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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Cole hits out at 'lazy Gunners'
Ashley Cole
Cole witnessed the infamous 'battle of the buffet'
Chelsea's Ashley Cole has given his own verdict on Arsenal's struggles, with a damning verdict on some of his former team-mates' performances last season.

In extracts from his autobiography featured in The Times, he claims that "lazy" players led to Arsenal's 2005/06 Premiership campaign falling flat.

"The brutal truth is that too many people played for themselves," he said.

"I saw too much rubbish, lazy players who didn't pull their weight and schoolboy errors."

England defender Cole, who ended a long-running transfer saga by joining Chelsea just before the August deadline, believes he had to keep his thoughts to himself as Arsenal failed to perform in domestic football.

Too many people took constructive criticism way too personally and wouldn't talk to you for a week

Ashley Cole
With his old club once again facing early-season struggles, Cole recalls a troubled season that ended with the Gunners eventually finishing fourth - 24 points behind table-toppers Chelsea.

"Some players were letting us get kicked and allowing team-mates to get bullied," added the 25-year-old.

"Too many people took constructive criticism way too personally and wouldn't talk to you for a week. So I learnt to say nothing to keep the peace in the dressing room."

In his book, Cole also reveals his own version of events over the so-called 'battle of the buffet' - when slices of pizza were thrown at Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson following Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in 2004.

"This slice of pizza came flying over my head and hit Fergie straight in the mush," he revealed.

"The slap echoed down the tunnel and everything stopped - the fighting, the yelling, everything. All eyes turned and all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off that famous puce face and roll down his nice black suit.

"All I can say is that the culprit wasn't English or French, so that should narrow it down."

Arsenal board let me down - Cole
11 Sep 06 |  Arsenal
Blues beat deadline to sign Cole
01 Sep 06 |  Premiership


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