The modern day full-back is tasked with pressing forward and overlapping the attack-minded players as a means of providing an offensive outlet to his team, but also having the fitness levels to return to their starting position to perform defensive duties. Mathieu Debuchy and Ricardo Rodriguez, of Newcastle and Woflsburg respectively, have exhibited these qualities this season and are two prime examples of how a right or left-back should operate.
In the average career of a top-flight footballer, the opportunity to appear at a World Cup will only come around three or four times. Therefore in a World Cup year, warming the bench or turning out for the stiffs is not an option. Thankfully for those struggling to make an impact, this time of year throws up a few potential opportunities to make a push for Brazil.
When the FA assembled its learned John Terry star chamber, chaired by an as yet anonymous QC, we can be in no doubt that justice was going to "seen to be done". But the desired effect has been achieved. A procession of hacks, no doubt gnashing their teeth with rage and indignation when the judge delivered his verdict at the court trial have had a revival.
From a human perspective, I have rarely been a big fan of his. But there is a pattern and a level of vituperation for this player that extends from the very top of the game in the form of the FA through to fans and all the way to his fellow professionals. And it smashes all of the principles of natural justice and due process to smithereens.