Former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra claims to have spoken to some of the club’s players about the start to life under new manager Steve Bruce this season.
The former Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday boss was not exactly a popular appointment as he arrived at St James’ Park before the 2019/20 campaign, with a bigger name perhaps expected to cope with the blow of Rafael Benitez leaving at the end of his contract.
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While Newcastle have generally struggled in recent times, there was perhaps a sense that a top quality tactician like Benitez could help them climb the table this term.
Bruce, however, is clearly a level below that, at least based on his recent managerial stints, and Chopra’s comments will certainly concern Magpies supporters.
As quoted by the Shields Gazette, the former NUFC man claims the players don’t know their roles under Bruce, and that the team doesn’t have as clear a tactical plan as there was under his predecessor.
“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 – every day,” he said.
“Bruce has come in, and some of the players don’t know their jobs – they’re not really working on their shape.
“At Newcastle, for two or three years those players, have over-achieved 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’re not good enough.”