Ronald Koeman: James McCarthy was not protected by Martin O'Neill

The Everton manager read a statement on Friday about the situation

BY Daniel Kelly 15:59 Friday 31 March 2017, 15:59 31 Mar 2017

Picture by: Everton FC/YouTube

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has accused Martin O'Neill of "not protecting" James McCarthy last week.

The Everton midfielder was named in O'Neill's starting side to face Wales, but he was withdrawn after failing to complete the warm-up. He was replaced by Hull City's David Meyler.

McCarthy is now set to miss the derby against Liverpool, and when asked about his prospects of playing, a calm Koeman read a pre-prepared statement to make sure his answer was clear.

The former Wigan midfielder has not played for Everton since the first weekend of March, and last started a game for Koeman's side in early February. 

"James had an injury when he reported for Ireland duty last week", Koeman read from the statement. "Our medical team made the Ireland medical team aware of this of course."

"Everton's medical team advised extreme caution, not only due to the current injury but to the previous injuries too and the assessment by the Ireland medical team was that it would be a high risk for James to play against Wales."

"But of course, James is strong and decided to play for his country. So when asked if he was fit to play he said he felt he was fit and he was selected to start the game by the Ireland manager who in my opinion in this instance was not protecting the player."

"Clearly, James was not fit to play. He had trained only for two days with Ireland and he broke down during the warming up."

"All these circumstances – he played only one game from the start in 2017. He did not play for three weeks before the Wales game. In my opinion he would need one full week of training sessions with the team to be declared fit."

The relationship between Koeman and O'Neill shows no sign of thawing any time soon.


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