On Tuesday, Michael Chopra made some provocative comments to TalkSPORT when he issued the following assessment of the state of Newcastle under Steve Bruce:
“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 found these statements by the former Newcastle player to be a bit over the top. Whether any of the current players said anything to Chopra, we just don’t know. However, it caused an unnecessary firestorm in the press.
You would think a former Newcastle player would understand how comments like these not only undermine Steve Bruce but also cast suspicion on which players at the club are unsettled.
We are also not sure of what Michael’s intent was with his bleak opinion. However, comments like these can only serve to further the divide currently being felt at the club.
The players and coaching staff need to be unified this season if they are going to make any headway at all. We really hope that no player said anything of the sort to Michael Chopra.
Steve Bruce was asked about the Michael Chopra incident in his press conference today. The Chronicle have published the following comments by Steve Bruce when asked about what Chopra said:
“It’s not for me to comment on what’s been said but, there’s often a storm in Newcastle. It’s two games, and I just want it to be fair and responsible. I know the only way I can shut people up is by winning games and I know the quicker, the better.
“The Chopra thing was blown out of all proportion. Some of this stuff out there is just nonsense, blatant lies. Some of the criticism has been relentless, but I’ll protect the players and keep my dignity.
“I’m just surprised that people take any attention of him. Some of the stuff is just fabricated and lies. When it’s like that, you think why is that making national headlines, which is total rubbish.”
Steve Bruce is right to be upset with headlines like the one Chopra made earlier in the week. Especially that it came from a fellow Geordie.
However, Steve Bruce is absolutely correct that winning games is the only way he and the squad can calm the current storm around the club.