Date: 17th August 2019 at 7:41am
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Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has left many Magpies supporters bewildered after he admitted that bringing Jetro Willems on to play in midfield against Arsenal was a mistake, as quoted by the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder.

During the game, it appeared the mistake was Willems’, as it seemed his instructions were to play at left-back with Matt Ritchie moving in alongside Isaac Hayden, but Bruce has now stated that this was not the case.

Instead, the boss confirmed at his pre-game press conference on Friday that he instructed the Dutch full-back to make his competitive Newcastle debut in the engine room, before soon realising the decision was not the best call he could have made.

“I put Jetro on in midfield, where he played for Frankfurt [last season],” Bruce said. “Then I thought it was unfair. Then I switched him quickly. We made a mistake.”

Willems played 17 times for Eintracht Frankfurt in the centre of midfield last season, with his remaining 19 outings spread across the wide and defensive midfield roles, central defence, and his natural left full-back position.

There were no natural options on the bench for Bruce to turn to against Arsenal as he sought to change things up after losing Jonjo Shelvey through injury, as he had named four defenders on the bench to cover for the potential loss of Paul Dummett or Jamaal Lascelles, as both were operating below their full capabilities.

Now admitting that Willems was instructed to take over from Shelvey has not gone down well with the St James’ Park faithful going by these reactions…

 
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