Following her sensational goal to open the scoring against Spurs on Saturday evening, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro says he has set midfielder Jordan Nobbs “new challenges” this season. Nobbs came back from a cruciate ligament injury at the beginning of last season and slowly started to come back up to her usual level when play was suspended in early March.
Montemurro has fielded Nobbs in an unfamiliar left-wing position in the two opening WSL fixtures, before she returned to her usual central-midfield berth against Sp*rs. I asked Joe about this tactical switch after the 9-1 victory over West Ham United.
“We just felt that Jordan is very good at staying a little bit higher and finding space between centre-backs and full-backs. She works as a third number 10 and if Viv lowers, then their centre-backs and full-backs aren’t sure whether to go with her or protect space in behind.”
Take a bow, @JordanNobbs8 ?♀️
— Vitality Women's FA Cup (@VitalityWFACup) September 26, 2020
I asked Joe what he meant when he referred to “new challenges” for Jordan this season and whether any of them were physical now she is fully recovered from her knee injury. “The main thing is we want her to be more efficient and effective. We know Jordan is very energetic and she likes to be involved all the time but we’ve set her some challenges to be involved where she can be really effective.
“She can take up positions where other players are sometimes, so it’s a little bit about her positioning and a little about how she can create space off and on the ball and that will give her the physical parameters to be a bit more efficient.”
The Gunners head to Manchester for the FA Cup semi-final on Thursday evening [full match preview will go live on the site at 7.15pm Wednesday] for a clash with City to determine who will face Everton or Birmingham in the final on November 1st. Montemurro told Arseblog News that Jen Beattie and Lia Wälti will return to the squad for that game but that Steph Catley will not due to an ongoing calf issue.