'He's a mediocre Championship manager' – Ex-Sunderland striker Michael Chopra slams Steve Bruce appointment at Newcastle United
‘Mediocre Championship manager’ Steve Bruce is not wanted at Newcastle United – that’s the view of former Sunderland and Magpies’ striker Michael Chopra.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Chopra slammed the possible appointment of ex-Black Cats boss Bruce at St James’s Park, although he does not blame him for wanting the post.
“If you're in Steve Bruce's shoes, a Newcastle fan, and Newcastle comes calling, you're going to take the job – but the fans don’t want him,” said Chopra.
“They've gone from Rafa Benitez, a world-class manager and one of the best in Europe, to - and no disrespect to Steve Bruce - but he's a mediocre Championship manager now, he's not good enough for the Premier League, especially not Newcastle United.
“That's what's been most disappointing for the fans. There's been talk of (Jose) Mourinho, (Patrick) Vieira, all these big names, and now they've gone to Bruce. I don't even think he was their first choice, (Sam) Allardyce was, and now they've had to go to Brucey.”
Meanwhile, Chopra has questioned whether Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley really wants to sell Newcastle, having found a willing buyer for the club last year.
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“I found a guy in Saudi Arabia at the end of last year who was very interested in buying the club," said Chopra.
“We wanted the mandate from Andrew Henderson [Ashley’s lawyer] to speak to the guy in Saudi about buying the club. He said if he’s got that much money, is a royal out there, tell him to fly to London.
“From that, I get that they don’t really want to sell. They wouldn’t give a mandate to someone who has found a buyer for the club.”
And Chopra thinks the latest summer failings – in which they’ve lost Rafa Benitez, failed to replace him, lost Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez – will see United fans vote with their feet.
“Even in the Championship Newcastle sold out – but I think that will stop, the fans have had enough,” he said.
“It a disease. Every year it is getting worse and worse.”