Football

Martin O'Neill Hits Back At 'Bleating' Ronald Koeman Over James McCarthy Criticism

Martin O'Neill Hits Back At 'Bleating' Ronald Koeman Over James McCarthy Criticism

Last month, following Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova, Everton manager Ronald Koeman accused Martin O'Neill of 'overloading' James McCarthy.

The midfielder played the full 90 minutes of Ireland's 1-0 win against Georgia at the Aviva and then 80 minutes of the 3-1 victory over Moldova in Chisinau having just returned to fitness following a hernia operation not long previous.

When James came back from Ireland the message from Everton's medical staff was that he was massively overloaded.

Now we have to handle a player who is massively overloaded. I would like to have more commitment from the player of Everton because we pay the player but he was in a very difficult situation and it is ridiculous that he has surgery, five to six weeks out, three training sessions, plays 90 minutes and then, after three days, he plays another 80 minutes.

At the announcement of the 35-man Ireland squad to face Austria on November 12th, O'Neill had a rebuke (via the Irish Sun) for Koeman.

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McCarthy is an injury doubt for the game in Vienna after last week tearing a hamstring in Everton training.

I totally refute that. James had declared himself fit. He played the first game and came off in the second not because he was injured but because he was tired.

And, remarkably, he trained the very day their manager was bleating about it.

I am speaking to James and he is improving day by day. If the game was this weekend he wouldn’t make it and for the following weekend I would say he is doubtful.

He needs to get some training in but I said I would leave him in the provisional squad to see how things go.

See Also: Two Dundalk Players In Ireland Squad For World Cup Qualifier Against Austria

PJ Browne
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