Are Chelsea fans happy with winning ugly, or are Arsenal the real winners?

Mourinho & Bench - Chelsea

The debate between style and results has once again reared its head after Chelsea held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.

There is a dichotomy in football which has somewhat become lost in recent years, with the influx of money at the top level of the game widening the gap between player and fan.

For players, the aim of the game is results, but for fans, they are watching to be entertained, and this brings into question which is the preferable style of play.

The endless debate came to the fore once again at the weekend, as Chelsea headed to the Emirates Stadium and secured a 0-0 draw with Arsenal that all-but guaranteed them the title.

It was a result that mattered, and not a performance, and Chelsea got what they needed without ever looking threatened.

In fact, they arguably had the best chance of the game, when Ramires was played in behind the defence to place a feeble shot straight at David Ospina.

Following that chance, and the passage into the second half, the game died off and no team particularly threatened. The Gunners dominated the ball, but still only managed one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes, and the end result was a wealth of criticism aimed at Chelsea for their defensive style of play.

Ironically it was a game in which they had the better chances, so it was strange to see the argument rise again, but it is true that the Blues play a style of football that guarantees a solid back-line with the smallest chance of conceding goals.

They are very much like the Arsenal of old, who won two league titles under George Graham that did little to inspire fans to watch the team. But still, they won titles.

This is where the argument arises; is it better to lose gracefully, or win efficiently?

Chelsea fans would arguably say the latter, whilst Arsenal fans would choose the former, but would that opinion change if Arsene Wenger copied Jose Mourinho’s style of play and led the Gunners to a title with a strong defence and no real attacking flair.

For all the criticism Chelsea have received, they still sit atop the Premier League table, scoring more goals than all but one team, and conceding the joint fewest number of goals. They have scored more goals than ‘entertaining’ Arsenal, which begs the question of why their attacking play is not as good if that is what they preach.

The endless bickering arises due to the rivalry between the two clubs, and the apparent dislike between Mourinho and Wenger, and it is an argument that will never be answered.

Yet, Arsenal play attractive football under Wenger, and that will change when a new manager comes in, whilst Chelsea could go on to play the best football in the division if they were to hire a different manager.

It is the manager who influences the team to play a style of football, and his job is influenced on his need to be successful.

Wenger will rightfully go down in history as the man who revitalised the Premier League and brought it into the modern age, but Mourinho will go down as one of the most successful coaches in footballing history. There is another argument in that as to which type of coach is more important, but in a game in which results come first and foremost, it is hard to deny that playing ugly and winning is by far the better option.

And at the end of the season whilst fans are celebrating a Premier League trophy, it is likely to be the stylistic option praised, with Chelsea playing to their strengths to win a trophy.

How would you prefer to see your team play?
I would rather watch defensive football to win trophies
I would rather watch attacking football even if nothing is won
Poll Maker

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