Wenger’s surprise choices for toughest teams and players he faced in England

Arsene Wenger provided a few somewhat surprising answers when asked about the toughest teams and player he faced during his 22 years as Arsenal manager.

The 70-year-old, who now works for FIFA, won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his time in charge in north London.

He also formed a number of rivalries against some of the very best managers in the division's history, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.

But when asked in a Q&A with BBC Sport who the toughest side he ever came up against were, he did not opt for Manchester United under Ferguson nor Chelsea under Mourinho.

Instead, he answered: "Wimbledon when I first came to England."

The Dons were Premier League regulars when Wenger arrived, and were not relegated until the 1999-2000 campaign.

With the nickname The Crazy Gang, they did have a reputation of being a tough physical prospect, but it is still something of a surprise to hear Wenger ranking them so highly.

And the Frenchman again went for a somewhat unorthodox choice when asked the toughest players his side went up against.

"Players: Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Haaland – they were always tough to play against," he said.

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While United legend Keane does not come as a huge shock, former Leeds and Manchester City man Haaland is not one who is often mentioned in the same breath as some of the Premier League's most notorious hardmen.

But he clearly made something of an impression on Wenger, who was obviously struck by the former Norway international's tough-tackling style.

Wenger is releasing a new autobiography entitled 'My Life in Red and White' this week, which will no doubt be a must-read for all Arsenal fans as he looks back on a highly successful and colourful career.

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