Chopra sidelined over gambling problems
Published 23:00 26/10/11 By Dave Allard
Ipswich striker Michael Chopra has suffered a drastic loss of form due to his gambling addiction.
The 27-year-old has battled it for years, and went into rehab in 2008 when he was a Sunderland player.
However, the bug has resurfaces since his £1million move from Cardiff in the summer - despite contrary claims.
Earlier this month, the former England Under-21 star, who once blew £15,000 in a two-hour betting blitz, insisted he had given up gambling.
But an Ipswich insider revealed: "Chops hasn't been right recently, because he went back to betting.
"It has been a really difficult time for him. It has played heavily on his mind and his football has suffered.
"He hasn't trained properly for a couple of weeks now and he was given a break by the manager to see if it would help."
Ipswich boss Paul Jewell dropped Chopra and fellow striker Jason Scotland to the bench for Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace.
Jewell referred to "personal family issues" and said: "Without going into too much detail, I know what's going on day to day with them and we don't like to shout out about it.
"Chops has missed a lot of training - in fact, he's only really been playing matches of late.
"Both of them have been carrying little problems with their hamstrings and backs, which we've been trying to manage.
"And, like all people, footballers have problems in life away from work, too.
"To outsiders, it might have been a surprise to drop the front two, but when I pick a team I'm doing so knowing more facts than most people."