Martin O'Neill justifies his selection of the defender on the basis that McCarthy is returning to full training this week, and the World Cup qualifiers do not take place until next month.
However, the Ireland manager has admitted that he is open to giving James McCarthy the summer off, but only if the midfielder insists that he would benefit from taking an extended break.The Republic of Ireland play friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay before the World Cup qualifier against Austria, and even though O'Neill is hopeful that McCarthy will be involved, he hasn't ruled out allowing the Everton player to recover from a persistent hamstring injury.
"Absolutely," O'Neill said when asked if McCarthy could be given the summer off. "We have to accept there is no point in bringing somebody who is half-fit. If he thinks at the end of the week 'no, these games are too early', I don't have a problem."
McCarthy has not played for Everton since coming off the bench against Spurs on March 5 yet was still called up to the national team squad to face Wales, only to injured himself in the warm up, prompting a flare up in the club versus country row between the Blues and Ireland.
Koeman accused O'Neill of not protecting McCarthy while the Irish boss reacted angrily, calling the Everton manager the “master tactician of the blame game” in a statement issued the following day.
Aiden McGeady, who is reported to be negotiating a permanent switch to current loan club, Preston North End, has also been called up to O'Neill's 37-man squad.
Reader Comments (55)
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1 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:43:31
2 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:44:22
3 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:45:39
4 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:12:03
The fact is that Ireland are overloaded with scrappy midfielders like McCarthy. They lack in every other part of the field. So why the constant battle to pick a half-fit McCarthy?
5 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:22:45
He's picking him because he's angling for another argument with Koeman.
I've always accepted he's a passionate manager and he's never really bothered me but O'Neill's actions over this season have been downright childish.
Using McCarthy as a pawn in his game, though the player should be big enough to just say bugger off, is pathetic.
6 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:25:52
7 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:26:38
8 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:31:54
You will no doubt see Roy Keane berating Everton on being difficult and hampering team selection.
9 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:32:50
Very clearly down to him, particularly if Koeman doesn't pick him for the Arsenal game.
Nobody knows what his motivation is in picking him, and I've been critical of the ongoing treatment by Ireland, but this is effectively giving James the chance to say "No thanks, I need to rest before pre-season."
Over to you, James.
10 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:38:29
11 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:39:34
12 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:46:06
Now, some may suggest he's being slightly underhand by shifting the emphasis to make a decision solely onto the player, but at least the option is there to sit these games out if McCarthy is prepared to speak up.
14 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:50:04
15 Posted 16/05/2017 at 18:06:10
16 Posted 16/05/2017 at 18:06:57
In McCarthy's case he has a chronic injury which severely limits his style of game and will ultimately either shorten his career or end it prematurely. Surely for him that must be his first consideration and hence find a specialist who can help him.
I have no real affinity with the player but he should be adult enough to look after his body, his ability to earn. To date, I cannot see any evidence of that. This just seems like international call-up groundhog day.
17 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:05:51
Or is it just that McCarthy is more loyal to his national team than his club? Some are.
18 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:10:25
The club will be lucky to recoup the £13 million odd.
19 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:26:35
20 Posted 16/05/2017 at 20:10:28
21 Posted 16/05/2017 at 20:21:31
Keane: "What did he say?"
O'Neil: "Hurrah!...I think."
22 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:24:03
23 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:34:18
If he decides to join the Irish squad, it's bye bye, James.
24 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:43:19
25 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:52:20
26 Posted 16/05/2017 at 22:16:36
27 Posted 16/05/2017 at 22:36:09
He's back in training so more training and some competition will either tone him up or reveal that the hamstring remains a mystery problem.
In the first instance, we are assured that he is fit to return to pre-season training and so is any potential suitor.
In the second, it gives us an opportunity to get to the bottom of it rather than have to do so in July.
Win-win in my view. The irritating O'Neill and Keane duo is irrelevant.
28 Posted 16/05/2017 at 22:49:51
29 Posted 16/05/2017 at 22:58:04
I agree with Peter (#27) we have nothing to lose and everything to gain from seeing how he performs for Ireland.
30 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:26:45
Thanks, mate. I have been pissing myself for a minute over your comment. Just what I needed before getting ready to run the stairs. :)
31 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:43:21
32 Posted 17/05/2017 at 03:53:06
33 Posted 17/05/2017 at 04:18:27
Sorry, couldn't resist...
34 Posted 17/05/2017 at 05:17:43
35 Posted 17/05/2017 at 08:37:00
36 Posted 17/05/2017 at 10:13:52
C'mon lads, although I did enjoy Charlie Lloyd's post claiming that O'Neill is only picking him so he can have a row with Koeman. Priceless.
37 Posted 17/05/2017 at 11:37:33
Loved him in his first 18 months here but he's too dogged by injuries now and frankly I'm sick and tired of talking about defensive midfielders, and don't even get me started on the Ireland / Martin O'Neill saga!!
38 Posted 17/05/2017 at 12:39:01
39 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:48:53
Koeman should simply announce that no Everton players will be released to play for the Republic of Ireland until further notice and accept the backlash. What happened to McCarthy and Coleman and for that matter Funes Mori are perfect examples of the Club vs Country conflict.
I'm still not convinced Coleman got the best medical attention after his injury. Everton should have been directly involved along with the FAI. I understand the FAI surgeon who operated on his double leg fracture is actually a hip and knee specialist!
40 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:54:45
41 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:57:31
42 Posted 17/05/2017 at 15:37:57
What on earth are you talking about ? I saw Seamus Coleman walking around Goodison Park last Friday. I would call that remarkable, given his injury. What possible evidence have you got for such a comment?
While I am on here, we now have gobshites in the Irish Media, one Emmett Malone of the Irish Times in an article this morning, making more stupid comments and accusing Koeman and Everton of culpability in the injury situation under the heading:
"Everton have most absentees in the Premier League â€“ including James McCarthy"
"Just now, premierinjuries lists Everton as having more players ruled out than any other club in England"
"Coleman's absence might count as bad luck but Koeman and co. are not, the evidence seems to suggest, in the wrong half of this particular table for nothing."
The evidence for Malone was a cursory glance at a website http://premierinjuries.com/ Link which has a table of Injuries showing Everton leading the way with 9. For Everton, our 9 includes Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, both injured with the Irish team, the unfortunate Aaron Lennon and unbelievably Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Connolly included due to their absence ayt the U20 World Cup. Even Joey Barton is listed as injured for Burnley, due to his ban. When we remove those 6 from our list of injuries, we are at 3, with only 3 clubs better off.
I am off to write a strongly worded letter to the Irish Times.
43 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:35:08
44 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:00:13
Coleman's surgery was performed by John O'Byrne and Gary O'Toole. Here is their bio info from the Irish Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery:
"Professor John O'Byrne, MCh, FRCSI, FRCS(Tr & Orth), FFSEM, FFSEM(UK), Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Mater Private Hospital, Abraham Colles Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He is founder and Director of the Masters in Surgery Degree (MCh) at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He established the first undergraduate Musculo-skeletal Module in Ireland, to introduce undergraduate students to Orthopaedic medicine and surgery. Professor O'Byrne supervises the education of in excess of 350 RCSI and 300 UCD Undergraduate medical students each year at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital. Professor O'Byrne and research colleagues, has been awarded research funds from the EU in excess of â‚¬1.2m and Professor O'Byrne continues to innovate and research and also facilitate and supervise the research of his students."
"Gary O'Toole, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in Hip, Knee, Sports Injuries, Tumours. BSc (Hons) MB BAO BCh (Hons). BMedSci MCh AFRCSI FRCS (Tr & Orth), was appointed as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to St Vincent's University Hospital in 2004.
He is a graduate of UCD (1996) and completed his Internship and basic surgical training in St Vincent's University Hospital (1996-99). His orthopaedic training was on the Irish Specialist Training Programme in Orthopaedic Surgery (1999-2004). He then completed two specialist fellowship training programmes. The first in adult hip and knee reconstruction in the Mater Hospital in Sydney, Australia; the second in orthopaedic oncology in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA. He has an interest in adult arthritis (both hip and knee) and knee sports injuries. He also has a keen interest in musculoskeletal cancer (bone and soft tissue tumours). He is actively involved in teaching and enjoys a position of Clinical Lecturer in the School of Medicine in UCD. He is widely published in orthopaedics and is a member of numerous academic societies. Retired Irish Olympic swimmer."
Now, Peter, do be so kind as to post YOUR resume here. Can't wait to be dazzled with your qualifications for being "still not convinced Coleman got the best medical attention after his injury".
45 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:17:53
And Mike hasn't even mentioned the part about not releasing any more players to Ireland. Is he going to lock them up? I'd say he'd do well to hold Seamus back.
46 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:12:51
That Irish Times item is a very relevant example of the danger of spin, or bullshit if preferred, and how a little digging past the prima facie stage can reveal a very different truth.
47 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:17:43
48 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:53:35
From a general football perspective, it looks like O'Neill is trying to put pressure on the player. It's up to McCarthy to now make decisions about his career. Decisions he seems to have avoided so far.
49 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:30:23
We can't improve our position so it makes little sense to me to be using him, and others, considering Koeman's attitude to players being overplayed.
50 Posted 18/05/2017 at 20:49:07
51 Posted 19/05/2017 at 22:41:29
I still think he will be sold as soon as we receive the right offer and McCarthy proves his fitness.
52 Posted 19/05/2017 at 23:02:28
Aged 26 and, at his best, one of the finest defensive midfielders in the premier league (and with untapped attacking capacity), I am baffled that he is so routinely underrated by our fans.
True, of course, his injury record is wretched and he has suffered in form accordingly, but he was fundamentally important to us in some games this season when his enforced departure caused us immediate problems.
He's a potential top man as far as I'm concerned; if he's decided to concentrate on his fitness for us, and can actually get fit, then that's great news.
I'm sceptical because of the dodgy hamstrings but, like Ronald, I'm hoping for the best.
53 Posted 20/05/2017 at 03:33:48
54 Posted 20/05/2017 at 16:11:39
He can be a solid player for Everton next season. There could be 50 to 60 games to play next season so he will be needed.
55 Posted 20/05/2017 at 16:23:23
He could indeed be more to us than a defensive midfielder but sadly it seems running about makes his hamstrings go 'pop'.
56 Posted 21/05/2017 at 01:14:47
If this guy had more rugged hamstrings, he could be one of the best midfielders in this league.
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