What's the story?
English legend Ashley Cole has explained why he boldly decided to leave Arsenal for London rivals Chelsea back in 2006, stating that the departures of key 'Invincibles' like Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry left him with a team that was lacking a winning mentality.
In case you didn't know...
Cole established himself as one of the most astute defenders of his generation at the Emirates, having been part of Arsenal's double-winning team in 2002 and their famous 'Invincible' squad in 2004.
The Englishman won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the North London outfit before making a move across the city to join the Blues in 2006.
During his stint at Stamford Bridge, Cole went on to lift another Premier League title, a League Cup, and four FA Cups, creating a record career total of seven trophies. In addition, he finally found success in Europe, winning both the Europa League and the Champions League during his eight-year stint with the club.
The full back left for Roma in 2014 before joining Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy 18 months later. He returned to England in 2018 and joined Derby County where he played under former teammate, Frank Lampard.
The 38-year-old recently announced his retirement, and is presently looking to get his coaching badges in order to pursue a different role in the game.
The heart of the matter
Cole has opened up about his infamous move to West London back in 2006, explaining how he wanted to be a part of the winning team at Chelsea alongside the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard.
In an interview with Chelsea's official website, he said, "I felt nerves. I knew a lot of the players, but it was nerve-wracking coming to a new team with a new manager."
"I was excited. It was a tough decision to make at the time, but I was eager to get going. I came to the club a little bit angry inside. I wanted to prove what I was worth, that I was good enough to play at the top and I wanted to keep on winning."
"The Arsenal “Invincibles” team was a team of winners with big personalities. But over time, the big players were leaving - Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp was finishing, Thierry Henry - and I wanted to be around a team that had that will and desire to win."
"I’d played with Frank and John Terry with England, Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips too, and I liked that mentality. They had won the league back to back and I wanted to be part of it. I was ready for it."
Cole joined Chelsea as their ambassador during their pre-season tour of Japan this summer. The Blues are next scheduled to face Reading in a friendly on Sunday.Published 27 Jul 2019, 16:14 IST