Hatem Ben Arfa, recently interviewed by France Football, spoke of his troubled time at Newcastle FC. For him it was a kind of hell; he felt he was being punished beyond his crimes.
He says, “It was a very, very difficult period. The worst of my career. It was as if my hell began at Newcastle [..] There, on the first day back in August 2014, I was placed directly with the reserves. A terrible humiliation. Weeks passed and I was always with these young 16 and 17-year-olds on land away from the pros. […] I did not understand. They gave me a nightmare. It was full of little cheap shots. And when I believed in me [getting out] by signing for Nice, they were forbidden to hire me [until July]. I had the feeling of being locked in a dark room without a door, or in an endless tunnel. I saw hell and especially no solution to my problems. At that time, I was wrong, I did not see any light. I was a prisoner.”
A player must train hard; must be fit and look in-shape. If one does not pull his weight at training, in completing the drills with appropriate dedication, one is liable to be ostracised by one’s team-mates. Modern football has come a long way since its early years when practice, training, seeing too much of the ball during the week, was considered detrimental to one’s performance in a match (see Jonathan Wilson, Inverting the Pyramid).
The rest of the article is here, on Faded Footballers.