Wenger breaks silence over Pardew row

Arsene Wenger on Sunday finally broke his silence over his touchline row with West Ham manager Alan Pardew.

Arsenal boss Wenger had refused to speak publicly about the furious altercation with Pardew after West Ham’s late winner at Upton Park last Sunday.

Pardew appeared to provoke Wenger with his overzealous celebration of Marlon Harewood’s goal and the French coach reacted by shoving and swearing at his counterpart before being pulled away by the fourth official.

Both managers have been charged by the English Football Association (FA) for misconduct and Wenger was so keen to avoid discussing the incident that he even cancelled his pre-match press-conference ahead of Sunday’s Premiership clash against Liverpool.

But he spoke to reporters about the clash for the first time after Sunday’s 3-0 win and admitted he regretted the incident.

Wenger said: ”I reacted and I regret that because you should never react. I am in football to win games and sometimes I go a bit further than I should, but I am adult enough to know when I have done wrong. After 20 years on the bench I know when I am right or wrong.”

”Alan Pardew apologised because he was conscious I felt provoked in a disrespectful way in the technical area. I accept his excuses and that is it. I don’t need a meeting with him. For me the incident is over.

”It is not the first time two managers have had a disagreement in English football and I hope it is not the last.”

Wenger insisted he would not request a personal hearing from the FA to put his side of the story and added: ”I know Wembley needs sponsoring so I may have to pay for what happened.

”But I have said I regretted it and for me the rest can only be boring and a waste of time.

”The fact I did not speak was not linked to the incident at the end of the West Ham game. It was purely due to sporting reasons.” – Sapa-AFP

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Steve Griffiths
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