Rats tails, earful from Robbo, Napa and more
THE big Swede scored his first goal of the season for the Baggies at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
And fresh from his glancing header, Jonas sat down with us to talk us through some more of his first moments and memories in the latest instalment of our weekly feature.
So, Jonas, what was your first…
I think that would be playing football with my dad. He was also a centre-half and we used to kick the ball around at home.
There have been a few! I remember getting one when I was playing in Holland for NEC Nijmegen against Heerenveen and Georgios Samaras who was here last year would you believe. It was just my second game for them. I thought the ball was going to be played into Sammy, but it wasn’t and I followed through a little bit. The ref let it go but the fourth official called him over and I got a straight red. I went into the dressing room, punched the door and broke my hand. Not exactly the best way to introduce yourself to a new Club is it, a red card and an injury.
Time you realised you could make it as a professional footballer?
Quite late actually. I was never the really big talent when I was younger. I broke through into the team at Landskrona when I was about 17 or 18. It wasn’t until I hit 19 or 20 that I became a regular. After that I got called up into the Sweden Under-21 team. I think once you start getting called up to the national team, that is when you start thinking about making a career out of it.
Thing you do when you get to the stadium on a matchday?
I don’t have any routines or rituals to be honest. I like getting to the stadium in plenty of time to get what I need to do done. I hate being late because then I get stressed and worried because I haven’t done something that I would normally do.
Game for the Baggies?
It was against West Ham at home and we won 3-2. I think Mozza even scored a header which is rare of course! That was in 2008. I signed on the Wednesday, trained Thursday and Friday, before playing against West Ham on the Saturday. It was a good debut for me.
Friend in football?
A guy called Rasmus Lindgren. He plays for Groningen in Holland, but he used to play for Ajax. We are from the same town so we grew up together.
Foreign country you visited?
I went to the Canary Islands with my parents and my sister when I was about four. I was probably in Denmark at some point before then but that doesn’t really count. It’s like going to Wales if you live in England.
Holiday with friends?
That was to Ayia Napa for partying. We were about 16 at the time. We had lots of fun. We went skiing the following year and that was really cool as well.
Expensive thing you bought?
I’m not materialistic at all. But if I had to say one thing it would be a Breitling watch which I bought when I first signed for NEC Nijmegen. I decided to treat myself.
Not really a hero but when I first started watching football it was around the time of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Maradona and Matthaus were playing and I enjoyed watching them. I remember getting a Lothar Matthaus shirt from my Dad.
Time you were in trouble?
There was nothing really bad. I just used to get into trouble that every kid gets into when they are young.
Social media platform you were on?
Facebook. I got it when I was in Holland. It’s a great way to stay in contact with friends, especially when you are abroad.
Person to take the mick out of you?
When I first came here Paul Robinson was playing left-back. He had a go at me a few times when I first started playing for passing the ball short to him in dangerous areas. In Holland you passed the ball to the person next to you wherever you were on the pitch, but it was different here and he had a little go at me. He is a great guy though and I really enjoyed playing with him. He made me feel very welcome here.
I got a pair of Patrick boots when I was really young. I was so happy about it, I think I even slept with them on.
I have not always had the long hair! I have played around with it quite a lot and when I was younger I had some really bad ones actually. I had a rats tail, a shaved head with a long fringe which I used to comb backwards and then some other really awful ones too. I don’t think I will be getting rid of the locks anytime soon though.