Football can be a cruel old game. But with every door that closes, another opens, as Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs has discovered recently. For despite the heartbreak of missing out on actually playing in the World Cup in France this summer, she’ll still be there, taking her place in front of the camera as part of the BBC’s pundit team.

We caught up with the Lioness affectionately known as “Nobber” by her teammates at the recent StockX shoot, and we were able to pick her brains on everything from overcoming adversity, to her new role for the World Cup, and the growth of the women’s game.


Jordan, your involvement in this World Cup is a little different to what you planned it to be, how much are you looking forward to being in front of a camera and being a part of the broadcasting set up?

As you can imagine, naturally football on the pitch is where I’m most familiar but when opportunities like this come along with the BBC, I thought the experience would be exciting. I thought I’d take it while the opportunity is there and still get a piece of the tournament in a different way. You’ve got to make the best out of a bad situation where you can and do something positive for your career so thought that entering the pundit world might be fun.

Obviously it would be natural to feel gutted to miss out on the tournament through injury but this way you can still be immersed in the tournament…

I think if I was going over there just to watch the games, I just couldn’t do it. It is heartbreaking to not be on the pitch and to think about what I could be doing if I wasn’t injured. For me to focus on a media job role, it allows me to still be a part of everything but it gives me something solid to focus on. I’ve been doing bits and pieces on the media side throughout my career so it doesn’t feel too daunting and perhaps the injury has been a blessing in disguise as it’s opened up this opportunity to still be involved in the World Cup through a slightly different lens than normal.

Have you always felt the need throughout your career for almost a side hustle?

Things have changed over the last few years and since the game has become professional and that balance is starting to be addressed so that female pro’s aren’t having to work several jobs. Since picking up a few injuries, I’ve been training for my coaching B-licence and then there’s been bits and pieces of media work that have popped up here and there. Overall, it’s good to keep an open mind to opportunities that present themselves as you never know what is on the horizon. Football is naturally my focus but I like to embrace new opportunities. 


Have you had to go into training in a different sense for what the whole media side brings?

I’ve actually got training for it, yeah. That’ll be good to pick up a few new skills. Luckily, when you’re involved with England, you’re given plenty of training when it comes to presenting yourself. Hopefully my football knowledge and experience will put me in a strong position to do well. 

Have you seen a massive upswell in interest in the women’s game over the last few years compared to when you started out?

It’s amazing really. Visually, the game looks so much stronger and there’s been a lot of good work to position the image of the game into powerful and respectable places but the fundamental changes are huge. The approach as a player is so different now. I used to train two times a week at Arsenal and now I train every day at one of the best gyms in the world that you could have to turn yourself into a professional athlete.

Your eating habits and the nutrition you’re given are all scientifically looked after. The way England and the FA are investing in grassroots football as well, hopefully we’re role models now but also setting the ground work for the next generation. Hopefully in ten years time, we’ll have girls becoming a part of the professional set up from the age of 12 or 13 rather than 17 or 18 like I did when I started. 

The game has massively changed for all the right reasons. I think the World Cup will be the next stepping stone to really take the exposure of the women’s game up to the next level.

Do you feel like you’re part of this revolutionary generation for the game? That must be something to be proud of?

Even though I’m injured right now, I am so glad to be part of everything that is happening in the Women’s game right now. Hopefully I can serve as a role model for the next generation and can proudly say that I was part of the group that helped to change the game. That as a prospect is so exciting and it’s such a privilege to be in the position I am.


From a brand perspective. You only have to look at Nike and how they launched the kits to know how serious they have taken this tournament. It’s refreshing for everyone but does that mean a lot for you?

Yeah it really is and was incredible. I think the fact that they promoted our kit the way they did was so unique and so special. I’m lucky enough to work with Nike and the way they support the Lionesses and showcase us the way they did, it shows their investment in the women’s game and that they know what a world stage we now have to present their image. It’s great that they did that and I hope they can keep pushing to make us look and feel good on pitch. 

How important is looking and feeling good on and off the pitch for you? How big is that explosion and crossover between playing and lifestyle elements for football?

I think it’s become one of the main factors of the modern game. Over the last few years, it’s definitely changed in my world personally. Football and fashion have become a good blend. You want to look good and feel good on the pitch but you also want to express who you are and your sense of individuality off the pitch and what you wear is fundamental to that. Young boys and girls can look up to us for all the right reasons and if we can highlight being individuals off the pitch with confidence then that is only a good place to be.

You'll be able to see more of Jordan Nobbs this summer as part of the BBC's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup.