Date: 17th September 2007 at 9:16am
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Whilst Glenn Hoddle was called a nutter for including Eileen Drewery, a faith healer, as part of his World Cup backroom team, Big Sam has been lauded as a revolutionary for adding a shrink to his. Drewery was most famously mocked by Ray Parlour who came in, sat down on the couch and when asked how she could help Parlour replied to her by quipping “short back and sides please love”! Lets hope none of the players take the piss or Sam will probably break their legs. Anyway – the Big Fella explained:

“Dr Mark Nesti is a clinical psychologist. He’s not a sports psychologist, he is miles better.He is there for the players and I promote him because of the great faith I have in the work he has done. In football terms, the difference between a Premiership player and all the other divisions is his mental state, his mental agility or his decision-making process. Premiership players’ skills are sometimes no greater than players below them in different leagues, but they can play in the Premiership because they can cope better mentally.

By giving no coaching on that, you undermine the potential of your players. In that area, Dr Nesti is one of the best. He is one of the most qualified men I have ever met. He is a magic guy at what he does. This country has a far too negative view on psychology. We fall way behind a lot of countries in that respect. It is a very big part of football, the most important part.

What goes on between the ears is what makes you as good as you are as a player. I wouldn’t tell you if Michael (Owen) has seen him, it is purely confidential between those two people. I cannot breach that confidentiality.’