Dear Dychey: How can I avoid The Fear on social media?

We're launching our very own Agony Aunt column to address sport's emotional aches and pains. Who better than Dr Dychey to deliver some gruff wisdom?


*Dear Dychey is Paddy Power’s Agony Aunt column is not written by anyone who could could even pass for a current Premier League manager. Any apparent resemblance to one is purely coincidental.

The stakes are so high in top level sport these days that many of its biggest names are afraid to reveal or even hint at moments of doubt, personal strain or psychological weakness.

But bottling things – Spurs aside –  is never good, so we’ve brought in a sensitive, gravelly-throated guru familiar with the pressures and pitfalls of top level competition to cut through the chatter and dispense some sound, sage and soothingly-voiced advice to the world’s biggest stars.

Take it away, Dr Dychey (Definitely Not Sean Dyche)…

Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt reacts as he arrives at Sydney Airport ahead of his trial at the Central Coast Mariners soccer club in Australia, August 18, 2018. AAP/Erik Anderson/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.

The best advice we can give is get over to for your football bets

Dear Dychey,

Though I am an internationally renowned superstar in one field, my heart lies elsewhere. I’m in my early thirties but I feel like I’m missing my true calling.

If I pursue my dream I leave myself open to ridicule – you know as well as anyone how bad the haters can be.

When is too late to make a change? Should I take the risk to follow my dream?

Yours confusedly,

U.B. Olt


Dychey: Time’s flow makes change inevitable. As Heraclitus wrote, ‘We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not’. Your nature is not fixed by what you’ve done in the past.

Of course, you do need to have a basic aptitude for your new field.

I mean, you don’t want to make a mug of yourself by going on and on and on about this new career if it’s completely unrealistic. Just look at Usain Bolt here:

He says he wants to play for Man United!

He’d be lucky to play for Mansfield reserves with finishing like that.


Dear Dychey,

Long story short, went on a bit of a bender and ended up doing some very anti-social media stuff at seven in the morning, had The Fear all day as a result. Now the notifications won’t stop flowing.

How can I avoid a future twitter faux pas?

Yours etc,

Ray Ola

Dychey: While Instabook and Twitwoo or whatever are a fact of modern life, they are a poison when it comes to sports people.

I’ve seen them get in the heads of lads and they’re checking at half-time who’s said what about them during my team-talks.

Luckily no one really cares about us so it usually only takes two minutes to read everything.

But still, it’s not right, so I would recommend total abstinence from all online activity. Throw away your phone, dump the tablet, the whole lot.

We’ve still a landline in the house, but I prefer to communicate through the hum of the earth’s natural rhythms. If a message is meant to reach me, it will.


Dear Dychey,

I’ve recently moved in with my partner and their previous relationship was one where they were controlled in almost every aspect of their existence by their significant other.

Obviously, there are a lot of differences between how things are now, but they sometimes act like things are as they used to be. It’s leading to fights and tension.

How do I make them realise I’m different?

Una E.


Dychey: Change is a double-edged sword Una, and while some may be comfortable with the cuts it makes, others can find them painful and slow to heal.

The best advice I can give is to be patient. Next time there’s a bust-up, go walk the dog, get in the car and stick on Sade’s greatest hits, run yourself a bath and sprinkle some essential oils around – I find May Chang especially comforting when we’ve taken a tonking – do whatever it is you’ve got to do to relax and take your mind off things.

If a relationship is meant to be, they’ll see differences in time through your actions.

And drop Mesut Ozil.

That’ll fix everything.


Lie down on the couch, clear your mind, and place your football bets with