Kim Kallstrom hits back at Arsenal fans over flop tag and reveals truth about back injury

Arsenal flop Kim Kallstrom
The Swede is considered one of Arsenal’s worst signings (Picture: Getty)

Former Arsenal flop Kim Kallstrom has defended his brief and unspectacular loan stay at the club and revealed the ‘embarrassing’ cause of the back injury that hampered his time in north London.

The retired Sweden international is widely mocked by supporters as one of the worst signings the club have made – a mantle that Denis Suarez competed for last season – after he joined on loan from Spartak Moscow in 2014.

Kallstrom, who was only brought in as a backup option, arrived with a back injury and played just four times in total, though feels his time at the club was justified by helping end the club’s long wait for a trophy.

Reminiscing about his cameo against Wigan in the FA Cup final, Kallstrom told Arsenal’s website: ‘At the time, I didn’t know how significant that game was because for me, Arsenal was a club that collected trophies all the time.

‘I had the Invincibles and the Freddie Ljungberg era in my head, so I didn’t understand that there had been so much time since the last trophy. The pressure to win one was very big, so obviously all the coaches felt that but I had no knowledge of it at the time.

‘I was just in the right place at the right time because I think they missed their first or second penalty and it’s much easier to take one after your opponent misses. But what I’ll always remember is walking up to that ball from the halfway line. “This is strange,” I was thinking to myself. “This is so weird!”

‘People always ask me why I was smiling on the walk – apparently nobody smiles when they take that walk – but you have to understand, I was not meant to take that penalty for Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. But I did. I scored. We won.

‘That penalty changed the experience for me massively. I came here, was injured and didn’t play a lot. Sure, that’s part of the game, but then when you score the penalty at least you’ve participated in some way. It was an important trophy for the club, so it was great fun for me.

‘I see the fans who joke on the internet about my time here, but I think it’s quite fun. There are a lot of players who have done a lot more for Arsenal than me but then at the same time there are a lot of players who have done a lot less, in a lot more time!

‘Here, I walked in, hit the penalty, we won a trophy and then I walked out again. Who’d have thought it, the guy with the broken back?’

Arsenal flop Kim Kallstrom celebrates scoring his penalty against Wigan in the FA Cup
Kallstrom celebrates scoring his penalty against Wigan in the FA Cup (Picture: Getty)

On how het got the injury, Kallstrom explained: ‘Lots of people think they know about this injury but let me explain it properly. We were training on the beach – this is so embarrassing – and it was a proper training session too, not just one for fun. I say it was a beach, it was more like concrete. Anyway, we had a game there and I fell badly on a small rock.

‘I hit my back and had some pain. Obviously we were due to go back to Moscow the day after so we didn’t do any medical check-up there because it wasn’t too bad at the time. We informed Arsenal straight away that I had a problem with my back and that I had no idea what it was, so they just told me to come along anyway.

‘It was really the last few minutes of the transfer window so either they signed me with a bad back, or they didn’t sign anyone because there wasn’t any time left.’

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