Stoke City manager Phil Hughes has hit out at Arsene Wenger for suggesting that the Potters approached their game against Arsenal very directly, reminiscent of the past, when a trip to the Britannia meant that the Gunners were under the cosh from the outset owing to the physicality deployed by the hosts. The Gunners have won only one in their last seven outings away to Stoke, suggesting how difficult it has been for Wenger's men to come away with three points from this fixture.
Stoke have turned a corner this season, with Hughes ready to adapt to a more pleasing style of play than has been the case under Tony Pulis. The Potters have recruited a bunch of extremely talented players by the likes of Bojan Krkic, Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri, who have proven to be among the best in the business, having had illustrious careers with clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Shaqiri was absent against Arsenal with a hamstring problem, but Bojan and Afellay linked up with Marko Arnautovic on several occasions, who was thwarted by a combination of Arsenal's defence and Petr Cech. Hughes, who was otherwise pleased with the result, was taken aback by Wenger's comments about the dynamics of the game, believing that Stoke played a lot of good football, more than what others give them credit for.
"I've just heard Arsene say he was a bit surprised that we went direct. I'm not quite sure what game he's been watching, but there we go. I don't think there was a yellow card. I don't know why the physical aspect of the game has to be mentioned," Hughes said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"We approached the game in the right manner, got the ball down and passed and moved and mixed things up. I thought it was a good football game with both teams trying to play and win a key Premier League game. That's certainly what we were doing," he added.