The beautiful game brings with it the not so beautiful side. Hatem Ben Arfa was once a starlet destined for the top but, after being frozen out at both Hull City and Newcastle United, he now faces a future shrouded in uncertainty.
Premier League footballers reach the top not by mere coincidence. Hard work, both on and off the pitch, is crucial to success and as is an eagerness, thirst and hunger within the individual.
Managers are often the subject of much criticism and scrutiny but there is only so much they can work with. When a player as difficult and complex as Ben Arfa comes along, they are often powerless to turn their fortunes around.
When the Frenchman touched down on Geordie Shores back in the summer of 2010 hopes had been high that he could forge himself a reputation as one of the trickiest wingers in the Premier League.
However now over four years on, Newcastle and Alan Pardew are willing to let his contract wind down before moving him on for free at the end of the season. The pace and trickery that once made him a coveted asset have subsided to leave him an empty shell with a poisonous attitude capable of spreading throughout even the most happiest of dressing rooms.
A loan move to Hull in August was heralded as a masterstroke by Bruce but life at the KC Stadium has turned sour. With the club currently in the midst of a relegation battle, they cannot afford to carry Ben Arfa along like an unruly passenger.
With Pardew reluctant to welcome the 27-year-old back to St James' Park, a loan move to another club in the New Year beckons.
Bruce has exiled the former Marseille winger from the side after proving he had covered less ground than goalkeeper Alan McGregor this season, but with possible suitors scarce he may be forced to train by himself back on Tyneside as his time at the club begins to tick down.
It could just be that he becomes the latest footballer left out in the cold. It speaks volumes of his questionable state of mind that two managers have now deemed him a lost cause and one too difficult to have in their ranks.