Tottenham coach Les Ferdinand has voiced his frustration with Premier League teams that play with holding midfielders – and has pointed the blame in the direction of former Chelsea star Claude Makelele.
The ex-France international, who played in the Premier League with Chelsea between 2003 and 2008, was renowned for his role as a defensive midfielder.
Indeed, such was his influence in European football that the holding-midfield position was even named after him.
However, Ferdinand feels that such players are one-dimensional and hinder rather than improve teams.
“I don’t like holding midfield players," the current Spurs coach told the Tottenham Journal. "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."
Ferdinand believes that midfielders who can get forward, create chances and score goals – such as Manchester City duo Yaya Touré and Fernandinho – are far more useful than players whose sole aim is to shield the back-four.
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’.”
Are Ferdinand's views outdated or does he have a genuine point: was Claude Makelele really the worst thing to happen to the Premier League?