By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has vowed to stick to his footballing principles despite the defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.

Arsenal had the lion's share of the possession and opportunities at Eastlands but slipped to defeat after Joey Barton converted a penalty just before the interval. Wenger admitted his side lacked sharpness and, as consequence, over-elaborated in front of goal. However they will not be employing the direct style often seen in the Premiership these days.

"We play the football that suits us," said the Arsenal manager. "When you make the first mistake and you go 1-0 down it is difficult to be clinical. They were direct but it is not a reproach, they won. It is the type of game that we would win if we were ready. But they fought very well and you cannot criticise their style.

"We play the game we do because it is the most efficient one to play. The trouble is that when we lose a game everybody says why do you not want to kick the ball forward? We believe in our kind of game. In Hleb, Rosicky, Henry and Van Persie, we have the type of players who need the ball to be played on the ground.

"If you look at the last nine years we have played in the Champions League each time. You cannot suddenly say that we should follow the route of the football that Manchester City play. We would not be able to do that."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 28 Aug 2006