Watford captain Troy Deeney admits he lost his appetite for the game after paying attention to social media.
Deeney, however, insists he’s rediscovered his enthusiasm.
He said, “I’m excited – I’ve got the buzz back for football.
“I lost it for a little bit and that’s been reflected in all the people who tell me I’ve lost loads of weight.
“I got my own little team together over the summer: a nutritionist, a psychologist, working with Jamie Reynolds (one of world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s trainers), and I stuck to a plan.
“The hardest thing for me is not having a plan and being left to my own devices.
“What made me do it? People writing me off – I didn’t love it at the time, but I love it now because they will have to come back begging (for forgiveness)… that’s the part I can’t wait for.
“I lost the love because the fickleness, all the pussyfooting around in football, was really getting to me.
“I’m not the kind of person who likes to keep his mouth shut. But when you speak up and challenge things, and you end up getting in trouble, it makes you think, ‘Do I want to do this any more’?”
He added: “When you post a picture of your daughter and people are saying certain things, you want to go and deal with it. But it’s probably a 15-year-old kid who’s just got home from school and he’s bored.”