Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Wenger plays down psychologist impact

At the weekend a story emerged about how Arsenal have been using a forensic psychiatrist, Ceri Evans, to provide a bit of edge.

The New Zealander comes with a sterling reputation, and while sports psychology and football are still relatively new bedfellows, there does appear to be a steelier side to the Gunners this season.

However, Arsene Wenger played down the story, saying that the reason for the team’s improved performances this season is the players themselves.

“It’s down to the quality of the players,” he said, “it’s as simple as that. “It’s nothing to do with psychology, it’s down to how well the players play on the football pitch.

“We have not to go overboard with that, it’s nothing to do with that.”

It’s certainly understandable why the manager would do that, looking to instil belief and confidence in his players, and he says that their mental strength and experience is part of what makes them top quality players.

“The strong mentality of the players is first down to the fact that we have more maturity in the squad and that the players are more experienced,” he continued.

“We played for many years with a very young squad, so under pressure they are a bit more vulnerable.

“Also, it is linked to the recent history of the team – we have not lost for a long time and that creates as well strength in the squad and belief, and trust, and that is of course much more linked with that.”

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Better to say it comes from the players.

Though if ‘nothing to do with psychology’, why employ him?

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Yeah that’s my question too. If they did it, and it cause the team to improve, is he saying it was a waste of time?

That said, I too am sceptical of this, I think the change in style with Alexis as the centre forward has more to do with it. The additions from January and this summer have also intensified the fight for places in the squad, which I think has had a major positive impact.

It’s also still early days, season’s not even half over. We’ve been in this position, or even better, before in recent years.


Because he can’t go out and say ‘Oh, yeah, Ozil’s scoring more because of the psychologist”, it’ll downplay how good Ozil is, you don’t want that. He probably employed the psychologist to help with some of the anxiety our players feel before certain games, or after a defeat.

Lord Bendtner

What psychologist?
Shhhh!! ‘our secret weapon’




In a way it is true. Psychologists solely help players spill out that quality and experience they posses. In the end it is always down to a player.


I believe Arsene was referring to the influence of this psychologist, not psychology per se. Then again, I’m no psychologist…


C’mon now Arsene I’m not having that. He’s a man who constantly talks about the mentality of the team, the spirit within the squad and character of the players.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”


Giving the players the credit is good psychology. Maybe Ceri Evans suggested Wenger say that?

sixteen swans over ainola

We might well rue some lapses in concentration this season – a few penalties – the odd (overblown) red card, but no one can knock our mental resilience. We come back from being behind as standard these days. Equally, we don’t seem to lose even when playing better-on-the-day opposition, which is nice. The point is, we last the full 90+ minutes now. And our final quarter performance is anecdotally second-to-none. Whether we’re tonking poorer sides or seeing out a single goal advantage we’re pretty damn good. Which is why getting one of the best sports psychologists in the world is… Read more »

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