Wenger has called for cool heads as demands grow for him to make a big statement in the transfer window.
He said: “I have big respect for the passion about the game in England and big respect for this country. But football is more than just splashing out. It’s much deeper and bigger than that. It’s about sweat, thinking, working hard.
“You have a big tradition of that in England. I believe the pride of this country, historically, is built on that.
“It’s what makes this football strong and interesting. Historically, this country has always been about effort and thoughtful thinking about the game. I am scared that, today, all those qualities have less importance in the game — but it does not mean we won’t spend money.
“I’m always painted like a guy who refuses to spend, like a greedy guy. But I think I act like a responsible manager, because we went through a period where we had restricted funds and I acted responsibly.
“We want to be the best, yet being the best is not only about buying players. I don’t say money doesn’t play a part but it’s not only about money.
“We have to continue to believe it’s not only about that.”