In May, Arsenal Women confirmed that Jordan Nobbs had signed a new contract with the club. Jordan has been a mainstay for the squad since arriving from Sunderland as a 17 year old in 2010 and has since established herself as one of the world’s finest midfielders. “I love playing for this club and I want to lift every trophy available,” she told Tim Stillman, exclusively for Arseblog News.
In May, Arsenal’s number 8 and most important midfielder, put pen to paper on a new long term contract. Jordan Nobbs has established herself as the heartbeat of this Arsenal team with her high octane displays from central midfield. There are not many teams in world football that would not start with Jordan Nobbs in the engine room. “There was never any doubt that I would sign,” she tells me just minutes after the Gunners’ 6-1 final day victory over Bristol City.
There is no doubt that, were Nobbs to become available on the market, the biggest teams in Europe would form an orderly queue. Thankfully, their interest was never courted, “I love this club and I love pulling this shirt on and 8 years of loyalty to this point hopefully shows that as well.” Jordan joins Leah Williamson, Danielle van de Donk, Sari van Veenendaal, Dominique Janssen and Emma Mitchell in committing her future to the club in 2018.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 16, 2018
The appointment of Australian coach Joe Montemurro in December has revitalised a squad that began the season slowly under former boss Pedro Losa. “Since Joe [Montemurro] has come in, he’s given me a new lease of life and I just want to be at this club and winning trophies here,” Jordan explains. The Gunners finished 3rd- missing out on Champions League qualification by a point in 2017-18.
They beat Manchester City in the Continental Cup Final, but were bested by Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Nobbs has won 2 league titles and 4 FA Cups at Arsenal and is keen for a first league title since 2012. “We need to improve and we think that Joe’s arrival is our turning point. He’s brought in some great ideas and I am very privileged to be part of this squad. I couldn’t be happier, my aim was always to stay at Arsenal.”
Nobbs arrived as a 17 year old from Sunderland and immediately became a member of a first team squad featuring club legends such as Jayne Ludlow, Faye White and Julie Fleeting. Now aged 25, Nobbs is one of the longest serving players and the vice-captain. With the recent retirement of Alex Scott, the Stockton born midfielder has become a senior presence at Arsenal. She insists it is a status she is comfortable with.
“I’ve always wanted to lead- even when I was a young player. I am sure Kim [Little, captain] would say the same. But we know we need to keep stepping up, Alex was a phenomenal player and captain so there are some big shoes to fill there. We need to make sure we continue with the level of professionalism the likes of Alex showed down the years.”
Young girl with a big dream… FA Cup final at Wembley ???? pic.twitter.com/3429ZsUNI1
— Jordan Nobbs (@JordanNobbs8) May 5, 2018
Montemurro’s arrival saw an instant upturn in fortunes, having trailed Manchester City by 9 points upon his arrival in December, the Gunners finished the season just one point behind City. “We’re playing good football under Joe and we want on a really good, long run just after he arrived just before we slipped up a bit in April,” Jordan points out.
“But our overall style and our attitude towards the game has improved under him. We feel like we’re competing and imposing ourselves again and that’s showed since Joe came in. I wouldn’t have signed a contract if I didn’t have huge belief in Joe.” Nobbs is always an engaging and convincing speaker, even seconds after a lung bursting 90 minute performance, her answers are considered and thoughtful. I ask what Montemurro has changed in his short time at Arsenal.
“We’ve looked after the basics again,” she ponders. “Over the last few years we’ve been conceding too many goals and we got 8 consecutive clean sheets just after he arrived, which shows you how we have observed the fundamentals a bit better, we look after the ball. With that foundation, we’ve been able to play good football going forward. We knew we needed to tighten up and we’ve done that with Joe.”
The competition at the top level of women’s football has never been fiercer with significant investment from Manchester City and Chelsea. But Arsenal have hardly been poor relations in the investment stakes and tying down a player like Jordan is another show of intent. Nobbs says that the focus is on recharging over pre-season and mounting a serious title challenge in 2018-19.
“Right now, we need to recover over the summer and get our heads back into it for next season. I’m gutted that we’re not in the Champions League next year, but that’s our own fault for slipping up in some winnable games. I truly believe we can come back stronger next year and challenge for every trophy. I want to lift every trophy available above my head in an Arsenal shirt.”
When pressed on her individual form, Nobbs is a little reticent for the first time in the interview. Her father, Keith, was a professional footballer for Hartlepool United and she analyses her performances with him regularly. Publicly, she is less keen to talk about her own form, emphasising the importance of the collective.
“I’ve really enjoyed this season. I feel like Joe believes in me and I feel like I am playing well,” she says a little reluctantly. “But the most important thing is that we are challenging for and winning trophies. I can still make individual improvements and I have some time to do that, but I feel like I’m performing. But it’s more for the people watching to say whether I am.”
You would be incredibly hard pushed to find anyone that would venture that she isn’t. Thankfully, Arsenal fans will have a few more years to run the rule over the all action displays of Jordan Nobbs.