Jose Mourinho believes that journalists incorrectly view the popularised 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 formations.
Systems with three central defenders have become commonplace in the game since Antonio Conte used it to lead Chelsea to the Premier League title.
A number of Premier League clubs have followed suit since, including Manchester United, as well as many of their European counterparts.
Basel played a formation with three central defenders against United in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Mourinho insists that journalists interpret the system incorrectly.
“I think they followed the trendy tactic of five in the back that some of your colleagues like to call three but they are totally wrong, it is five,” he said.
“They were very well organised, they tried to close every space and then after the 2-0, the coach changed to four in the back and gave more freedom to [Michael] Lang, but more players in attacking areas.
“They understood they changed their mentality and approach and then they showed their qualities they also have. I think the 3-0 is a little bit against the grain of the game in this period.
“But as I was saying before in the group phase any team can take points from the other team.”