*Dear Dychey is Paddy Power’s Agony Aunt column. Any apparent resemblance to any figures around football is purely coincidental.
Do you know how they say under promise and over deliver? Well, I think the opposite is happening to me and I don’t know what to do.
I was loaned out in January after playing just five games all season. Since then my team has had some injuries and a rough run of results and suddenly everyone thinks I’m the difference between winning the title and complete collapse.
I’m just a humble right-back, plugging in the Premier League, I’m not Cafu, I’m not Gary Neville, I’m barely even Rob Jones. Any day now Klopp is going to recall me, I’ll be stuck back in the team and everyone’ll see the impostor I’ve become through no fault of my own.
What should I do?
Dr Dychey says: NC, you’ve got to have more faith in yourself. If there’s one mantra I live by, it’s fake it ‘til you make it. While I may give off the aura of a Napoleonic general, my brow stoutly set and upper-lip as stiff as Nelson’s Column, deep down I often feel like the assistant manager of a failing Poundland whose wife’s left him and is living on short-dated Pot Noodles.
Being a leader of men doesn’t come easily, but if you respect yourself and project an image of assurance and confidence in what you’re doing, soon it’ll come naturally. So, if you have to return to Liverpool at any point and want to live up to expectations, you need to work on that big Cafu grin, maybe grow a questionable ‘tache like young Neville had, and why not get fitted out for a cream suit like the Spice Boys did back in the day?
Put the image of the right-back you want to be out in the world and you can become the right-back you want to be.
Plus, Liverpool aren’t winning the league anyway, so the pressure is off.
The last year’s been a disaster. I’m minted from it, naturally, but my football’s been about as refreshing as the away team toilets at Old Trafford after Angel di Maria’s clogged them all with loo roll.
I had a big chance to impress this week but my first touch was as measured as Big Sam hunched over a trough of offal.
My manager says I need to “find myself” before things’ll get back on track for me, and that he can’t do anything about my form, but I can’t remember where I last left myself! I’ve searched all my coats, the car, the back of the sofa.
Dr Dychey says: How long is a piece of string Alex? The mystery of the human psyche is and our sense of place in the world is a question that’s puzzled the greatest minds for centuries.
I’ve travelled far and wide in search of the answer – from Lands End to Hadrian’s Wall, from the cliffs of Dover to the Cumbrian coast – Christ, I even went to Glasgow for Kevin Davies’ stag back in my Chesterfield days. What an eye-opening experience that was! I’ll never forget my first battered pizza.
What I’m saying is sometimes you have to go away from yourself to come back. Try to expand your mind. Do something different – like scoring a goal or two!
But seriously, Alex, you’ve got to find something new to do. You’re clearly past it playing-wise. Maybe United will pay you £500,000 a week to sell the match programs, or to go on MUTV to talk about what smashing lads the Glazers are.
They’ve certainly been great for you.
Having said all that, money helps, and you’re financially secure for the rest of your life – and several others. You could probably pay someone to go out and do the mind-expanding stuff for you report back. I hear Mesut Ozil is looking for a new gig…