Kim Kallstrom was one of many Arsenal signings who discovered just how much the media would make up negative stories about Arsenal players – in this case the story that after Arsenal signed him he injured himself playing beach football. In fact, Arsenal had a deal in which they would only pay the player when he was fit, as he had arrived carrying an injury.
He only played three times for Arsenal in his half-season loan, but like so many January transfers he was himself brought in as cover.
Although mocked by the British media, Kallstrom was the fourth most capped player for Sweden with 131 caps, and his treatment by the media may well have inhibited other Swedish players from considering a career in England.
Subsequently, he played 49 times for Grasshopper and 28 times for Djurgårdens IF before retiring from football in December 2017. He had played in four European Championships and one world cup – and yet was laughed at constantly by the anti-Arsenal media.
Here are the anniversaries…
2 February 1896: Burnley 6 Arsenal 1. Some Arsenal handbooks have this date listed but the game was actually played on Saturday 1 February.
2 February 1898: Birth of Harry Storer Jnr. His father was the the first man to be forced out of Arsenal by the crowd, despite being the first Arsenal man to play in a representative match. Harry junior played for Grimsby Town, Derby County, Burnley plus twice for England. Like his father he played cricket for Derbyshire. He later managed Coventry City, Birmingham and Derby to championships.
2 February 1907: Arsenal 2 Bristol City 1, FA cup en route to the second consecutive semi final. 31,300 turn up at the Manor. Arsenal played Bristol Rovers in the next round and Barnsley in the quarter finals. See also here
2 February 1917: In the ultimate sign that life was getting grimmer, bread rationing was introduced in the UK. Football however continued throughout the war years.
2 February 1927: Herbert Chapman exerted his authority against Sir Henry Norris for the first time in the George Hardy affair, having Hardy removed for countermanding Chapman’s pitchside instructions. Tom Whittaker was promoted in his place, as the dynasty of Chapman, Shaw, Allison and Whittaker was secured.
2 February 1935: Alex James scored his only hat trick. Many reasons are given – the most popular being because the opposition manager told his players not to bother about James because he never scored. Maybe it was because his son was boasting that he had just scored seven in a school game. Or because Allison announced he has just signed the “‘new Alex James”.
2 February 1957: Arsenal 6 Sheffield W 3. (Herd 3, Tapscott 2, Bloomfield). It was the first season in 20 years in which any club scored over 100 goals (both Man U and Tottenham did) while Arsenal who came 5th scored 85. In the following match Arsenal lost 2-6 to Man U.
2 February 1968: Bobby Gould signed from Coventry, his first club. He played for 10 clubs in all, and Coventry was the only one where he stayed for more than two seasons.
2 February 1974: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Burnley. Only 20,789 turned up to see a team made up of Wilson, Rice, Storey, Kelly, Blockley, Simpson, Armstrong, Ball, Radford, Kennedy, Brady. Despite the line up it was not the best of times.
2 February 1977: In a sign of the times the Newcastle United squad threatened to strike unless Richard Dinnis was appointed permanent manager. Player power won as the board agreed to the players’ demands and appoint Dinnis as manager.
2 February 1984: Martin Keown signed as a professional. He was signed twice by Arsenal, won two Doubles under Arsène Wenger, and was part of the Invincibles.
2 February 1991: Arsenal lost their one and only league match of the season. Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1. It was match 23 of what turned out to be a dry run for the ultimate unbeaten season. The media simply noted it it was bound to happen.
2 February 2001: Arsène Wenger successfully appealed against a 12 match ban for violent and threatening behaviour against referee Taylor, but still has to pay costs on the grounds that he should have presented all the evidence at the first hearing.
2 February 2002: Arsenal 1 Southampton 1. Through this draw Arsenal broke the consecutive goal scoring record, scoring in 26 consecutive games, and then went on to win every remaining league game. League match 25 of the 3rd Double season.
2 February 2008: Just five days before, Jens Lehmann had said he would leave the club at the end of the season, partly because of his treatment by fans. But he returned to the side on this day, with Almunia first injured and then catching the flu.
2 February 2014: Media hysteria suggested new loan signing Kallstrom had injured himself playing beach football. A major part of the story (that Arsenal only had to pay him when he was fit for selection) was, of course, ignored.
2 February 2014: Nic Bendtner who played 171 times for Arsenal, made his final appearance on this day at home to Crystal Palace. He came on as a sub in the 84th minute.