Footballing sticklers yearn for the days where the game was played the ‘proper’ way.
It was a time where men were men, players did not wave imaginary cards and would laugh at the mere notion of donning a ‘snood’.
Those times have long gone, though. As has the bog standard 4-4-2.
An abundance of formations are used across the world, varying from the uber-defensive 5-4-1 mentality adopted last weekend by Barclays English Premier League side Blackburn to the overtly-attacking 2-3-2-3 used by Barcelona .
Arch-rivals Real Madrid, meanwhile, employ a more cautious 4-2-3-1 formation.
While it is deemed a defensive formation the Spanish giants have been scoring hatfuls of late, including the 3-1 thumping of Real Zaragoza on Sunday.
The same can be said for another side in favour of the 4-2-3-1: Borussia Dortmund.
The runaway German Bundesliga leaders continued their imperious form at the weekend by defeating Werder Bremen with goals in either half at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund retained their 11-point lead at the summit of the table after unanswered efforts from Nuri Sahin, after nine minutes, and Shinji Kagawa 20 minutes from time.
Jürgen Klopp’s side have now netted 39 goals this season – more than any other Bundesliga side.
Furthermore, they have conceded just nine – a figure 14 better than second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Having been known for their futility in recent years, Dortmund have really come into their own this campaign.
The resurgence at Signal Iduna Park can be pinned down to the tactical ingenious of Klopp and his band of prodigious youngsters, including Marcel Schmelzer, Mario Götze and Sven Bender.
The latter forms an integral part in the 4-2-3-1 system, acting as a deep-lying playmaker that allows even more attacking freedom for the wingers and means there is less need to track back.
Playing alongside Sahin, Bender has come to the fore and is on the cusp of an international call-up.
The 21-year-old began his professional career with TSV 1860 München, with whom he played after spells with TSV Brannenburg and SpVgg Unterhaching as a youngster.
Up until his move to Dortmund, Bender’s career echoed that of his twin brother Lars and the pair were central to Germany’s first youth trophy since 1992.
The Bavarian duo spurred the German Under-17 side to European Championship glory in 2008 and, two years on, the pair are plying their trade in the Bundesliga.
While Lars hones his considerable talent at Bayer Leverkusen, Sven continues to impress with Dortmund, who he joined in the summer of 2009.
The midfielder has proved so successful in the Ruhr region that he signed a new contract on Monday that ties him to the Bundesliga leaders until 2016, despite the fact his current deal was not due to expire until 2013.
But with Bender’s form attracting interest from elsewhere, Dortmund were forced to act.
“I did the right thing when I joined Dortmund,” said Bender. “And I want to be around when Dortmund continues to build in the future.”
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said after the new agreement: “Sven is an important player in our future planning.”
And with a enviable balance of tactical nous and precocious talents, it looks like the future will be bright for Dortmund.