By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger believes that his Arsenal side will become their old creative selves once they have regained full confidence.
The Frenchman has steered his team back into form after a patchy start to the campaign. A victory against Stoke on Sunday would mean they have won six of their last seven fixtures, and three inside eight days.
However there is a perception that Arsenal have sacrificed some of their famous panache in order to grind out points.
At his usual pre-match press conference on Friday, Wenger preached pragmatism but maintained that the style would return as soon as the team regained its old poise.
"[Our football] doesn't trouble me too much at the moment," he said.
"But you will see that, with confidence, this team will be very creative.
"I do not want to convince that we play in a fantastically eye-catching way at the moment but I believe as well the critics have gone a bit overboard.
"We have played exceptionally well in the past and they are used to that kind of game. Now, because we have bad results, people have just put in their mind that we have a bad team.
"However if you analyse deeper our games and, if you watch them again, then although we have some improvements still to make it is not as bad as people say.
"We had to become a bit more stable defensively. After you concede eight goals it's always a shock for a team.
"But we have gone through a stage where we had first to settle down again and be more stable defensively.
"When we get our confidence back we can be more eye-catching than we are at the moment."
Arsenal: Jenkinson (knee), Gibbs (stomach muscle), Sagna (fibula), Wilshere (ankle), Diaby (ankle), Vermaelen (ankle).
Stoke: Fuller (Achilles), Higginbotham (knee), Pennant (doubt - hamstring)Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source