Everton manager Ronald Koeman is embroiled in a war of words with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill following James McCarthy’s injury last week.
The Toffees midfielder was called up for the Irish’s games against Wales and Iceland last week despite not playing for his club since their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on March 5, and was due to start against the Welsh before injuring his hamstring in the warm-up.
His last start for Everton came back on February 4, and it’s something that has seriously frustrated Toffees boss Koeman, who in his press conference yesterday said that O’Neill had not ‘protecting the midfielder’. Everton lost the derby 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday.
Ireland boss O’Neill responded last night with a statement further criticising the Everton boss, saying he is the ‘master tactician of the blame game’, which then stimulated another response from Koeman, this time on Twitter, where he said that McCarthy returned to pre season ‘three and a half weeks’ after Ireland’s exit from the European championships, something O’Neill challenged in his statement.
Clearly, a war of words has escalated between the two, and has even stimulated quite the response from Everton supporters on Twitter.
And, unsurprisingly, they are fully supportive of their manager in a row which looks set to rumble on for a while yet…
— Ste Pearson (@stepeo1990) April 1, 2017
@BBCSport EFC pay his wage & need him week in, week out. When he's with ROI, O'Neill can afford to risk him when he's not 100%. He then passes blame!
— Lee (@Lee_EFC) March 31, 2017
@FAIreland He was advised by Everton not to travel,as he was not fit.So should not have even been there. This is a mcarthty issue not an EFC issue
— martin burns (@martinburns1878) March 31, 2017
@FAIreland We've been here before. Called up when he wasn't fit. Played when he wasn't fit. Embarrassing comments from him again
— Mike Richards (@Baines3) March 31, 2017
— Steviemac (@steviemac2010) March 31, 2017
@FAIreland Absolute state of O'Neill. Literally hasn't got a leg to stand on here. Player was unfit and then Ireland injured him. The end.
— Gareth Powell (@gavinp85) March 31, 2017
@RonaldKoeman Omg I love you Big Ron. Up the toffees !
— Mark (@TheMarkEnd) March 31, 2017