Make no mistake, when serious talk of a winter break raises its head again those shouting loudest will be the fans.
Festive football is one of the great traditions of our game.
Let the conditioning and fitness experts lecture us on how damaging these multiple fixtures are for our vulnerable footballers, but don't take away our Christmas treat.
What else would you be doing on Boxing Day? And don't even mention the sales.
We'll be broadcasting from Stoke's Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day with two crackers Aston Villa v Tottenham at 5.30pm and, in the evening, Stoke v Liverpool.
And the games come thick and fast: eight in total from the Barclays Premier League over the holiday week.
Those serious about a winter break will target the period which follows with far more zeal.
Quotes of the week
No doubt, there will be injuries aplenty and if the predicted White Christmas arrives perhaps one or two postponements, too.
But those serious about a winter break will target the period which follows with far more zeal.
Wouldn't it make sense to create a window in January for our top players to draw breath?
A week off after the FA Cup third round would in effect mean a three-week break from Premier League duty, though abolishing cup replays leads to another discourse altogether with lower league clubs dependent on the revenue they can generate.
Expect this issue to surface on The Footballers' Football Show this week when conditioning expert Raymond Verheijen will be joining us.
Raymond was Gary Speed's assistant with Wales but prior to that worked closely with fellow Dutchmen Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat on player fitness at seven major tournaments.
He is an expert in his field on 'periodisation', of which Raymond will explain all, while he knows something about prolonging footballers' careers, too.
So he should have some words of wisdom for two of the Premier League's elder statesman who will also join us: 35-year-old QPR midfielder Shaun Derry and Brad Friedel who, at 41, is Tottenham's oldest player.
Don't miss The Footballers' Football Show, 10pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 2 HD.
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Andrew Woodhouse (West Bromwich Albion fan) says...
why should they have breaks they are paid hundreds and millions of pounds so they should be professionals and be able to keep themselves fit through busy fixture weeks and injures can pop up at anytime not just through january
Posted 14:44 20th December 2012
Alan Paterson (Livingston fan) says...
The thing is though, would the teams let the players have a break or would they be jetting off to Asia or the Middle East and playing lucrative exhibition matches instead of giving players an actual break? Somehow I suspect they would and the players would still be tired AND jetlagged. it would only work if, like in F1 all the teams agreed to make it a proper break with no matches or trips abroad.
Posted 20:41 19th December 2012
Bob Burton (Newcastle United fan) says...
The problem with a break, is when to have it. Our weather is so unpredictable we might have a break in January, only to discover that February and March brings three foot of snow! So we lose more time with postponements, resulting with a huge backlog of fixtures needing to be squeezed in - which brings its own injury problems. (And that after basking in springlike weather in January during the break, when games could have been played!) Our weather is too unpredictable to have a fixed break and that's all there is to it really, unless we reduced the size of the PL - and nobody wants to do that.
Posted 15:26 19th December 2012
Tom Howell (Manchester United fan) says...
I agree, the festive football season is at times more appealing than visiting relatives, I would hate to see it ever abolished! I do, however, feel a two week break after the FA cup third round weekend would be a blessing for all teams, especially those looking to progress in Europe & relegation candidates looking to get key players fit.
Posted 12:53 19th December 2012
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