While the result is all that matters, Newcastle United weren’t at their best against Southampton.

It was a sluggish performance from Steve Bruce’s side, who needed Andy Carroll to spark them into life from off the bench. Goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Federico Fernandez turned the game around for Newcastle, but one player really wasn’t at the races.

Jetro Willems really struggled against the Saints, and he knows it.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

After the game he tweeted: “Today wasn’t really my day, but I’m human aannddd we won soooo.”

The Dutch defender has been excellent since coming into the side in place of Matt Ritchie, but the win against Southampton certainly wasn’t his finest outing.

Willems’ woes started early, and he nearly handed the Saints the lead when his lazy pass back towards one of the centre-backs was intercepted by Nathan Redmond. Fortunately, Martin Dubravka was on standby to produce a wonderful save.

 

The 25-year-old is normally a key player for us going forward, but he never really found his passing rhythm. And defensively, a few weak headers almost put us in trouble.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Luckily, his performance didn’t impact the result. And fair play to Willems for holding his hands up and admitting he was poor.

Hopefully it’s just a one off and he’s back to his best against Burnley next weekend.

Isaac Hayden has also been critical of his own performance. The midfielder had a tough afternoon up against James Ward-Prowse, who’s all-action style often over stepped the line.

Hayden’s performance wasn’t as bad as Willems’, but it’s good to see that he knows he can do better and isn’t hiding behind the win. He’s as professional as they come. The sooner he signs a new contract the better.

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