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Jens Lehmann defends Ashley Cole after 'Invincibles' book snub

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Arsenal legend Jens Lehmann has decided to jump to the defence of Ashley Cole, after the Gunners star was thrown back into the spotlight for his decision not to take part in a commemorative book or documentary celebrating the 10th anniversary of an unbeaten Premier League season.

Cole thought Arsenal fans would sooner not hear his thoughts on that memorable campaign, thanks to a decade of ill feeling surrounding his controversial move across London to join Chelsea in 2006.

The 107-cap England international was a notable omission from the Arsenal class of 2003/04 that met up for the premiere of an 'Invincibles' documentary in the capital earlier this week, which clearly touched a nerve with a former team-mate in Lehmann.

Lehmann speaks out

Arsenal's volatile former goalkeeper has never been shy about expressing his opinion, which led him to give Cole some much-needed support on Twitter late last night.

Lehmann's post made it clear that Cole's contribution to that 49-match unbeaten run should not be airbrushed from history, even if the vast majority of Arsenal fans can't forgive his betrayal or the way he engineered that infamous move to Stamford Bridge.

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Sad state of affairs

Cole is hardly blameless and probably took a smart decision to stay way from a piece wallowed in wonderful nostalgia for Arsenal fans, the brilliant book by Amy Lawrence in particular, but ultimately its not hard to feel rather sad about the whole situation.

The 34-year-old was a boyhood Arsenal fan, came through the club's academy and won seven major trophies across six glorious seasons in the first-team at Highbury, but will be remembered by those who used to adore him as little more than a traitor.

History has not softened that stance, most likely because up until last year Cole was still doing the business for Chelsea.

Arsenal have to admit some responsibility for the way the circumstances surrounding his exit came about though, somehow contriving to make a man who should have been Arsenal's next captain feel unwanted and worried about a lack of ambition in the corridors of power in N17.

Unfortunately the Cole saga remains a stain on the way Arsenal fans look back at that all-conquering side, his contribution has to be remembered as Lehman rightly points out even if Gunners fans aren't keen to shout it from the rooftops.

Arsenal fans, do you think its a shame Cole felt he couldn't take part in the Invincibles celebrations or is he traitor that can never be forgiven? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Jens Lehmann
Ashley Cole

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