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.
Whilst many of the transfer sagas in Britain are protracted, for the most part they are intense rather than bitterly unpleasant. The same could not be said across the channel, where France's longest running saga of last summer finally ended on deadline day after months of acrimony and strikes. Florian Thauvin was the man at the centre of attention.
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.
I'm trying really hard to remember a time when we could go a whole week without having to have a national moan about "Europe"*. I mean I get it, I really do. All that great food, fantastic culture and nice weather. Not to mention Germany and France's positively infuriating collective predilection for paying people properly and according them proper employment rights.
One wonders whether Hollande, his party, and all those who voted for him seriously believed he could pursue his left-wing agenda without consequences? Those who did risk showing themselves stuck in a nation-centric past; prisoners of an outdated worldview which still assumes national borders are impermeable.
One of the striking things about French reaction - probably unique among Western democracies - was that first the political class, from Marine le Pen on the far-right, right across the political spectrum, with only one or two dissenting voices, claimed that this was about Hollande's private life and was not a political issue...
Privacy laws aside, the French love a sex scandal just like the rest of the world. They try to pretend that as a country they tolerate affairs, powerful men are somehow entitled to take lovers and the rest of the world is somewhat immature not to understand. The hypocrisy lies in the fact they seriously believe these relationships have no impact on the ability to do their jobs.