Last season I did a number of ex-player interviews and they seemed to go down very well. I have been asked by a number of people if I could do more. Well I have interviewed the Forse!
Admittedly I had to do it over e-mail, but none the less I feel it is a valid interview. I made contact with the bloke on twitter and he agreed to answer some questions for me. And yes it IS the real one! If you would like to follow him you can by following @MikaelForssell
BCFC have kindly allowed me to use the images in this article, but they are copyright to them.
On with the questions.
1. How did you get involved in football and who were your influences?
My dad was a footballer and he got a few caps for Finland, so he is really the man I looked up to when I was young. Then I had loads of idols and if Id have to pick out two I’d say Diego Maradona and Ronaldo, (plumpy Brazilian one), are my biggest ones.
2. When you got bought into Chelsea, that must have been a fantastic experience. How did it go?
I went to Chelsea on a free-transfer. It was a great experience. It was my first step into English football. I still have great memories playing there.
Obviously I was loaned out a few times, but I still signed 3 contracts with Chelsea – so Im really grateful for the times there and of course for the goals I scored for them. 🙂
3. You joined us on loan from Chelsea when Steve Bruce signed you. How did you find out that it may be happening, and what were your thoughts?
I had a choice to join Bayer Leverkusen on loan in Germany who are a top team, but I really wanted to stay in the Premiership – which is the best league in the world – and it proved to be the right choice as I enjoyed my time very much in Birmingham from day one!
4. It must have been a big difference from Chelsea coming to the proper Blues! What were your initial impressions of the club, ground and fans?
Of course Chelsea is a bigger club in terms of financial resources, but Birmingham is a great club with a fantastic history and the passion of the fans on my debut surprised me as I didnt know what to expect after I had signed.
It was such a positive surprise, that I fell in love with the club on day one! Everything including the ground, fans and the club, were just perfect in my eyes.
5. You obviously became a permanent fixture after your loan spell, was that an easy decision to make or were there other offers around? If so, why did you decide to stay at the Blues?
Of course I had interest from other clubs, but the decision was quite easy in the end as I had such a great time during my first season there. And it still proves to have been the right decision, because even though I don’t play for you guys anymore, I can still feel the respect and love for me on twitter etc. which I appreciate a lot!
6. What was your favourite moment in a Blues shirt.
There are many but if I’d have to choose two, I’d say 2 goals on my debut and the hattrick against Spurs in my last season. Both very memorable moments in my eyes.
7. If it is different, what was your favourite goal? Tell us what you remember about the build up and why it sticks in your memory?
I might have to say the goal against Sunderland away in the FA-Cup. It was a difficult game for us, but I just felt very confident. I got the ball from a Clinton Morrison pass and popped up with that goal. It has for some reason stuck in my head since then, I guess sometimes there isn’t an explanation for things like this. 🙂
8. On the subject of goals, who was your favourite strike partner and why?
It is so difficult to choose as I had the privilege to play with some great players, and every striker has had an influence and deserves praise for my goals scored.
At the time when I played with Dugarry I thought he was genius. Then there was Clinton Morrison who made loads of my goals with hard work. Also of course, from the current strikers,
James McFadden gave me some great assists.
9. What was your lowest point at the club?
Probably being injured in 2006 for most of the season and obviously going down in the 2005/6 season. I felt like nothing worked in the team and I felt helpless that season.
10. What was it like playing for Brucey?
Good. He was a demanding manager. We had our differences sometimes, for instance the way football should be played – but I thoroughly thank him for my time there.
11. You left the club and went to Germany, did your time being injured cause that?
It was a time when Birmingham got relegated even though we played well. I felt so bad after all that hard work and after the great games played, that we went down at the end of my Birmingham career.
But I don’t think about that season as a failure. We had Alex McLeish, a great manager in charge and I played with some great players and thoroughly enjoyed that season. My contract was just up at the end of the season and there was no proper offer on the table from the club, so I had to look somewhere else.
12. What has that been like playing there?
It has been OK.
The club is passionate and demanding. And so are the fans.
We have had rough times in the past 2 season as last season we had to deal with the death of our beloved friend and captain Robert Enke. He sat beside me in the dressing-room and we miss him loads. But this season everything looks like its falling into place as we are fourth and pushing for Europe.
13. I know from following you on twitter, that you keep an eye on our results. What do you think about how the club has developed in the last 4 or 5 years under Alex McLeish?
As I said before I enjoyed playing under Alex McLeish a lot. He is a great manager and person. He can see talent and believes in his players.
He is demanding but wants you to do well for him and you can see it everyday how he loves his players and works hard for them. He has definitively taken Birmingham to another level and I hope he stays there a long time.
14. Do you plan to go into management? If not what would you like to do when you stop playing?
It is very difficult to say at this time, as I hope I can play for as long as possible!
I guess it would be wrong against football in Finland if I didn’t stay in the business, but hopefully I don’t have to think about that quite yet.
I know it will be a very difficult decision when I one day have to quit football. I just hope it will be in my terms.
15. Finally, what question should I have asked you and what would your answer be?
What makes me happy in life? Scoring goals and eating chocolates!
Thank you SO much for this Mikael, I really appreciate you giving us the time to respond to my questions.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer them, and sorry again for the late response!