Sunday’s win at Spurs has seen many a fan and pundit have to change their tune regarding our start under Steve Bruce, none more so than Michael Chopra.
Chopra tweeted the following after the game, saying ‘credit where credit is due’ and praising Steve Bruce and the team for a ‘great three points’:
The former Newcastle academy graduate has been fairly vocal on Talksport and Twitter since Rafa Benitez left. He gave an interview with Jim White in which he was incredibly critical of Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley and the overall running of the club. He spoke from the heart and struck a chord with every Newcastle fan, but then seemed to change the narrative by proclaiming that he had spoken to potential investors about taking the club of Ashley’s hands.
While it’s believable in a sense, the fact that said investors would sound out Chopra exclusively about a potential takeover seemed contrived, self serving, and frankly absolute tripe to me personally. The story eventually ending up that the deal never got off the ground due to Chopra’s claim that Ashley’s representatives basically took a “they know where we are” stance. Maybe that’s the sense of cynicism that we all have. You know the old “unless I see them holding a scarf in front of Bobby’s statue, while eating a Gregg’s and downing a bottle of Newcastle Brown” attitude that years of Ashley smokescreens have seen us naturally adopt.
Fast forward to the defeat at Norwich and Chopra was at it again. Confidently claiming that he had inside knowledge of confusion amongst the players, and painting a picture of complete ineptitude from Bruce and his coaching staff when it came to tactics, shape and players understanding their roles. What followed was a very immature, and embarrassing public spat between them that did no one any good. Bruce responded at his Spurs press conference by calling out Chopra for telling “absolute lies” and then going on to reference Chopra’s appearance and goal record for Newcastle. Chopra then gave an equally petulant reply by defending said record and claiming he was speaking on behalf of the fans. To be honest, the whole thing made my skin crawl.
Thankfully, Chopra was big enough to put all that to one side and praise Bruce for the win at Spurs.
I’m not the biggest fan of Bruce’s appointment long term as I’ve stated in previous articles, but in any walk of life, if you criticise failure, you by that very same law praise success. I hope this puts to bed this particular spat, as none of us enjoyed listening to or reading about it. It isn’t good for anyone. Getting behind the players and wanting Newcastle United and Steve Bruce to win a game of football isn’t betraying any sense of loyalty because we all want Ashley gone. Chopra seems to have felt like all of us on Sunday night. Proud, over the moon with a great win at Spurs and looking forward to the next game. Let’s hope we beat Leicester and Watford at home and Talksport have no more childish fodder.