By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has expressed his sympathy for Alan Pardew after the West Ham manager was sacked earlier this week.

The Frenchman clashed with Pardew at Upton Park last month as the Hammers boss celebrated Marlon Harewood's late winner. Wenger has not always seen eye-to-eye with Pardew but believes he would have turned West Ham's fortunes around had he been given the chance.

"I had differences with Pardew but that doesn't mean I wanted him to be sacked," said Wenger. "I find it very sad because for me he's a good manager, he's done well.

"We had a disagreement but I still think he's a good manager who has done well for West Ham.

"He has paid the price for the fact that West Ham have struggled a little bit but if he was given time he would have got them out of there.

"But I think he paid an even bigger price for the fact that the ownership has changed and sometimes when new people come in, when you're the manager, most of the time you are the first on the list to be changed."

11/2 - Wigan v Arsenal: Robin van Persie to score the first goal

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Chris Harris 13 Dec 2006