Team GB: Why Hege Riise has made a mistake leaving out Jordan Nobbs

Jordan Nobbs

Hege Riise has confirmed her finalised 18-player Team GB squad to accompany her to this year's Olympic Games in Japan. 

The team list is heavily dominated by Manchester City personnel, after the Norwegian opted to select a whopping 11 players from the Women's Super League runners up. A mere three – Caroline Weir, Sophie Ingle and Kim Little – will be flying the flag for the non-English fans cheering Team GB on.

Riise has also named four reserve players ready to be called upon should they be required. Those are youngsters Sandy MacIver, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Niamh Charles and Ella Toone. One player who didn't make the cut however, is Jordan Nobbs.

Where is Jordan Nobbs?

Despite performing at her usual high standard in the 2020/21 season, the midfielder has fallen short of the mark in Riise's eyes. 

Nobbs hasn't even been named as a reserve player for the Tokyo Olympics and it begs the question as to: why?

In her place instead is a midfield five of Weir, Ingle, Little, Jill Scott and Keira Walsh. While it's certainly a roster packed with talent, there should have definitely been space for Nobbs in the ranks.

Why Nobbs should have made Team GB

During a season where Arsenal seriously struggled at times, Nobbs was a mainstay in the middle of the park and produced some inspiring performances when her side were in need most. For example, while the Gunners were chasing their third place finish, the 28-year-old scored a brace against Brighton & Hove Albion to bank a crucial three points.

Her performance helped Arsenal secure their Champions League qualification and knocked Manchester United into fourth. 

Not only did Nobbs provide five goals and four assists in 16 league appearances last season, but she stepped in as captain during the absence of Kim Little. The playmaker has done this on several occasions across her time in North London, showcasing her abilities as a natural leader. This is something that would hugely benefit Team GB, especially coming up against Canada, who beat the Brits in the 2012 quarter-finals in London.

Jordan Nobbs

With a front three of Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway and Ellen White, the goalscoring trio need a creative playmaker behind them to provide chances. Nobbs is known for her pinpoint long balls and eagle-eyed vision – she can also pull the trigger from outside the box, which is key for catching tightly compact backlines off-guard.

Team GB will also face Japan in the group stages, who won the 2011 World Cup and finished second in 2015. With clinical attackers like Mana Iwabuchi in their ranks, a more defensive approach will be wise against the Nadeshiko. Nobbs is more than capable of tracking back, marking and putting in last-ditch tackles to thwart any attempts on goal. She has showcased her broad range of skills on both the domestic and international stage.

Fan reaction

It seems we aren't the only ones wondering why the Arsenal faithful's name is absent from the Team GB squad list. Following the announcement, many football fans took to Twitter to raise the question, with some more outraged than others.

It's clearly a decision that hasn't sat well with many people. Team GB will certainly miss the character, leadership and raw ability of Nobbs at the Olympics. However, focus for the nation now shifts to July 21st, when the Brits open up the tournament with their clash against Chile.

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