After a summer that gave renewed hope to Jack Colback that a change of manager might see him restored to the first team fold, he once again was omitted from Newcastle’s Premier League squad.
Having thought Steve Bruce was going to name him among the 25, it left him disappointed, according to the Shields Gazette, and with fewer options ahead of the new season.
It was a similar story for Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar, with both harbouring hopes of getting into the squad, only to find themselves on the outside looking in.
But what happened next shows the difference between distinguishing what means more to a player – football, or the salary.
Rather than wallow in self-pity, both Aarons and Lazaar went in search of somewhere to keep doing the thing they love most – playing football.
In Aarons’ case, it meant dropping down to League One, by signing for Wycombe Wanderers on loan; whereas Lazaar opted for Cosenza in the second tier of Italian football, to keep playing.
Colback, on the other hand, went nowhere, and is happy to run the clock down on the last year of his deal, while sitting twiddling his thumbs, but still picking up his wages.
It is why very few Newcastle fans have any respect for the former Sunderland midfielder, but would be happy if either Lazaar or Aarons went on to get a good permanent move, or become a success.
Players like Colback do not know how lucky they are
It is galling to Toon fans to see a player who is fortunate enough to earn an incredible living playing the sport they love, yet not want to actually go out and play.
For me, playing football on a Sunday was something I had to actually pay subscriptions and pitch fees to do, and I get bewildered and annoyed at someone like Colback.
Most fans in his position would gladly drop a level or two to play the game, and quite why he does not think the same is bemusing.
That is why most supporters cannot wait to see the back of Colback.
Newcastle should just offer to tear up the remainder of his contract to get him off the books, and give him the pay-off he seems to crave.
There are not many Toon fans who would not hold the exit door open for him on his way out.