Bryan Robson believes the lack of box-to-box midfielders in today's game is largely due to a tactical shift.
The Old Trafford ambassador, who watched training ahead of the Basel tie alongside Sir Alex, was the master of dominating all over the pitch, making last-ditch tackles in his own area and ghosting in to score goals at the other end.
Roy Keane revealed in his autobiography that his former team-mate told him to adapt his game after seriously injuring his knee by performing in a holding role to dictate the tempo of games. Robson feels it is sensible in the modern era to adopt such a conservative approach and it also reflects the thinking of coaches at the highest level.
"I think that when you get older, you do tend to try and save your energy by sitting in midfield," explained the former Reds captain in an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com. "Also, tactically, a lot of coaches, especially the ones who have come in from Europe, have always liked this sitting midfielder to be really totally defensive but also to be a really good passer of the ball.
"You get that these days rather than box-to-box midfielders, which we had in the 1970s and 1980s. If you look back at people like John Wark, who scored a number of goals for Liverpool and Ipswich, we had quite a lot of players like that."
Bryan Robson was speaking at the filming of the official Manchester United Greatest Ever XI DVD.