Jamie O’Hara hits out at ‘school teacher’ Les Reed for accusing England Under-21 stars of ‘arrogance’

5 Sep

Jamie O’Hara has slammed Les Reed for his comments about the England Under-21s, arguing the FA technical chief is stuck in the past.

Reed hit the headlines on Thursday morning by accusing the Young Lions of ‘over-confidence’ and ‘arrogance’ following their woeful European Under-21 Championship campaign earlier this summer.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side exited at the group stage with just one point from their three games, but Reed was keen to shift any blame from the manager.

The Young Lions were among the favourites to win the tournament in Italy
Getty - Contributor

“So, was it Aidy? No, it wasn’t. It was a number of things,” said Reed.

“I think it was probably over-confidence. It was a mental thing in believing they were going to win the tournament and probably being over-confident and then actually realising in game play that there is another team out there and it’s not a walkover.

“I think when you want to win tournaments, you need to be confident. You need to have a bit of a swagger.

“But it doesn’t need to border on the arrogance and I think getting that balance right, I didn’t think we achieved that completely.”

And former England youth international O’Hara believes the comments are typical of Reed’s ‘school teacher mentality’, insisting arrogance isn’t necessarily a bad trait in the modern player.

“I dealt with Les Reed in the England set up and I always felt he had a bit of a school teacher mentality,” O’Hara told talkSPORT. “I was never a big fan of him and the way he was.

Les Reed was critical of the Young Lions’ attitude
Getty Images - Getty

“There was always a strict itinerary and strict discipline. I never really liked it, but Les Reed was all for that.

“He never liked players who were over-zealous or had something to say.

“For me, saying that about the players is completely wrong because the game’s changed.

“There are players at a young age who are full of confidence and full of arrogance, but arrogance is not a bad thing.

“To get to the top, you need to have that arrogance. To go into a tournament and think, ‘We’re going to win’, what’s wrong with that?

“Aidy Boothroyd got it wrong, tactically he got it wrong. Les Reed is trying to stick up for him.”


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Germany vs Netherlands (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Coventry City vs Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT