Fiorentina / Belgium – 2044/45 Season Review
An eventual start to life in Serie A. We have exceeded the ownership group’s expecations, although Giggsy has suggested that their timeline has been accelerated in light of our requested changes to the club’s transfer policy.
Becks has taken the new approach in stride, going all-in on the glamour, personally commissioning a set of new kits for the 2045/46 campaign. We’ve been given a clear mandate, though. They want a return on their investment sooner rather than later.
“Like that Luke… Luke… not Shaw… That Skywalker lad, played for Plymouth, I think… You remember him, yeah?! Just like Luke said, ‘to whom much is given, much will be required.’ You just keep that in mind. These Shia LeBeouf-designed football kits don’t come cheap. This Conference League piddle won’t do next year. So, don’t give us no Barney Rubble.”
As serious as the look is on Becks’ face, it’s hard to take him seriously with that voice. Didn’t do much for his thinly-veiled hint of violent retribution if we were to fail to improve on our 7th-place finish, which qualifies us for the Europa Conference League.
Zlatan, true to form, didn’t miss the chance to put all those hours on Duolingo practicing his rhyming slang to good use. Ironically, of course.
“The Zlatan is all beers, Mister David. The bunny brought me the honey, and me todge is bleeding ‘uge just thinkin’ abaht it. Give the bloody Plates and Dishes some slaps on the chuffin’ Khyber pass for me, yeah?”
Becks looks momentarily befuddled, before adopting a serene look, nodding slowly as if Zlatan has spoken some secret truth.
Fist bumps all around. We go again, lads.
Solid progress in the first year. The Board expected a mid-table finish and we delivered a European Conference League place.
The frustration being that we were sitting 5th when we kicked off on Matchday 38, away to Julian Nagelsmann’s Juventus. 90 minutes later, we were 7th. Meaning that we fell into the Conference League. Frustrating, but I really don’t mind. I love the Conference League. This will also give us a year to continue developing youth and building up the squad for an assault on the Champions League. Our coefficient isn’t too awful (34.00 in 2044/45, 56th in Europe, with no drop-off for 2045/46), so we should have a relatively straightforward path to the knockout rounds.
There may be some disappointment out there at my decision to move away from a pure youth-only approach. In my head, going pure youth-only felt like the “right” thing to do, but in practice it was at odds with what I love about this save and what keeps it going week after week, month after month. Perhaps my next save needs to be pure youth-only, but incorporating it here was going to bring this save to a premature, bitter end.
Goals for 2045/46: Make a run in the Europa Conference League. Qualify for the 2046/47 Champions League. Qualify for South Korea 2046.
In the Champions League, Baptiste Santamaria’s Aston Villa beat Gabriel Jesus’s Milan, 2-nil.
In the Europa League, Marco Rose’s West Ham beat Bruno Lage’s Atalanta, 2-nil (aet), denying the Italians a second straight title.
In the Europa Conference League, Pavel Kaderabek’s Sampdoria beat Miguel Baeza’s tycoon-fueled OH Leuven, 2-1.
In the active leagues, Baptiste Santamaria’s Aston Villa won their 7th straight Premier League title. Frank Lampard’s Schalke won their 3rd title in 4 years, after a tight finish in the Bundesliga. Paolo Fonseca’s Sevilla won their 8th straight La Liga title. Samul Yepie-Yepie’s Lyon won their 2nd straight Ligue 1 title, their 8th in 10 years. Miguel Baeza’s OH Leuven won the first Belgian title in club history. Baba Toure’s Panathinaikos won their 21st straight SuperLeague title. Marko Arnautovic’s Partizan won their 13th straight title. Finally, Amel Mujanic’s Hammarby won the 2044 Allsvenskan title.
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 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?