The past few weeks at Arsenal Women FC have been very eventful, both on and off the pitch. After falling short in the FA Women’s Cup final, Joe Montemurro’s side were also in the race to finish in a Champions League spot. It came down to the final day but despite thrashing Bristol City Women 6-1, it wasn’t enough to move them ahead of Manchester City Women who claimed the 2nd Champions League spot.
Off the pitch, despite putting in convincing challenges on it, things have looked a bit more positive. Along with the signing of Bayern Munich’s Viktoria Schnaderbeck last week, no fewer than six Arsenal players have signed contract extensions towards the back end of the season. Those players are Leah Williamson, Emma Mitchell and the Dutch contingent of Sari van Veenendaal, Danielle van de Donk and Dominique Janssen.
Also signing a new deal with the club was 51-goal midfielder Jordan Nobbs.
My future, My home ❤️??@arsenalwfc #JN8 pic.twitter.com/EE2UyNfgSA
— Jordan Nobbs (@JordanNobbs8) May 16, 2018
Following, Arsenal’s victory over Bristol, I spoke to Nobbs about the contract extension to which she said: “I love this club and I think eight years of loyalty hopefully shows that too. Since Joe’s come in he’s given me a new lease of life and I just want to be winning trophies at this club.
“We do need to improve and hopefully Joe is our turning point. He’s brought some great players into the club and I’m very privileged to be part of this squad and I couldn’t be happier to be staying at Arsenal Football Club.”
Nobbs joined Arsenal in 2010 and has had great success with England’s most decorated club, winning 11 trophies since arriving from Sunderland. Despite that success, Arsenal have seen a turnover of four managers since Nobbs has been at the club. The most recent of those came in November of last year when Montemurro took the post vacated by Pedro Martinez Losa who was 6th in the FAWSL 1 when he left.
Here’s what Nobbs had to say about how things have changed since the Australian took the reins: “I think we’re playing better football, we had our good run until we slipped up which you can’t do in this league.”
Despite those slip ups, since the turn of the year Arsenal have looked impressive under Montemurro. As well as lifting the Continental Cup, Arsenal went 14 games unbeaten including games against the top two sides in Chelsea FC Women and Manchester City Women.
Talking on how Montemurro brought that form along, Nobbs added: “Just going back to the basics again. Over the last few years we’ve been conceding too many goals and we went eight games straight keeping clean sheets after he came in.
“Bringing the fundamentals back into it allowed us to just play football from there. But we needed to tighten up as a team and I think we did that.”
Even though the team did in fact tighten up that didn’t stop Nobbs from venturing forward from midfield. Known for her long-range efforts, she scored different types of goals to reach a tally of nine for this season as you can see from the goal that secured her half-century:
The moment @JordanNobbs8 brought up her half-century ?#JN8 pic.twitter.com/1fxudjel2v
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 16, 2018
Talking on how the season went for her personally she said: “I’ve enjoyed it. I feel like Joe believes in me and that I’m playing well but I do want to be a player lifting every single trophy so there’s still improvements to be made.
“I still have a longer to improve and I feel like I’m performing well but its more for the people watching to decide that.”
This season has been relatively successful for an Arsenal side that reached two cup finals but heading into next season, Nobbs is determined to take that success a level further: “I want to stay at this club to win trophies, I truly believe we can come back stronger next year but we can’t slip up like we did this year.”