Good Things Come in Small Packages. (by Charlotte Stacey)
With the highest number of right footed goals in WSL history, and a notably impressive comeback to both league and international football, England and Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs has rooted herself as an essential figure in the minds of many.
Jordan Nobbs is a big presence in a petite frame. Standing at 5’3, arguably Nobbs is perhaps not the most physically intimidating player. But what she lacks in stature, she makes up for with a bold conviction in outwitting the most aggressive defenders. Her progressive approach and unwavering resolve have her pegged as one of the league’s most apt central midfielders.
Possessing a winning combination of creativity and sharp foresight, Nobbs is, more often than not, one of the most innovative players on the field. Her knack of darting into threatening positions, paired with her ability to create a play from a single touch, is somewhat worrying for a defensive line.
Nobbs’ first touch is first class. She is clever in her take, spraying dinks and links all over the place, and she finishes them with daring runs others perhaps do not have the nerve to make. Her game is quick, yet she is not hasty. Nobbs’ initiative both on and off the ball means she is problematic. With her capacity to both read and create scoring opportunities, it really is no wonder she boasts such a remarkable record. Her accuracy from range has seen her sink more than a few screamers.
After a lengthy recovery from her ACL injury, it was more than pleasing to see Nobbs return to the national side. Clearly not one to take the easy option, Nobbs immediately threw herself back into the thick of it, and in doing so, has quickly re-established herself as one of the Lionesses key players.
Casting back to the SheBelieves Cup, Nobbs certainly made an impression. Her performance against the USWNT in particular springs to mind. After being subbed on for the latter part of the match, Nobbs noticeably changed the dynamic of the Lionesses game. Promptly tightening up communication, wasting no time in making those nifty trademark runs, and assisting in the Lionesses best chance of the night, Nobbs plainly reminded us of what we had been missing.
Nobbs demonstrates a true skill for leadership. Having captained the national side at youth levels, as well as regularly heading up Arsenal in the absence of their usual skipper, there is no denying that she is, effortlessly, a leader. It is there in every run she makes, in every frank call to the officials, in every fibre of her being. It is perhaps ill-fated that Nobbs has not yet had the opportunity to don the armband, serving her own captaincy, at senior level. But her distinguished form alongside her experience in the role, speculates that she is surely high up the ranks to succeed her teammates, at both international and club level, when the time comes.
Off the pitch Nobbs is lovable. Her down to earth demeanour and her laid-back nature, evident in every interview, is a far cry from the Jordan Nobbs seen on the field. All business on game day, all laughs everywhere else. But it is this sense of amusement, alongside her honest character, that makes her a firm fan favourite. And her punditry is not bad either.
It is perhaps a little frustrating that Nobbs’ road back to full fitness has had to stop so abruptly, but it is of course for the most paramount reason. Although the future of football is uncertain at the moment, Lionesses fans and Gooners should not fret. For when it is up and running, one thing is for certain.
Jordan Nobbs is a weapon of a player to have in our arsenal.
by Charlotte Stacey