IT’S fair to say Michael Chopra wouldn’t win any popularity contests on Wearside these days.
Chopra doesn’t often hold back on social networking site Twitter when it comes to Sunderland, his former employer.
The Geordie let rip after Gateshead-born Danny Graham joined the club last season.
He tweeted: “Another Geordie signs for sunderland lol wonder how many mackems sign for the toon #none.”
In the wake of the club’s 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa in April, he wrote: “Feels great that all these Sunderland giving me so so much stick that they once paid my wages I think I forgot to say thank you #hahahaha.”
Chopra this week posted a picture of himself celebrating his goal in Newcastle United’s 4-1 win at the Stadium of Light in 2006.
But the 29-year-old, now a Blackpool player, says the messages should be taken with a pinch of salt.
After all, he’s a fan at heart, and banter between the two clubs’ support is the lifeblood of the build-up to any derby.
“On my Twitter it’s all banter,” Chopra said. “I try to have a laugh with people.
“On derby days, everyone’s talking about the game, and I’m no different. I have a laugh with people myself.
“I still keep in touch with some of the Sunderland players. It’s just all banter.
“Any Newcastle fan likes to have banter with Sunderland fans, and I’m no different.”
Chopra will watch Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby with his young son Sebastian.
“I know I play football, but at the end of the day I’m a Newcastle suppporter,” he said.
“I’ll be watching the game on Sunday, I’m hoping for a Newcastle win, like any other fan.”