Steve Bruce offers new explanation for Jetro Willems mix-up

Steve Bruce has attempted to clear up a mix-up over Jetro Willems’ introduction against Arsenal.

By Miles Starforth
Friday, 16 August, 2019, 14:32
Jetro Willems.

Willems, signed by Newcastle United from a season-loan loan from Eintracht Frankfurt this month, took up a midfield position after replacing the injured Jonjo Shelvey last weekend.

The summer signing was quickly switched to his preferred position on the left, where he made a mistake in the build-up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s match-winning goal for Arsenal.

After the 1-0 defeat, Bruce blamed a “lack of communication” for the mix-up with Willems.

However, Bruce, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game against Norwich City at Carrow Road, said he changed his mind after initially fielding Willems in midfield, where he played a number of games for Eintracht last season.

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United’s head coach said: “I put Jetro on in midfield, where he played all last season, and then very quickly thought 'do you know something? That's a bit unfair on him'.

“Maybe I should have (thought) beforehand ‘it's a bit unfair on him, because he's making his debut I will put him on in his favoured position', so I switched him very, very quickly.”

Bruce also felt defenders Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles were partly culpable for Aubameyang’s goal.

“We''ve made a mistake, but he wasn't the only one who made a mistake in the build-up to the goal,” said Bruce. “We've made a mistake, two or three people have made that mistake, and you make a mistake in the Premier League, you get punished. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it was.”