Entertain or lose fans, says Wenger

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The Independent Football

"When somebody buys a ticket and spends £50, £60 or £70, it is not because he wants to be bored," said Wenger after his side's 2-0 win over Everton on Monday night. "It is because he wants to enjoy a football game. I feel we all have a responsibility to keep that going."

Wenger's comments are at odds with those of his Chelsea counterpart, Jose Mourinho, who said last week that "obligation" was not a word in his footballing vocabulary and that winning must take priority.

"Of course, we also have the responsibility to win games and the difficulty in the job is to combine both," added Wenger. "But that does not mean at the start that the target must be 'we want to be boring'. The target for every manager and for Mourinho as well - I think he would share that with me - is to try to entertain people. Unfortunately, it is not always the case but we have to try."

There were almost 62,000 spare seats across the nine Premiership matches at the weekend and it followed a significant drop in the crowds at the home midweek European ties involving Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Bolton.

A Premier League spokesman said: "It is far too early to draw any firm conclusions but the Premier League remains one of the best-supported leagues in Europe."

The Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was at odds with Wenger saying that the Premiership is still exciting. "The Premiership will always have that excitement factor about it," Lampard said. "That is the way it still is now. I know people are saying that it is boring but I have seen a lot of exciting games already this season - some of the football we have played at times has been exciting, and I am sure as the season goes on there will be a lot to play for.

"There are a lot of good teams out there - no game is easy. Every team pushes themselves and I think there is a very exciting factor about the Premier League, and there always will be."