If you're a starting-11 player for a top-tier European team, you have to play a 38-game league season, domestic cup competitions (i.e. FA Cup, Italian Cup, Kings Cup, etc.) with the possibilities of replays, international club competitions (Europa League or Champions League), tournament qualifiers for the national team, friendlies, trial matches, summer tournaments like the World Cup, the Euro Cup or Copa America, and probably a couple of warmup matches in Asia or North America before the season even starts.
Is it any wonder, then, that Wayne Rooney isn't performing at 100-percent when he's playing Scunthorpe in the League Cup?
Players and fans can become burned out when there are too many games. Just look at the ridiculous Major League Baseball setup, which features two months of spring training exhibition matches, 162 games in the regular season, followed by weeks of BEST-OF-SEVEN playoff series.
I'm sure it's making some people very rich to have that many games, but the upshot of it is that following baseball can get exhausting by the time October rolls around.
The first thing to go should be the English League Cup. Inter-divisional cup competitions can be a nice adjunct to league play, but the FA Cup already takes care of that. Extra time should also be introduced where applicable, instead of replays.
So too, the Champions League should return to its regular knockout format from the start, rather than having groups. One fixture played over two legs should be more than enough to separate the champions of Spain from the champions of Cyprus.
Fewer games breeds more excitement, because the stakes are higher. You wouldn't want a World Cup where every winner is determined by a best-of-seven series.