Take a moment, sit down, count to ten and breathe…Michael Chopra (*boo hiss boo*).
We think it’s safe to say that there are very few players or things, for that matter, that are more despised on Wearside than Michael Chopra.
It was a strange one, it really was. The former Newcastle flop, which in itself is bad enough, was handed a chance to turn his career around by Sunderland back in 2007 for a sizeable £5million (this was before Sunderland and the transfer market went completely mental).
Quite why the club did that, we don’t know. And I doubt we ever will, for that matter. But it might have something to do with maverick psychopath that is Roy Keane. What a complete and utter weirdo he was as a manager, hey.
It’s quite funny, actually (it’s really not). Before things went south, the Sunderland faithful were slowly but surely warming to their alien acquisition. They took him in, made him one of their own and cared for him, like the wolf that adopted Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology.
…Only in this tale, the child grows up, slaughters the beast and wears its fur as a coat.
Despite netting at the beginning of the 2007/08 season against Birmingham and sending fans into limb-filled raptures, this goal would be the final meaningful contribution he would make for the remainder of the term. It says it all that he ended up with more bookings than goals (seven compared to six).
Then there was the small matter on missing an absolute sitter against his beloved Newcastle in the derby.
“I haven’t got a point to prove to anybody,” he told the South Wales Echo (via FourFourTwo). “I have read a lot about the Newcastle game and comments by a certain Gary Rowell. He knocked me for not shooting, and at the end of the day, I took a wrong option. You can’t win.
“But in a previous game, the same thing happened, and we scored, so the guy should shut his month because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Last season, my six goals earned Sunderland 13 points, so his point really doesn’t hold any water. It’s absolutely nonsense to suggest that I didn’t want to shoot against Newcastle.
“I made my mind up early and that was it. On another day, I might have hit the ball first time and scored; I might have missed, and people would have said I should have squared the ball.”
I’m afraid we’re not nibbling Michael, you scoundrel.
Understandably the backlash was intense, and Chopra left the club and its pitchfork wielding fans shortly after.
He hasn’t helped himself since either, by claiming that he only signed for Sunderland to pay off debts he had accumulated gambling.
Dear oh dear, that’s all we have to say.
Sunderland fans, quite simply – how does Michael Chopra make you feel? Let us know in the comments below…