Winning ugly not the answer for Arsenal and Wenger

Arsenal has been famed for its footballing philosophy under Arsene Wenger, who rejects the claim his side needs to win ugly.

Arsene Wenger..."If you have to play ugly to convince people to win then it's the wrong debate."   -  Getty Images

Arsene Wenger remains steadfast in his belief that "winning ugly" is not the way forward as he attempts to revive Arsenal's faltering start to the season. Following a thrilling opening-day win over Leicester City, the Gunners have suffered back-to-back defeats at Stoke City and Liverpool - the latter a humiliating 4-0 drubbing that could have been heavier.

Critics have been quick to point to Arsenal's perceived lack of physical and mental steel over recent years, since the 2004 'Invincibles' provided an abundance of beauty and belligerence in equal measure.

But Wenger, whose side hosts Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, intends to remain true to his philosophy and claims the notion that teams need to grind out results is a myth. "Of course you question your decisions, your preparation and everything. We have played three games, there are 35 to go. We have the quality to respond, it's a good opportunity to show that [Liverpool] was an accident," the Frenchman told a media conference.

'Wrong debate'

"I never understood what [constituted] a crisis. It's important you focus on what's in front of you, the quality of performance can change from one week to another. If you take the history of the game, the biggest winners in the game... if you have to play ugly to convince people to win then it's the wrong debate.

"The biggest teams in the world have played football. Brazil have won how many World Cups?... Germany, Real Madrid, Barcelona all play football. To come out with the conclusion that you have to kick the ball in the stands to win football games, then that's wrong.

"I believe at some stage you stick to your principles even if it doesn't go as well as you want it. You don't question things like that because you lose one game. That's why people around the team should continue to believe in what we do. The best way to win is to perform. We have to convince ourselves to perform."

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