Following Chelsea‘s busy shopping spree where they spent £323 million on eight new players in the January transfer window, the club’s latest signing may be a valuable one – Gilbert Enoka, a mental skills coach for New Zealand’s rugby team.
Enoka has previously been the leadership management and mentals skills coach for the All Blacks rugby teams in New Zealand. The All Blacks were ranked No.1 in the world from 2009-2019 and are the only men’s team to win back-to-back rugby union World Cups (2011 and 2015).
Enoka has been credited for playing a fundamental role in the All Blacks long lasting period of dominance in rugby. His work and the bonds he forms with the players and staff has been credited as playing a crucial role in the clubs success.
On February 6, one week after the January transfer window closed – Chelsea hired Enoka on a short-term consultancy deal and have asked of him to form a new team identify at Stamford Bridge.
Former New Zealand rugby union player, Kieran Read told ESPN: “Gilbert has been the glue of the All Blacks for a long period of time. He’s got a great understanding of who the All Blacks are and he cares so deeply about it.
“He probably transformed us. And I think, in some ways, the difference between the All Blacks not winning and winning was our mental approach to games. Gilbert was a big part of it.”
Since Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, took over at Chelsea last summer, he’s spend over £600m on 18 new players across two transfer windows.
Chelsea have won just one and lost five of their ten matches they’ve played in 2023. More recently, the blues lost 1-0 at home to the Premier League’s bottom club – Southampton.
An interesting part of how Enoka goes about his work is his famous “no d***heads” policy he may be bringing to Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to Gameplan in 2017, Enoka explains: “A d***head makes everything about them. They are people putting themselves ahead of the team. Or people who think they’re entitled to things or expect the rules to be different for them.”
Time will tell if Enoka can make this new Chelsea team start clicking and I’m sure Chelsea fans will be hoping something’s going to change soon in terms of results for the blues.