Jamie O’Hara has revealed that his former Tottenham teammate, Stephane Dalmat once slapped him in the face after he felt disrespected.
O’Hara showed plenty of promise when he broke into the Spurs first-team in 2007, possessing a good engine and a sweet left-foot.
However, the midfielder was not able to fulfil his potential, going on to make just 34 appearances for the Lilywhites before joining Wolves in 2011.
The former Billericay Town manager, who is now known for his punditry, has opened up on how he was once put in his place by the experienced Dalmat at the Tottenham training ground.
The French midfielder was on loan at Spurs from Inter Milan during the 2003/04 season when O’Hara was just a teenager in the club’s academy.
When Dalmat dropped to Tottenham’s reserve team, he encountered a hungry O’Hara, who called out the senior star for not putting in a shift. The pundit admitted that what followed caught him by complete surprise.
O’Hara told talkSPORT Breakfast: “I was only a kid, I think I was 17, I was in the reserve team changing room and I was obviously really hungry to do well.
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“I had a lot of desire and he was obviously playing in the reserves and didn’t give a monkeys that he was there.
“I dug him out because he was just walking around being lazy. I came in after the game and I just said, ‘Stephane, if you don’t want to be here, just don’t be here!’
“And he just got up, walked over to me and I was thinking, ‘we’re going to have a Barney here, he’s going to say something’……and he just slapped me in the face!
“A full-on, open palm of his hand slap, not a punch – just *tsh* right across the grid!
“So obviously I’ve then gone to steam into him and everyone has jumped in…. but the cheek of it, to just slap me in the face. I was like, ‘WOW!’ It just came out of nowhere!”
Spurs Web Opinion
Most professional footballers will admit that training ground bust-ups are a lot more common than fans think. Given the egos involved and the different personalities, it is rarely ever the case that everybody in a team gets along with everyone else.