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Sep, 27, 2009

Hill-Wood content with Arsenal the ''entertainers''

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood makes no apology in naming Arsenal as the game's primary entertainers, as he debates the delicate balance between being crowd pleasers and winning trophies.

• Hill-Wood's faith in Wenger

Hill-Wood told ESPNsoccernet that while it has been frustrating not winning a trophy in the last four years, he has a lot to thank Arsene Wenger for.

In fact the chairman, one of the most respected, experienced and knowledgeable in the game today, is proud that Wenger's philosophy of 'the beautiful game', has rubbed off on English football and that many clubs have abandoned the 'Route One' path for the pass and move game.

Hill-Wood says: "I fully appreciate that winning the Champions League or indeed the Premier League is something that we want, the fans want, and everyone associated with the club wants. Equally we also appreciate that there can only be one winner, and both of these trophies are extremely difficult competitions to win.

"Liverpool haven't won the Premier League, or indeed the First Division for something like 19 years and while they have won the Champions League they would dearly love to win the league again, but it's not easy.

"Let's be realistic. We have had a pretty good run, we've won plenty of trophies with Arsene Wenger, and there is no doubt the value of the man and the manager to this club. I've been lucky to be around a long, long time. Yes, we won the double in 1971, but the '60s were terrible.

"The trouble is that you can be a victim of your own success. We have set the bar so high, and expectations have risen even higher. But we have now set the bar high in terms of our performances. Other people out there want to play the way Arsenal do. Not easy, not always possible.

"A totally independent watcher of football would choose us to watch. The same as everybody else, we are in the entertainment business first and foremost these days. At Arsenal, we do entertainment. Anyone coming to watch us will get enormous pleasure from the spectacle of it all. They can really enjoy themselves with the quality of the football.

"Arsene Wenger has changed the way many people want to play the game. You don't see so many teams these days hoofing the ball up the middle and hoping for the best. A lot more teams want to play it on the ground, and this filters through to the youth and to the girls, they all want to play with style, the way our first team perform.

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