I’ll Drink Your Champagne. I’ll Drink Every Drop Of It, I Don’t Care If It Kills Me.

Stade de Reims / Belgium – 2042/43 Season Review

From Ligue 2 to Champions of Europe in 5 years.

And it isn’t just what we’ve accomplished. It’s the foundation that we’ve built.

A down payment on the future of the club. A promise.

The 22-man squad is brimming with precocious talent. The coffers are full. A new stadium will be complete in one year’s time.

I’m sad that we won’t be here to see it during that first season, but I have little doubt in my mind that we’ll be back. To bask in the glories to come. To savor the beauty of a well-struck through ball. To vanquish an illustrious foe.

Because never let it be said that we’ll rest on our laurels. While we have resigned, our thoughts have already turned to the next venture. The next challenge.

A change of pace is needed. A new approach, perhaps. We must be patient, however, for the right opportunity to arrive.

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This has been an enjoyable stop along the journey. The first time we’ve dropped into the 2nd tier to take on a club, and it turned out smashingly. Mind you, I’m not rushing to do it again. But I would, for the “right” club. It isn’t what we’re going to do next.

One of the issues with this save is that, after a while, it can start to feel a little formulaic to me — I know how I want my sides to play, and I know the types of players I’m looking for. I also struggle to get excited about managing certain clubs (*cough*Spurs*cough*).

Which means that sometimes I need to change things up, or else cross my fingers and hope that I can “complete” the challenge quickly with particular clubs.

Right now, my plan is to change things up even more severely than when we dropped down to Ligue 2. Another “first” for the Nearly Men saves. The narrative is primed for it. It’s more a question of which clubs become available. (None of the eligible clubs are available or insecure at the moment.)

Goals for 2043/44:  Qualify for Euro 2044. Wait for the right club job to open up.

Squad | League Overview | Transfers

Finances | Income | Expenditure

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Fixtures 3

European Review

This is covered thoroughly in the 2041/42 Open Thread and live-blog of the Final, but Nicolaj Bur’s Stade de Reims brought home the Champions League title, with a 1-nil win over Raul Valbuena’s Wolves.

Champions League: Overview | Knockout Rounds

In the Europa League, Bruno Lage’s Atalanta beat Jamie Steel’s Athletic, 1-nil.

Europa League: Overview | Knockout Rounds

In the Europa Conference League, Aleksander Dragovic’s Tottenham beat Feyenoord, 2-nil.

Europa Conf. League: Overview | Knockout Rounds

In the active leagues, Ognjen Vranjes’ Aston Villa won their 5th straight Premier League title. Velicko Kaplanovic’s Roma won their first Serie A title since 2001. Paolo Fonseca’s Sevilla won their 6th straight La Liga title, the 9th time in 11 years that neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid have won the title (at a point, I promise to stop commenting on this…). Julian Nagelsmann’s Gladbach reclaimed the Bundesliga title. Baptiste Santamaria’s Club Brugge won their 7th straight Belgian title, their 14th in 17 years. Baba Toure’s Panathinaikos won their 19th straight SuperLeague title. Matthias Kaltenbach’s Partizan won their 11th straight title. Finally, Rayan Cherki’s IFK Norrkoping won the 2042 Allsvenskan title, their 5th in 7 years.

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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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