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22nd Mar 2017

Ashley Cole admits that he laughs at the struggles of former side Arsenal

This will go down well with Arsenal fans

Darragh Murphy

If you ask an Arsenal fan to name their favourite former player, few if any will respond with the words “Ashley Cole”.

Cole made over 200 appearances for the Gunners between 2000 and 2006, and won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his time at Highbury before he jumped ship to Chelsea.

The left-back’s decision to turn down a contract offer from Arsenal, coupled with the fact that he moved to their London rivals, left a sour taste in the mouths of Arsenal fans and that remains there to this day.

And it seems pretty safe to assume that Cole isn’t too concerned about what supporters of the north London side make of him.

The former England international appeared on ITV’s Play to the Whistle programme on Tuesday evening, when he revealed that he sees the funny side of Arsenal’s recent shortcomings.

The Gunners haven’t won a Premier League since Cole’s departure, with a pair of FA Cup triumphs the only major trophies they have to their name since losing out on the full-back in 2006.

And that’s a source of humour for Cole.

“If I’m honest, yeah, I still laugh to myself to this day,” Cole said.

“I had a lot of history there and of course the way I left was maybe dodgy, but I think they showed me a lack of respect, too.

“I have to blame myself too. Perhaps I did things in the wrong way. But when I look back on it now I could blame a lot of parties and it’s now 10 years ago.”

Cole infamously said he was left “trembling with anger” after being offered a final contract offer of £55,000 a week by Arsenal before he accepted Chelsea’s significantly better £90,000 weekly wage offer.

That figure improved to £120,000 after his 2009 contract extension negotiations and he is remembered a lot more fondly by Chelsea supporters than their Arsenal counterparts.

And in spite of the tense nature of his exit, Cole insists that he does not regret his time on the left side of Arsene Wenger’s defence.

“No, I had a great time there and of course I miss the old players but I moved on and I won every trophy I could, so I wouldn’t say I look back and regret it, no,” Cole added.