It’s very easy for players and managers to settle into patterns over a period of time.
Often, if a boss doesn’t warm to a player straight away, they can be ostracised at a club, and that in turn can lead to a spell on the outside looking in.
In some cases, it can even lead to a departure, whether that be permanent or temporary.
For whatever reason, Rafa Benitez decided that the midfielder wasn’t his cup of tea, and he has spent the last two seasons out on loan at Nottingham Forest.
To his credit, he has done well in the midlands, recording a pass completion rate of 87.3% last season, and making 3.2 tackles per game [Whoscored].
Despite those stats, however, it was always difficult to imagine him working his way back into the picture on Tyneside.
After two years out on loan, it felt as if this summer was make or break for the 29-year-old’s Toon career – and with Benitez at the helm, you would have fancied him to be ousted fairly quickly.
Now, however, things could well be looking up.
Not only has Benitez gone, but the man that is being heavily tipped to replace him, Steve Bruce, gave the midfielder his first taste of senior football during their time together at Sunderland.
Clearly, Bruce thinks highly of Colback, and given the state of things on Tyneside this summer, he could well need all hands on deck.
You wouldn’t have bet on it a month ago, but Colback could be set for a major comeback.