*Dear Dychey is Paddy Power’s Agony Aunt column. Any apparent resemblance to any figures around football is purely coincidental.
My players have stopped listening to me. When I first arrived here, everything went so well. Costa was gone, Jorginho came with me, I stacked the van full of cheap ciggies at Calais; I was set for a great new adventure.
But things have gone off the rails quicker than the Eurostar after a hard Brexit.
Eden pays more attention to Madrid’s results than ours, N’Golo’s wasting his time setting traps for Jorginho – Cobham looks like the Hunger Games now – and I’ve owned dogs with a longer attention span than David Luiz.
Worst of all, I’ve gone through all my cheap smokes already!
I can’t get the players to play for me, they’ve all got their minds on other things – their next club, inflicting injuries on their teammates, chasing a low-flying sparrow.
How do I get their attention back?
Yours, clearing his throat,
Dr Dychey says: It’s never going to plain sailing in any walk of life Maurice, and managers need to realise that sooner than most. One week you’re winning a cup semi-final – against Spurs, mind, but it still counts – the next you’re humbled by head boy Howe 4-0.
I’ve found the best way to grab the players’ attention is to give them a bit of shock therapy.
You’ll be surprised how easily you can come by an ECT machine on Ebay – old Soviet stock, but you can still figure out what the buttons do – just watch out for the customs charges, they’ll sting.
As do the electrodes when they’re first applied, but the lads soon got used to them. Or lost all feeling in their faces.
After that, it’s “yes boss”, “no boss”, “three bags full boss.”
Jonny likes his nursery rhymes.
A word of caution though: make sure the club is picking up leccy bill.
And how effective it’ll be on Luiz I can’t say. After all, you do need a brain to jolt 450 volts of electrical current into.
I copped a lot of flak recently for standing up against the slights aimed at that colossus of commerce Mike Ashley.
Basically, Newcastle fans should be grateful that Mike lets then into his stadium to watch his team and for the very reasonable ticket price he accepts.
And let me just get this straight: the fact that I have a business interest with Mike had no influence on my opinion that he’s the most unfairly slated man in football since Bobby Robson was the England boss.
And that Richard Keys agreed with me should in no way be taken to show that my view was, by definition, wrong.
Now I see that not only are Newcastle one of the 20 richest clubs in the world – banging job Mike, mate – but he’s given that whinger Rafa £20m quid to spend on the striker he wanted, the hottest prospect to come out of Atlanta since Roberto Donadoni.
So Dychey, what do I have to do to get a few grovelling apologies?
Dr Dychey says: Now RF, gloating is a nasty trait to see in anyone. Yes, your, err, mate/business partner/hero has forked out for a forward – for the first time since dial-up internet went out of style.
The reason Newcastle’s so rich is because of telly, pure and simple. If those fans stopped paying subscriptions and season tickets we’d all be nowhere.
Maybe Mike’d take you on in a Sports Direct store, how’s that sound?
It’s good that you defend your whatever-he-is, but no owes you an apology, or anything else.
If you’re not happy with that, just call my assistant and they’ll arrange an appointment with two prongs of sizzling electrified goodness to wipe the memory of this past month clean from your mind.