:  Make a run at Tunisia 2035. Defend our Super Liga title. Make a run in the Champions League.

Squad | League Overview | Transfers

Finances | Income | Expenditure

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Fixtures 3

European Review

In the Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s Monaco beat Javi Gracia’s Atalanta, 1-nil (aet), on a 111th-minute banger from non other than Erling Haaland. In the name of Taylor Swift, I tell you what…that lad must follow one hell of a skin care routine, for a man of 35… Doesn’t look a day over 19 if you ask me… I’m just sayin’…

Kidding aside, though, this is a big year. Monaco are Nearly Men no longer thanks to Sir Pep the Bald, First of His Name, while Atalanta join the list of eligible teams! Woohoo! The updated tracker is below.

Champions League Overview | CL Knockout Rounds

In the Europa League, Marcelo Gallardo’s Liverpool beat Stanislav Genchev’s Chelsea, 1-nil.

Europa League Overview | EL Knockout Rounds

In the Europa Conference League, Marco Rose’s Valencia beat David Bingham’s IFK Norrkoping, 2-nil.

Europa Conf. League Overview | ECL Knockout Rounds

In the active leagues, after a brilliant 2033/34 where was saw some “elite” clubs get knocked down a peg or two…we reverted back to normal. Ugh.

Marcelo Gallardo’s Liverpool reclaimed the Premier League title. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus won their 14th straight Serie A title, their 23rd in 24 years. Antonio Conte’s Barcelona reclaimed the La Liga title, after Genchev left Athletic for Chelsea. Julian Nagelsmann’s Gladbach defended their Bundesliga title yet again (their 5th in 6 years). Paulo Fonseca’s PS-****ing-G reclaimed the Ligue 1 title. Marko Arnautovic’s Gent knocked off Club Brugge in Belgium. Thomas Tuchel’s Panathinaikos won their 11th straight title. Finally, David Bingham’s IFK Norrkoping won the 2034 Allsvenskan title.

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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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