Derby County defender Ashley Cole has conceded that he was “young, naive and stupid” when he made his move across London from Arsenal to Chelsea in 2006.
The left back made the switch after deeming Arsenal’s initial contract offer of £55,000 as well below what he was worth, leading to the nickname ‘Cashley’ once he officialy swapped north for west.
And, speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, as quoted by the Mirror, the 38-year-old admitted: “I was young, naive, stupid, but it was something I felt I had to do.
“The way I acted I was a little bit stubborn at the time. Maybe I should have sat down with a few more people at the time and gone through it with an ice-cool head.”
Despite acknowledging his mistakes in the handling of the situation, he maintained it was the right decision for his career, declaring: “I was a bit hot-headed and didn’t realise what I was doing at the time but I don’t regret it. When I look back now I think it was something that was maybe meant to happen.”
The full back went on to win eight major trophies with Chelsea, including the Champions League in 2012.
However, he did reveal the stick he gets from Gunners’ fans remains painful: “It’s still there. 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.
“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.”