Ashley Cole has admitted that it still hurts that Arsenal fans have not forgiven him over his high-profile move to their London rivals Chelsea.
He made the highly controversial move to Stamford Bridge in 2006, joining Roman Abramovich’s Russian revolution, in a deal in which Chelsea were found guilty of tapping up the left-back.
Cole has since been the subject of abuse from Arsenal fans, who nicknamed him ‘Cashley’, and the now 38-year-old has admitted that it hurts to be criticised by the Gunners faithful, having been associated with the club since the age of nine.
“It hurts me because it wasn’t just my fault. I didn’t leave for no reason. I didn’t go to Arsene Wenger and say ‘today I want to leave’ – there was more to it,” he said on Sky Sports, where he was a guest pundit on Monday Night Football.
“It happens in football and I see it happen to a lot of other players. It’s life.
“I moved on and they moved on, but I do feel sometimes a bit sad because it was my club and I played there since I was nine. To have that ill-feeling from the fans still is hard sometimes.”
Cole won two Premier League winners medals during his time at Arsenal, and added one to his collection at Chelsea, before leaving the club in 2016 for LA Galaxy. He has now teamed up with former Blues midfielder Frank Lampard at Derby County.