Paul Robinson claimed that Newcastle United defender Jetro Willems was exposed by Wolves attacker Adama Traore during the 1-1 draw between the two sides on Sunday.
The Sky Sports pundit stated that Willems had a difficult task dealing with Traore due to the winger’s pace and seem to imply that the Magpies left-back far from excelled when it came to dealing with him.
Robinson did add that Traore’s pace wasn’t the only issue as he pointed out that the 23-year-old winger has been in outstanding form.
“I think Traore has been outstanding so it’s always going to be a tough test as you don’t know as a defender whether to challenge high and try to win the ball, which could end up with him nipping it around you and you’re out of the game, or you give him a couple of yards to run at you and he runs past you,” Robinson told Football Insider.
“So someone with that pace it’s always going to be difficult and he was exposed at the weekend.”
Robinson appears to be a bit sympathetic towards Willems over his latest display and it’s easy to see why. The Magpies left-back didn’t just face the near-impossible task of stopping Traore charging past him, but if he managed to neutralise him then next thing you knew Wolves right-back Matt Doherty was charging full steam ahead at him. So while Willems could have fared better on Sunday, the positive to take from the match is that Traore being able to run rings around him, didn’t lead to the Magpies suffering a loss. It’s also worth considering the 25-year-old has proven to be a solid member of Steve Bruce’s side this season, so a slight-off day shouldn’t see him condemned. Willems has averaged 2.1 tackles per game across his seven league outings in order to pull his weight at the back, and he has averaged one shot-per-game as well as 0.9 key passes per game in order to be an attacking outlet on the flank (Source: WhoScored). So based on that, the defender looks like having a big role to play this season and hopefully he doesn’t have to face any more players similar to Traore.