Even in the 1930’s there was a difference of playing styles between English clubs and their foreign counterparts.
Willy Meisl describes in his book “Soccer Revolution” from 1955, the safety-first approach that didn’t result in the free flowing goal scoring Continentals.
“The British were bent on “safety-first”, on preventing the opponent from scoring goals. The Continentals were out to score goals. Most schoolboys good at arithmetic will tell you that it amounts to the same whether I win by scoring goals, or by giving away fewer to the opponent.
“In football I challenge the axiom. Though it may be the same mathematically, it makes all the difference to the soul of soccer…..”
“A generation of “Safety-first” football created a “Safety-first” mentality, just as the existence of that “Unassailable fortress” created a “Maginot Line” mentality (rearguard complex) in the French nation. In soccer as in politics and warfare “safety-first” meant surrendering the initiative, choosing the passive role. This must lead to decadence and weakening.”