Tottenham coach Les Ferdinand says club manager Tim Sherwood shares his dislike of holding midfielders.
Midfielders positioned to protect the back four have been in vogue in recent years, with former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas regularly using them in his methodical style.
But Sherwood has completely changed Tottenham's philosophy, allowing his squad to play with freedom.
And the early results have paid dividends for Sherwood, who has seen his side win five of their six Premier League matches under his tutelage.
Ferdinand thinks that midfielders should be smart enough to know when to defend, telling the Tottenham & Wood Green Journal: "I know there's a lot of talk about holding midfield players, and I'm always arguing with Tim and Chris about this - and they agree.
"I don't like holding midfield players.
"I like players to understand that if one goes forward, the other one tucks in for them. I don't want someone who just sits in front of the back four and doesn't go anywhere, but that's just my own personal view.
"I was saying to William Gallas when he was here, the worst thing that happened in this league was Claude Makelele.
"When he came into this country (to Chelsea in 2003) he wasn't a holding midfield player. He was a player who had the intelligence to say 'Frank (Lampard), you can score more goals than me so if you go I'm going to tuck in here for you, and I'll hold. You keep going forward'.
"Then everyone went 'right, we've got to have a holding midfield player' - and what we've done is produce a crop of players who don't want to go over the halfway line, who don't want to pass over the halfway line and are happy to just sit in front of the back four."
Ferdinand pointed towards Manchester City's success this season as a perfect example of why teams do not need holding midfielders.
"Do Man City play with one (a holding midfielder)? They've still scored 100-odd goals," he added.
"People say Yaya Toure is a holding midfielder. No he isn't, he's getting forward and getting goals - but if someone else goes he'll stay in there.
"Fernandinho's scoring goals. Why? Because he's a holding player? No. They've just got an understanding: 'If he goes, I'll hold, and if I go he'll hold'."
|Chile, Argentina deserve final spots - Mena|
|Ramos keen on United switch - Calderon|
|B36 1 The New Saints 2: Wilde leaves it late to secure advantage|
|Sevilla agree deal for Rami|
|Celtic snap up United teenager Janko|
|Beauvue passes Lyon medical|
|Roma bring in Falque|
|Coates completes permanent Sunderland switch|
|Vallecano to make charity donations from shirt sales|
|Angella commits to Watford|
|Gundogan pens new Dortmund deal|
|Juve reject €80million Barca offer for Pogba, says Marotta|
|Ruiz seals permanent Villarreal move|
|Mourinho respects Cech´s decision to quit Chelsea|
|Claridge excited by potential Pearson successors|
|Miranda completes Inter switch|
|Blind takes over as Netherlands coach|
|Mourinho: Premier League tougher to win than ever|
|Hamburg make Holtby move permanent|
|Southampton terminate Osvaldo contract|
|BREAKING NEWS: Swansea swoop for Eder|
|Abbiati extends Milan stay|
|Cruyff: Barcelona have lost their values|
|Vydra seals Watford move|
|Ambitious Clyne targets trophy haul with Liverpool|
|Claridge: Off-field incidents cost Pearson his job|
|Clyne becomes Liverpool´s sixth close-season signing|
|Imbula leaves Marseille for Porto|
|FIFA chief Blatter challenges critics to prove corruption claims|
|Distin joins Bournemouth|
|Bayern seal Costa deal|
|Arsenal confirm Diaby departure|
|Blatter to miss Women´s World Cup final|
|Bogdan sets sights on being Liverpool number one|
|Danilo eager to get started at Real Madrid|
|Leicester´s Wood joins Leeds|
|Porto confirm Atletico move for Martinez|
|Lloyd: Repetition key to netting penalty|
|Sheffield Wednesday job a ´dream´ for Carvalhal|
|´We played a complete game´ - Messi|
|Diaz upbeat despite heavy Copa loss to Argentina|
|Martino lauds Messi for selfless performance|
|Viviani makes surprise Verona switch|
|Estonian team wins cup match 31-0|
|No meeting with Arsenal has occurred - Vidal´s agent|
|United States 2 Germany 0: Ellis´ team reach World Cup final|
|Argentina 6 Paraguay 1: Messi leads Martino´s men to Copa final|
|UEFA Europa League Review: FK Zeljeznicar and FC Dacia Chisinau open with wins|
|UEFA Champions League Review: FC Pyunik make winning start|
|Sweden U21 0 Portugal U21 0 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Carlgren the hero as Swedes claim Euro glory|
|Frankfurt capture Castaignos|
|Bastia face relegation over debt|
|Bahlouli makes Monaco switch|
|Pearson sacked by Leicester|
|Rekik set for Marseille switch|
|Ranocchia and Carrizo sign new Inter deals|
|Crespo handed Modena role|
|Cech reveals work permit prevented past Arsenal move|
|Ivory Coast cut coaching shortlist down to five|
|McCarthy satisfied with Mings sale|
|Heaton commits to Burnley|
|Bowyer: Rhodes and Gestede will not come cheap|
|Burton and Day depart West Brom|
|Mendilibar makes Eibar return|
|Milan agree to terminate Muntari contract|
|Copa final a dream come true for Sampaoli|
|CSKA Sofia demoted due to financial crisis|
|Wolfsburg warn off De Bruyne suitors|
|Kone: I want to prove I can cut it at Everton|
|West Ham v Lusitans: Bilic set for first game in charge|
|Millennium Stadium to host 2017 UEFA Champions League final|
|Ronaldo a ´possibility´ for Portugal´s Olympics squad|
|Liverpool should get rid of Sterling - Grobbelaar|
|Miranda arrives for Inter medical|
|Arsenal can challenge the best - Cech|
|Real star Bale can be better than Ronaldo, says Keegan|
|UEFA approves changes to FFP rules|
|Honduras v Mexico: Moreno´s injury may force Mexican rethink pre-Gold Cup|
|Hiddink was the wrong man for Netherlands - De Boer|
|Vargas: I was scoring with every shot at training|
|Zambrano red rocked Peru - Gareca|
|Paraguay to change tack against Argentina|
|Sampaoli thrilled with substitutes´ influence, applauds Peru|
|Martino rues Copa America date with former side Paraguay|
|Former Birmingham City player Thwaites among Tunisia victims|
|Chile 2 Peru 1: Zambrano´s red card helps hosts into Copa final|
|Thiago Silva: ´I didn´t even know the ball had hit my hand´|
|Ronaldinho set to sign for Antalyaspor|