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Former Striker Gives Bleak Assessment Of Newcastle Squad In Scathing Interview

Michael Chopra has been very outspoken about the state of Newcastle United this summer. However, he has generally kept his remarks focused on owner Mike Ashley.

He has just given an interview on TalkSPORT in which he has made some provocative claims. This time it is aimed at Steve Bruce and the Newcastle United players.

This is what Chopra has said he has been told by some of the players at the club:

“I’ve spoken to some senior players at the club, I won’t mention their names, and under Benitez, everything was drilled into them on the training pitch: the team shape, how they were going to play, everyday.

“Bruce has come in, and some of the players don’t know their jobs. They are not really working on their shape.

“At Newcastle for two or three years those players have overachieved under Benitez, but I don’t think some of the players are good enough for the Premier League. So they need coaching.

“They need coaching. They are not good enough.”

We really don’t see how this is helpful in the slightest. He’s basically implied that senior players have come to him in confidence to denounce Steve Bruce’s training methods while praising Rafa’s. This is in stark contrast to what the players have been saying since Bruce joined the club.

His implications are also very unfair to the players at this club. He is giving Rafa Benitez all of the credit while calling the players nothing more than robots who are entirely reliant on a coach’s instruction.

While we agree that Rafa Benitez was tactically brilliant and that he got the most of his players, he also depended on the ability of these players to be successful. We just feel that these comments are unwarranted at this moment in time. The players deserve a little more credit for their talent and hard work.

39 comments so far

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #1


  • Genjikai

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #2

    Asi, true winner, you keep on winning.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #3

    Chopra? Right, so, which senior players even know who Chopra is? And why would they go to him ffs?
    “I don’t know lads, this clearly isn’t working, let’s contact Chopra and see what he thinks. After all, he was a much better player than any of us and since becoming a senior coach(?!!!) he’ll know what we mean”. Or, alternatively, an ex player sees half a chance to get in the news and goes for it again. Load of crap imo

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #4

    It’s not helpful but it is true. The players are below par for a Prem team, Rafa had them overachieving and Bruce has come in and made us look like predator bait which we are.

    Other teams will be licking their chops at the thought of playing us.

    Good times…………..

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #5

    What a load of crap.

  • Jib

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #6

    21 games 1 goal for NUFC
    39 games 8 goals for Sunlun
    Sold to Cardiff by Bruce

    Does he have an axe to grind ?

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #7

    Much as I’d like this to be true and believe it is actually true, I have my doubts current players would have told Chopra directly. He seems a bit of a loose cannon which is good in many respects but not for keeping secrets. I’ll file this one alongside the billionaire Saudi who approached him wanting to buy the toon. Its either Chinese whispers or if someone’s told him direct it will be easy to figure out who Chopra knows. Ameobi? Dummett? A long time coach? Colback? He could be getting someone dropped if its true.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #8

    Jib, looks that way. This is the second time he chirped in about Bruce and the team. Knows his stuff though, just look at those stats. Maybe he wants the job? 😀

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #9

    You have to admire his passion though. Seems he’s feeling it just like we are. Good to see an ex who still cares.

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #10

    Can’t imagine anyone going Chopra, only player he probably knows that’s still there is Shola, just saying what a lot of fans are saying but he has worked with Bruce before so at least knows his training / tactical methods

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Jibbers me auld cheesy grate,
    You claim that Bruce is not out of his depth because he led ‘ull to 16th and got to a cup final five years ago. I think it’s widely acknowledged that Steve Mclaren was way out of his depth here, he won a cup finished seventh and got to a UEFA cup final with boro, so what’s your point exactly?

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #12

    Aye, he’s so passionate about us he went to play for the mackems just to show how much he loves us 😀

  • Jib

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #13

    The only one it could be is a certain ginger outcast
    He also has an axe to grind

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Someone said Norwich reserves went from us from the start. If you look at a team and they have no goal threat you can commit men forward, and not have to worry. I’ve seen so many teams take a striker off to defend a lead and then the other team piles forward and mauls them. Look at our team or squad even. We have one guy who can score although not many, and one guy who creates a few. Almiron and Joelinton. What do the rest contribute going forward? Lovely expansive attacking football we are supposed to be enjoying. I remember pardew and McLaren saying they played attacking too. Only thing they share in common with attacking teams is conceding loads of goals.

  • Jib

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #15

    Fair point

  • kimbo

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #16

    Chopra is right it was he said, Rafa controlled the players on the pitch by shouting instructions throughout the game, he kept them in position all the time , watching Bruces`s team they are all over the place.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #17

    That glorious achievement of finishing 16th was 5 years ago. Off the top of my head the league still contained 10 dinosaurs back then, 9 of which finished in the bottom 10. There’d have been Pardew, Moyes, Pulis, McLaren, Sherwood, Hughes, Allardyce, and maybe Hodgson and Dyche or Houghton. He was just about keeping his head above water when that lot were around. He’s no chance now. And even if he is better than McLaren, McLaren would be even worse in today’s EPL than he was then.

  • count

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #18

    What’s a load of crap Munster? Are you suggesting that you know more about training sessions and Steve Bruce than Chopra does?

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #19

    The self aggrandising Allardyce saying Rafa took us down. Talk about re-writing history. No mention of Mclaren whatsoever.

    Which other club has been so cursed to have Allardyce, Pardew, Bruce, Carver, McLaren, Souness, JFK twice!!!!!!!!!

    Feels like an old boys network of back slapping dud Brit dinosaurs who’ve never won anything between them in the UK and ”Rafa you’re not in the club”.

  • big bob

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #20

    Does it matter if chopra was told this and who by the point is the manager is way out of depth and is now destroying the shape and structure of the team we have gone from a solid team with a threat on the break to a wide open team with little threat up front (if this is what they call attacking football give me the Rafa football anyday)

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #21

    forgot mclaren had won a cup

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #22

    A question about the Norwich game.

    Can anyone name the last time we dominated a game as well as Norwich reserves did against us?

    Benitezs best two games were Spurs when we went down and Fulham last game of the season. Or even Chelsea last game of the other season. McLaren didn’t have a best game, nor did Carver. Pardew had a few great games to be fair.

    Or if Norwich weren’t that good, were we just that bad? When was the last time we played this bad? Must have been in McLarens reign.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #23

    We’ve nearly had them all, Rotonda. Just Moyes, Pulis and Hughes to go and we’ve got the full set.

    I said ages ago if you’d inflicted our run of managers on Barcelona they’d be struggling.

  • WLtoon

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #24

    Some so called experts have said Ashley wont sack Bruce even if it looks like we are going down , and are suggesting that Bruce will be the perfect man to bring us back up. What an attitude to have if that is true. I doubt though that Bruce would have the know how to get us back up when you look at his time at moneybags Villa.They were heading into oblivion under him , it was,nt until he left and a new coach installed that they started to pick up the result their expensive team were expecting to get.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #25

    McLaren won a league too. Compared to Bruce he’s Alex Ferguson. They share the same non descript style though.

  • JohnReese

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Norwich were good in the game but nothing outstanding. The most noticeable thing for me, that I would have been disgusted about had I been the coach was the distinct lack of energy in the team from the first whistle. Hayden and Ritchie put in the effort as usual along with Krafth, buoyed by making his debut I assume. It just seemed like everyone else was running at 50%. We never got close to any Norwich players and after the first 10 minutes they must have known they would win the game, giving them the confidence to go on and absolutely dominate us from start to finish.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #27

    Since Pep arrived in the PL everything changed. He brought in playing with a keeper who can play the ball out under pressure and starting attacks from the defence. Everybody else has had to adapt to those sorts of changes and the PL has moved on in leaps and bounds.
    I’d like to say Bruce will have to adapt too, but really, i just can’t see it happening. We’ll be relegated before he gets up to speed, if he ever does. He’s a Geordie lad and I’d like him to succeed but being realistic, I’m worried. We can’t leave it too late like we did last time we went down. The writing’s on the wall already, but Chumlee will need to find a replacement if this carries on. And that doesn’t do the confidence much good.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #28

    I doubt I’m even going to watch the match against Spurs or any other until he’s gone. Why ruin a perfectly good day? While its on we should have a 90 minute chat about old rock bands and ham radios and flowers or other less depressing subjects.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #29

    If Charnleys allowed to choose again, Jail for Ashley should change his name to Cuckoos Nest for Ashley.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #30

    Yeah Bobby, everything’s changed. We are getting new managers from all around the world coming in with new ideas. The league will continue to change. And teams that don’t adapt will be left behind. Ashley’s seems like he’s always 5 years behind. We will probably hire Pep in 30 years time when he’s struggling in league 1.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #31

    The team needs to get closer to one another when we go forward. Maybe back to 4231 or 4411, but whatever we play the midfield need to get up and support the striker.
    Miggy having to come back to pick the ball up because it’s not getting forward isn’t the answer, because it leaves a big gap between him and Joelinton. Even 433 would be better.
    The players need to take some responsibility though. They’re pro footballers after all. They don’t need to be spoon fed.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #32

    Ron Knee if you’re about, not football related but most definitely blog related. When Neil writes an article it is ”Jeolinton would come off and Muto would come on” ”They would score a goal” ”They would lose the game 3-2” is it a particular sentence structure, an Americanism or just a personal style of writing?

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #33

    The real wearside Jack has snuffed it

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #34

    If you haven’t realised yet Bruce was brought in to dampen our spirits and put us firmly in our place, the championship.

    Ashley wants to relegate us, it gives him 5 more years of “we cant compete’ without murmurs of discontent from the customers

  • Jib

    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #35

    Your crediting Ashley with a cunning I don’t think he possesses
    All evidence , appointments of managers etc. , points to a reactive
    rather than a proactive running of NUFC.

    In simple terms he flies by the seat of his pants
    Just look at his purchase of HoF
    He had a gut feeling !!!!


  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Aug 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #36

    Bruce isn’t struggling tactically, he simply hasn’t got there yet. He’s struggling with fundamentals. The essential things that are key to winning football matches. He’s struggling to achieve an effective shape and formation, to get individual players to fully understand their role in both the attacking and defensive unit, to instill the right levels of commitment, to get his 11, bench and substitutions right etc.

    This stuff isn’t tactics. When he says he doesn’t do tactics, what he’s saying is he focusses on the bread and butter of competing and winning points. Unfortunately though that is exactly where we have fallen short in the last two hours on the pitch, and he has no period of grace, he has no time, so he needs to start to make us resemble a competitive football team this weekend, or this will begin to quickly unravel for him and us, and he will almost certainly then be out of his depth.

    Toughest job in football, and probably never been tougher for any Newcastle manager than right now.

  • Phil K

    Aug 20, 2019 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #37

    Unfair to them ? Neil – after that utter dross against a newly promoted team who had serious injury problems, he UNDERESTIMATED how bad they were. Mickey is a typical geordie who knows who isn’t pulling their weight, and says it

  • Phil K

    Aug 20, 2019 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #38

    ….and “In stark contrast to what they were saying publicly” ????????????????
    Footballers talk crap at any time of the day and vomit up bilge left right and centre and get worse when they retire as they’re so used to it, and never let facts get in the way – look at Phil Neville and Danny Mills for Chrissakes.

  • Malta Mag

    Aug 21, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    Comment #39

    If you don’t think the comments by this “nobody” are helpful at this moment in time Ed then why print them?? By giving him a platform to spout this crap you are feeding the sheep on here who will jump on anything like this to justify their own views? The supporters are fragmented and if Chopra was a true fan he wouldn’t have come out with this garbage?


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