“Hello, hello! Welcome to the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna! I’m Jamie Carragher, here with Gary Neville, for the Europa League Final!”
[The new Europa League anthem — Eric Clapton’s It’s In The Way That You Use It — plays in the background, as highlights from this year’s tournament play. The camera swings to Gary, clad in a full Partizan kit, including shinguards and cleats.]
“Jamie-lad, I’ve never been one for overstatement, but Georgy-boy’s Smurfs do not have what it takes to deal with this Partizan side, who have a swagger like the United of old. Let’s not forget, Nico’s men eliminated ze Germans 2 years ago in the quarterfinals, and they’ve only gone from strength to strength since then!”
“Gary, I appreciate that you’ve got strong opinions here tonight, but–“
“It isn’t an opinion, Jamie. It’s a ****ing fact, as your ****stain of a manager once prattled on about. Facts are facts. And the fact is that Partizan are going to tear through this Schalke side like popcorn through a prolapsed anus, something you know all about, yeah?!”
“Gary, I told you that in confidence…it really has nothing to do with what will happen on the field tonigh. I, for one, don’t think that you can dismiss Schalke so casually, they’ve–“
[Gary pulls a flare and lighter from his kitbag.]
“Jamie. When I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you. No pyro, no Party-zan. It’s that simple.”
“Gary, can we please stop with the–“
“Tell me, Jamie-lad…is that a woman’s perfume you’re wearing?!”
“It’s…uhh… It’s unisex, Gary.”
“Just like your haircut, yeah?! You slapnut ****.”
[In the background, It’s In The Way That You Use It blares through the stadium speakers and the sides walk out on the pitch. Gary laughs maniacally, lights the flare, and begins to sing along at the top of his lungs, joining Eric on air guitar for the solo.][Note: if you are here during the live blog, you will need to hit refresh to see new updates as the match progresses. We had to restart, due to a technical difficulty/crash. Ugh.]
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?