"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." - R.E.M.
It just seemed appropriate considering yesterday's vote. What vote, you might ask yourself? I really hope you are not asking yourself that. Even if you do not normally follow international affairs, international business or politics in general the vote to remove Great Britain from the EU is kind of a big deal.
There will be no opinion offered in favor of, or in opposition to, the vote. There will be no mention of how this impacts my country, the United States. This is a sports blog. This is a safe place. This is a happy place, now that Rafa Benitez is our glorious leader. I am sure you were told, at an age that would afford you understanding, that religion and politics are sensitive subjects through which we should walk carefully. It isn't clear to me we know each other well enough to talk about either of those. We surely don't have the time to respectfully listen to the positions of others in order to fully appreciate why they hold specific beliefs.
Let me try to tie this into sports.
When there was talk about stadium and ticket boycotts to send a message to Mike Ashley one could see this as a financial vote to change the Newcastle United culture. Not everyone agreed with this position. Some surely made the decision, knowing there might be consequences to any degree. Sometimes the change we want puts us in an even more dire position. Look at Newcastle's transfer history over the past three years. We hope Rafa's hiring does what we hope it will. The steps so far, even on the pitch despite relegation, are arrow up.
I would argue we are Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, and as Camus tells us, "We must imagine Sisyphus happy." Unless Rafa brings us promotion there will be division in the ranks. The best we can do is respond to circumstances with as much hope as possible. Often that's easier said than done, but it's then that we rely on community. Coming Home Newcastle, as small as it might be, I hope is that community.
And that's my effort of recognizing history without talking about history.
Ok, let's kick the ball.
I hate that Brexit is a word. But enough of that. According this report, which refers to a report in The Mirror, 108 PL players would not have been able to play for their present clubs if Britain was not part of the EU. So this is really the better marrying of politics with soccer, though I feel my effort was fully wasted. An important read.
According to the piece:
Newcastle are claimed to be looking for around €13m to €14m for the Frenchman, whose salary is €1.8m per year.
Thauvin has asked to be sold. From what I've seen it isn't clear he'd be much of a Championship asset. Best offer is fine.
Some quality information on what other clubs in the Championship are working on regarding players coming and going. The Newcastle tease is further explained below.
Reports call Wiliams' play as one of the most consistent from the mid-field position in the Championship the past few years. Aston Villa and Sunderland have also shown interest. Please give a US international player on my squad! Please soccer gods!
His success rate was 42% in the group stage. My take on his predictions? Yes, yes, unfortunately yes, yes, yes, no, no, no. He has scores. I don't do scores.