Whilst Arsenal have once again found themselves knocked off top spot in the Premier League due to a second half Chelsea winner against West Brom, the Gunners will remain adamant that they are in a strong position to be top of the league over the Christmas period.
There are plenty of games over the festive period of the Premier League, with both Arsenal and Chelsea facing some important fixtures in the coming weeks. It is going to be a very physically demanding period for the players, with intense games every few days. It may also be a tough time mentally for the players, who won’t have too much time to spend at home with their family and friends over Christmas.
Mentality is a big factor in football because if your head isn’t in the game as a player on the pitch, then your performance is way off par against your teammates and opposition. The players need to be ready both physically and mentally for this tough set of fixtures coming up, as well as for the rest of the season.
One thing the Gunners have found in the past is that they aren’t the best at maintaining a good spell of form, especially during the run in to the end of the season; that is of course unless they are battling for a champions league place. But those days seem to be over and we are currently back amongst the best competing for the league title. As a result, one thing that Wenger will have on his mind is whether the players have the right mentality to keep up these winning ways throughout the course of the season. It’s easy to say that the players will want to win every match, there’s no doubt in that. However it can be tough to have the strong mentality and experience that it takes to win a league title.
The Gunners have therefore decided to hire a psychologist to help the players prepare mentally for the challenge, with Arsenal confirming in a report run by the Telegraph. Dr Ceri Evans, a former New Zealand Rugby Team psychologist, will bring plenty of experience to North London and Arsenal feel that he could play an important part in the club’s desire for success.
An Arsenal spokesperson revealed: “We are always looking for new ways to progress and continue competing at the top of the game. This involves every aspect of the way we work with our players and this is part of that continuous improvement. We will not discuss any detail of this.”
Arsenal went many years without having any winners in their side and as a result, we lacked the necessary mentality and blend of experience perhaps needed to win big trophies. However with the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and Cech all being experienced winners, as well as the rest of the squad having recognising the strength and consistency it takes to win something as tough as the Premier League, it bodes well to suggest that this year the players could be ready for the challenge.
The club’s decision to hire a psychologist to help with the player’s attitudes and mental preparation isn’t something completely unheard of, but it could be something that gives the players that much needed edge to keep us competing to the final day of the season.