Martin Johnson has urged England to ignore the style critics and concentrate on taking their brand of "winning rugby" into Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland.
England head to Murrayfield on the back of four wins from five Tests this season but Andy Robinson's men have still fielded criticism for their reliance on a powerful pack and a subsequent lack of adventure.
But Johnson, England's World Cup-winning captain, was never one to put style ahead of substance and fails to understand why anyone would lay into a side that has struck upon a winning formula.
"It's good to see England playing to their strengths and not trying to play a game just for the sake of it," said Johnson.
"Rugby is purely about winning the game and you play the way you believe will get you the win with the team you've got. Nothing else should really matter.
"I'm concerned about people putting the emphasis on style. You win the game by the best means you think you have available.
"If England need to use their forwards to create space for their backs, that's what they should do. Playing wide is not necessarily right because people think it's attractive.
"I'd much rather see England win by playing the game they believe is the best way for them, than playing a game for the sake of playing it because they think that's entertainment."
Head coach Andy Robinson repeatedly counters his critics by detailing how England's 10 tries in their first two RBS 6 Nations Championship games have come from a variety of different sources.
It has taken England until the last quarter to see off both Wales and Italy - but Johnson was "amazed" and disappointed by some of the reaction to England's hard-fought victory in Rome.
He believes England are gaining ideal preparation for next year's World Cup defence.
"I think people get carried away by the idea that if it looks great, it is great," said Johnson.
"The tries against Italy and against Wales came from direct rugby, from playing to their strengths.
"Italy are a good physical team who defended very well for the majority of the game and did not give England chances to kick penalties and get away from them.
"It was a good, tough game to watch and England probably got more out of that as a team than by winning by 60 points or more.
"If England had spun the ball out to the wings and played some fantastic rugby and scored tries easily, as maybe we have in the past, people might say they were great.
"But that doesn't win you tight Test matches, which you have to do to be successful in the biggest competitions."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.