Sunday, March 3, 2024

Arsenal turn to forensic psychiatrist for extra edge

According to The Telegraph, Arsenal have hired the services of the forensic psychiatrist credited with helping the All Black rugby team end their 24-year wait for a World Cup success.

Dr Ceri Evans began working with the Kiwis in 2010 and was an integral part of their set-up in both 2011, when they won on home turf, and last year when they were victorious in England.

The 53-year-old has a background in football having captained New Zealand during the 80s and 90s. Speaking in an interview with Leaders in Sport, Evans recently explained why it is certain organisations choose to call on his expertise.

“The starting point is that it’s by invitation. I’ve never advertised. What happens is that people become aware of the fact I have a sporting background and an interest in sport, as well as I have skills in the mental area. That’s what they are most interested in.

“That’s what they are most interested in. People put two and two together and don’t necessarily get four, but they make an assumption that this will be relevant for what they do.

“The idea about the forensic aspect, is that things go wrong in that area and people usually come to me when things are going wrong for them; losses, slumps, form not so good, disputes, disruptions, conflicts. They feel I might have something to offer in that area.”

It’s not particularly hard to see how that might apply to elite level footballers, both on an individual and team level. Of course, the use of sports psychologists isn’t unusual in top level football. The Gunners already have an in-house specialist, David Priestley, who has been working with the club for two and a half years having previously worked with Saracens rugby club.

You’d expect no stone to be left unturned by Arsene Wenger, who himself has spoken openly about the importance of ensuring every little detail is taken care when helping young and new players settle and integrate in new environments.

Arseblog News likes to think that having a man with All Black experience on the team was integral in dealing with Charlie Adam and the Orcs yesterday.

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Lord Bendtner

You had one job Tony Pulis, one job… :S


A bit confused: is he a psychologist or a psychiatrist? The Telegraph article says both. Studying experimental psychology would make him a psychologist.

Ozil's Left Foot

He studied experimental psychology at Oxford, followed that up with PhD in forensic psychiatry. Well that’s what the blurb on his company’s site says


A psychic


The third paragraph is confusing is confused me.

Getso gunner

Turn to whoever can help you win the league for us


“skills in the mental area”

Stringer Bell

Yep, he once took a load of ketamine along with 6 cans of tennents super and a couple of micro dots. Was picked up by the police naked in the middle of Croydon waving a sword. Went completely mental

Public Elneny Number One

I hate it when my Dad does that and i get “that” phone call from the law


Wish I could give that more than 1 tick!


That was the last episode of GOT mate, wrong blog

James giant peaches

Please do a scary war dance before the next match.


War cry


A xhaka.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

We need to play ACDC’s “For Those About To Rock…” (with stage cannons firing *) as the teams emerge from the tunnel through the smoke, and then we can do the traditional(?) menacing North London “Xhaka” just before kick off. I mean, Crystal Palace have their eagle, West Ham have their bubbles, Liverpool have a singsong while picking each others pockets, and I hear Sp*rs are planning a man in a chicken suit balancing precariously on a big (square) football, so why don’t we shoot some bloody cannons before we start. We are the Gunners, after all. We should make… Read more »

Evang. Femi

Optimistic about this season. Hire anyone that is hirable to help deliver the treble this season. It is only in this season I can see us winning a game even after 2:0 down. The boys are carrying must win mentality. In unrelated news::;: I can see Ozil competing for puskas award.


I see alexis winning the balon d-or


Sport psychiatrists or mental coaches have been common in other sports since the 90s especially in individual sports like endurance based sports and other olympians.

Premier league has been slow to implement those kind of coaches probably because of the macho culture. Juse see the controversy surrounding gaysvin football or the support to women football teams among Premier league teams which many places are non existent.

Happy to see Arsenal being part of the forefront breaking down barriers and taking a stand.

Ozil's Left Foot

He’s held in very high regard back home, helped the All Blacks overcome some serious mental obstacles re world cups, especially by athletes who have worked with him. Can only see this as a good thing him getting onboard


What should be done is for the BBC to send some of its pundits over to the psychiatric unit. Phil McNulty, Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy all singing Spur’s praises. How they are “out of Arsenal’s shadow”. Cheap imitations. So this is suppose to be the season Arsene gets found out against the genius that is Pep Guardiola, the jumping bean that is Jurgen I listen to 60 year old music Klopp. The Special One’s third coming, the genius that is Spurs and Ponchentino. Even Conte the Italian firebrand is only 3 points (one win) ahead of us. Media muppets.… Read more »

Monkey nuts

I don’t think we need him. Maybe last season and the season before that and the season before that and the season before that….


you can always improve. as a gunners fan from new zealand, i think it’s a solid call. the all blacks definitely turned a corner in 2011 in terms of taking positive attitudes into big do-or-die games, and not losing their head when they’re losing with 15 minutes to go.

Coq au Vin

The guy sounds like a twat

Gutbukket Deffrolla

…said somebody calling himself “Coq au Vin” 😉


this guy is good. definitely was a huge help in the all blacks winning back-to-back world cups and being one of the most dominant teams in rugby in history.


He was also a fucking good centre-back for NZ … along with Wynton Rufer could have played for the ARse. Having a Kiwi is the missing link to the title, CL FA Cup treble. Bring it on you mental genius …


He is a X-men right?

Matt P

Good guy to have.
All Blacks have turned around big time in the last 7-8 years mentally.
We (Arsenal) have improved this season, but could get even better.
A good acquisition
(from a biased kiwi for sure)

Arsenal fan Oxford watcher

Dr Ceri also played over 100 times for Oxford United in the old Division 2 whilst studying at Oxford University

Fireman Sam

Yeah but that was just mental skills – he was actually getting lashed in the student bar most of the time

Me So Hornsey

I can’t overstate enough how important psychology and positive mentality affects performance. Case in point: My daughter got straight U grades in her A-Level mocks last January despite being bright and expecting good marks. I knew that she had revised hard so asked her what was wrong and she said she just panics and misreads the question then everything goes blank. I was so concerned that I sent her to an educational psychologist/councilor, which is pretty much a last throw of the dice for someone as naturally cynical as myself, however the results were immediate and incredible, her confidence was… Read more »


As a kiwi and lifelong fan of the All Blacks I firmly believe that our sports psychs are as crucial to our success as the coaches and the players they all look after. They can often be the difference between being good and being the best. Just ask Dan Carter and he’ll tell you about the positive effect sports psychs have had on his injury-laden career. I welcome Dr Evans’ input and hope he has as much of a positive effect on the Arsenal as he did for the ABs.

Brian Daniels

You only have to look back to the Euro 2016 England meltdown to see if there’s any value to sports shrinks. The answer is there’s no value. What the hell is a shrink going to do apart from give out some shrink mumbo-jumbo? Steve Peters got the boot. If Ceri Evans is going to stick around at Arsenal, do it because he understands football, not because he’s a shrink.


What if England just had a bad ‘shrink’. Also, sports psychologists can be a positive influence on those who want to use them.

Calling it all ‘mumbo-jumbo’ is a bit dismissive.


exactly! England had crap manager & crap players so why would their shrink be anything but crap too..
All Blacks certainly rate Ceri Evans so if world’s most successful sports team think he can help them then Arsenal can only benefit too. COYG!!

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