By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has expressed his sadness over Newcastle’s decision to sack manager Chris Hughton.

The 51-year-old has been relieved of his duties despite taking the Magpies from the Championship to 11th in the Premier League and orchestrating wins at Chelsea and Arsenal this season.

Wenger praised the “outstanding job” Hughton had done before Newcastle’s 1-0 victory at Emirates Stadium last month and admits he was shocked by this week’s developments.

“I am sad for him and told you what I thought of Chris Hughton before we played against them, and I have not changed my mind,” said Wenger.

“We are in a job where we depend on the decisions of the board above us.

“Sometimes it does not always look rational - but England lost the World Cup bid and that did not look rational at all.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Dec 2010