Women's World Cup: Jordan Nobbs on England's Aspirations & Taking on a New Role This Summer

05 June 2019 12:57

Arsenal and England midfielder Jordan Nobbs will be a columnist for 90min & BBC Sport pundit at the Women's World Cup in France this summer, as Phil Neville's Lionesses' look to secure a maiden World Cup triumph.

I have to admit that I've got mixed emotions.

I'm about four months away from completing my injury rehab, and I'm back training on the pitch every other day. Mentally it's a boost when you can finally feel the grass and kick a ball around again.

But I'd love to be flying out on that plane with the team. 

Sometimes, though, you have to accept that injuries are part and parcel of football and it's about focussing on the positives. These last few months I've taken a backseat because mentally the girls are preparing, and I need to focus on my goals and recovery.

Luckily for me, BBC Sport have wanted me to be part of their team this summer and you have to take opportunities when you can. 

It's one that I didn't want to miss given the situation I'm in, and working in the media has kind of been a blessing in disguise - allowing me to watch football while working, rather than as an injured player in the stands.

I'm grateful because there's so much to look forward to. The most exciting thing about this World Cup is what we can do as a team. Even before the tournament begins, we can all see that the women's game has changed over the past year or so.

Jordan Nobbs

Now, I can't wait to see how we begin the tournament and hopefully we can change the women's game for good.

I'm very fortunate in that a lot of the girls going out there are my age group and players I've grown up with for so many years. A lot of them are my best friends and I couldn't be more proud of them for being part of such a life-changing tournament, not just for them personally, but for the women's game as a whole.

Expectations are obviously high and not getting to a semi-final would probably be classed as a bit of a disappointment. But I've been around the team and around the girls for many years now, and as long as we believe in our own bubble and the things being done in camp, we're on course for success.

We can go as far as we want to go and it's just about fully investing in the journey and the process. I have no doubts that the girls will come back from the World Cup, will have been nothing but true role models in everything they do and will make the nation proud, whatever the outcome.

The squad has come a long way in the last few years, and with Phil taking over, it's another stepping stone to taking us to a new level. We believe in what we can do, how far we can go and it's an exciting time for all of us.

​​Although I'm only watching on this summer, I know it's about peaking at the right time during the tournament. It's about remembering that although you may not give your best performance first time out, there is time to hit your stride - time to believe that by the time you get to a semi-final or final, you'll be on top of your game.

The girls will know that it's a journey to embrace and believing in each other as a group will be key to success. If we apply ourselves properly, we can go on and win it - I believe in the squad and hope that we can go that far and deliver on our potential.

We as a generation want to be talked about during the next ten or 20 years by girls who watched and were inspired by seeing us achieve our dreams - before going on to do the same themselves.

We'll have stiff competition to contend with this summer mind you. United States, France and Germany are obvious names, but Netherlands won the Euros and Japan have great technical ability.

France are the host nation and they'll expect to perform well at home, but the girls will forget about that and just want to get into the latter stages of the tournament - then it's really a question of going back to what we spoke out about before - believing in your own journey and process.

England Women's Training Session

This tournament, though, is about so much more. The opportunity to change the women's game is what we've always wanted to be a part of. As a nation, we've always wanted to interact with fans and work hard in promoting the game in this country.

We're now in a place where we can perform on the world stage and it's exciting to think about what's ahead. World Cups are full of surprises, but there's no doubt in mind that once the girls are back home after it's all said and done, they will have helped further change the game in this country.

The summer as a whole will provide a huge platform to continue growing women's football on a global scale. Many people can play a part, not just us on the field with the players, but everybody off the field too.

If we, as a team, can come back from a World Cup and inspire more fans to attend games, attract more sponsors and help increase the amount of live TV coverage, we can aid the development of grassroots and allow young people to see that they can forge an incredible career in the game - all through hard work and dedication.

We as a generation want to be talked about during the next ten or 20 years by girls who watched and were inspired by seeing us achieve our dreams - before going on to do the same themselves.

Source: 90min