The reporter claimed via his personal Twitter account during the match that Bruce was annoyed with the way the 25-year-old entered the action in the second half as he went into the midfield but was supposed to replace Matt Ritchie as the left-sided wing-back.
It is understood that Bruce was left shouting “what the f*** is happening?” as Willems spent a couple of minutes not playing in the position he should have been after coming on for Jonjo Shelvey.
Jetro Willems, a left-back, replaces Jonjo Shelvey and goes into central midfield, much to Steve Bruce's annoyance. "What the f*** is happening?" screams the NUFC boss, before eventually shifting Willems to left-wing back and moving Matt Ritchie infield.
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) August 11, 2019
What a mess that was. Willems replaced Shelvey in the second half but once he entered the action, he spent several minutes just wandering around like a headless chicken. And then, once Willems did finally go to the left flank and Ritchie moved into the middle, Arsenal scored. The summer signing’s debut could not have gone much worse considering he only played for just over 35 minutes. He completed switched off in the build-up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal and barely did anything else of note in the black and white stripes. For Willems, it can only get better from here. His debut was poor but it’s not like many Newcastle players stood out in what was a disjointed display against the Gunners. Bruce will have learned a lot about his new players in that match and hopefully he will start the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin when the Magpies take on Norwich next weekend.