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Introducing Jodi Jones

Who is Jodi Jones, Notts’ newest signing? Jones is a player that will be familiar to the Magpies faithful, following his hattrick against Notts on the opening day of the 17/18 season.

At the time the sky looked the limit for the then 21 year old winger. He was a constant threat for Coventry for the opening portion of that season, with his lightning pace and tricky feet terrorising League 2 defences. Jones managed 9 goal involvements in 19 games, attracting interest from sides such as Bournemouth and Leeds United. However, his season was cut short due to a season ending Cruciate Ligament Rupture.

Jodi Jones
Jodi Jones | Tricky!

In truth, Jones hasn’t really recovered since that injury. The following season he returned for just 131 minutes before picking up yet another Cruciate Ligament injury, one which ended his season again.

Jones was side lined for the duration of the 19/20 season too, another frustrating year for the winger. During this time Jones’ side Coventry had won 2 promotions, meaning they now found themselves in the Championship. When Jones was first injured he was a League 2 player, so his return from injury was made even harder by the fact he was now having to perform at a Championship standard.

Despite the step up, Jones still made 9 appearances in the Championship for Coventry, before his contract expired this summer. Not short of suitors, Jones dropped back down to League 1 to ply his trade with Oxford United. However, things haven’t worked out there either, although U’s fans have expressed their frustration with Jones’ loan move to Notts, with many believing boss Karl Robinson should have given him more of a chance.

So what is Jones' style of play?

As mentioned earlier, Jones possesses blistering pace. He’s a player that doesn’t shy away from the ball, instead looking to get on the ball as much as possible, driving at opposition players in order to put them on the back foot. This is best illustrated by the fact he attempted 10.34 dribbles per 90 in that 17/18 season, 5th most in the league that year. It’s also a figure that would put him top of the rankings in the current National League season, just highlighting how much he loves to dribble with the ball at his feet.

It wouldn’t be an uncommon sight to see Jones drive into the box, cut back onto his left before sweeping it home past the opposition keeper. It’s therefore no surprise that he took 3.55 shots per 90, which ranked him 3rd in the league.

A clever finisher with both feet, Jones would open up angles to shoot on either side of the goal. Also a player not short of confidence, Jones would often find himself in shooting positions from outside the area, chances he would look to take.

Due to his wonderful technique, Jones is no stranger to scoring a screamer, and his all round finishing was on display against Notts in his opening day hattrick. In Notts’ squad currently only Langstaff takes more shots per 90 than Jones, again showing what an active acquisition he could be.

Jones is far from a selfish player though, as shown by his 4 assists in just 19 games. He also managed 5.22 crosses per 90 during that season, 6th highest in the league. That’s part of what made Jones so dangerous; he was so unpredictable, and a nightmare to defend against, as they wouldn’t know if he would cut inside to shoot or shape up to go down the outside and cross instead. He is a dynamic attacker, unpredictable and a joy to watch too.

So where does Jones fit into this Notts side?

First and foremost, Jones is a welcome addition in as much that Notts desperately needed extra bodies, especially in the final third. The departure of Quevin Castro left the Magpies extremely light in terms of forward options, so Jones’ addition is a relief in that sense. As we’ve mentioned a few times now, one of Jones’ main assets is his pace, and his ability to stretch defences. This could be a potent weapon off of the bench, especially against tiring legs. Due to the lack of game time he has had over you’d have to imagine he will start his Notts career making appearances from the bench, at least til he is up to speed.

If he is able to find the match fitness and form he showed in the first half of that 17/18 season Jones will more than likely have forced his way into the starting XI. However, as Jones is naturally a wide player, there isn’t really a natural place for him in Notts’ current wing back system. Therefore, unless Notts make an unlikely shift to a back 4, Jones may have to feature in a slightly unfamiliar position.

Luke Williams has already shown he is able to transform players, taking their attributes rather than their favoured positions, such as Cedwyn Scott playing in the support striker role behind Langstaff. When Notts operate with a 5-2-2-1 there are 2 attacking midfield options behind Langstaff, and it appears natural that Jones could occupy one of these spaces. This would of course see him start more centrally, taking advantage of his superb finishing technique, but also offer him the freedom to drift out wide into more natural positions. The attacking midfielders are afforded more licence than players elsewhere on the pitch, something which would suit Jones’ natural talents.

Luke Williams Notts County
Luke Williams favouring attributes over position?

A perhaps more rogue shout for Jones would be at LWB, a position Notts’ sorely lack depth in. As a natural left footer, Jones could provide an interesting option for the role. It would also favour his more natural instinct to run wide, especially as he has plied his trade in a wide role for the vast majority of his career. Whilst he hasn’t ever played the role before, and there is no tangible evidence to suggest he would fit in there, Luke Williams’ version of the LWB role, on paper at least, seems to fit perfectly with Jones’ skill set.

It’s fair to say Notts’ LWB is far from typical. Adam Chicksen has 7 league goals from that position, more than he had scored across his whole career combined before this season, just emphasising what an attacking variation of the wing back it is.

In terms of positioning, the LWB is often in line with Langstaff, perhaps more reminiscent of a winger than a wing back. Jones has a wealth of experience playing off of the left wing, so this may suit him. Additionally, we have already mentioned Jones’ superb finishing technique. Chicksen currently takes 3.66 touches in the box per 90, affording him plenty of shooting opportunities. He has an xG of 4.68, further underlining the quality shooting positions he regularly finds himself in from LWB. You have to believe that if given these shooting opportunities Jodi Jones’ output for Notts County could be ridiculously high.

In conclusion, if 69 goals in 27 games isn't enough, the recruitment team at Notts have, on paper, pulled off the signing of another player that on the face of it provides another layer of attacking threat to an already goal hungry squad. Not only that it's a signing no one expected, with the business done and dusted without a whisper of it hitting the socials, another indication of the club continuing to get things right, both on and off the pitch.



Your Notts County Stats Team:

Richard - @notts_stats

Tom - @tomhwilliams23

Colin - @Colin_Sisson

Official Partners: The Terrace

Data: Wyscout

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