If you can make it in the Premier League, you can make it anywhere.
The lack of a festive break for footballers in the world’s most watched domestic league means that imports from other countries will face a baptism of fire when it comes to December.
While their compatriots will be sunning themselves in some far-flung destination, relaxing their weary bones, Premier League players will be going through the most gruelling spell of fixtures in the whole season.
Let us take our club for instance.
With European competition and domestic cup action, we have nine games to navigate our squad through, in 31 days. It is little over a game every three days.
Even without European competition, and let’s throw an early exit in the Carabao Cup, it leaves every club with a bare minimum of seven matches.
December represents the toughest stage, and once through this imposing gauntlet, you know there are no more tests like it. There will be months that the going is tough, but none amount to the sheer physical exertion that nine games brings.
Does the festive schedule need to be binned? Some are of the opinion that because of the lack of a break, the England international team will always fall short. While their national rivals can call upon reserves of stamina, England will always be flat out, running on fumes and desperate for a rest.
However, Christmas and football are close bedfellows. Attending and watching games with family and friends is an institution, one that does need to be guarded to protect it for fans.
Could there be a compromise from the league that would fit everyone?
Probably not. Sky and TV companies hold the Premier League by the short and curlies, and can make it dance to whatever tune they wish. Abandoning the current status quo would seriously harm revenue, as figures over Christmas will be higher than any other time. It’s a captive audience, families indoors, watching the game with a box of Matchmakers.
The barometer for success can be found in European competition. The lack of success from English sides is tangible, while Spain reigns supreme. That means that Italy and Germany are also without any real progress, but they too enjoy a winter break.
A lot of this can be put down to the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona, but without them, Italy and Germany have had ever presents in the latter stages, where Chelsea, United, spurs, Liverpool, City and Arsenal have let the side down from time to time.
Can this be attributed to a lack of a winter rest?
Perhaps not, but it is probably a factor.
However, fan power does still have a part to play, at least in this situation.
If the festive schedule was taken away, and add to this the liberal peppering of international friendly breaks, supporters would not exactly be supportive of this. It would also cause a fixture scheduling hell, with clubs compromising fitness with games coming thick and fast for longer spells.
At this moment, it is just December that is packed full of games, but with a winter break, these nine games would have to be sandwiched unceremoniously throughout a season.
From a fans point of view, let us enjoy the many opportunities we are getting to see our side, and let our club, with their many resources, deal with the physical exertion.