Last year, the Sports Personality Defect of the Year was monomania, as experienced by Sir Alex Ferguson. This year it’s almost certain to be passive-aggressive syndrome. A major symptom: “learned helplessness, procrastination, and repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible”. Fernando Torres is front runner. Other defects likely to win prizes include delusion (David Beckham’s firmly held belief he is still a useful player) and mild psychosis (John Terry) with ADHD a widespread choice for many, especially some darts players and Wayne Rooney.
Consultant Psychiatrist Raymond Warner explained that football players are over represented in Sports Personality Defect statistics, because “They’re forced to confront their actions over and over again in action replays, then explain them to Jonathan Legard” But there is still controversy over the idea of touchline psychiatry for those psychologically damaged in play, with the FA saying pitchside therapy couches could get in the way of match officials.