With the business end of the season upon us, Jordan Nobbs’ return from injury is welcome news with the Gunners in the title race and also trying to regain the Continental Cup.
The saying “you know when you are missing someone when they are not there” applies perfectly to Jordan Nobbs at Arsenal Ladies. It has been two seasons in a row, where she has come back with an injury from international duty and the team has really missed her.
First in 2014, she was injured in the pre-season tournament the Cyprus Cup and subsequently missed the whole first half of the season. That season ended with Shelley Kerr’s resignation and who knows what might have happened had Jordan been available?
Then Jordan went to the World Cup in Canada this summer, not really fit, and came back injured, missing many games due to her hamstring problem. Her talent is not the only reason she has been compared to Jack Wilshere.
Jordan Nobbs is an exceptional talent. She reads the game so well and anticipates play like no other player in the squad (except the world class Kelly Smith).
Nobbs is like a chess player, plotting moves in advance but is also a brilliant leader on the pitch. You can see and hear her directing her team-mates, orientating play.
She has a tremendous engine as required for a box-to-box midfielder and an uncanny ability to break the opposition’s line with her forward runs.
This is something that has been definitely missing for Arsenal in the post-World Cup games and explains some of the attacking problems the team has encountered.
Pedro Losa was only able to field passing or defensive midfield players. If there is no penetration from the central area, all the attacking goes through the wings and it is easier to defend against those patterns.
If Arsenal Ladies want to qualify for the Champions League and/or win the Continental Cup, they will need a 100% fit Jordan Nobbs doing her thing: being the midfield maestro that has been missing for way too many games in the last two seasons.