The respective managers traded barbs last autumn when O'Neill selected McCarthy to play in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers despite the midfielder having played no Premier League football since undergoing surgery on his groin five weeks earlier.
McCarthy was able to play in both games for his country but suffered a hamstring strain upon his return to Everton, a situation Koeman blamed on him being "overworked" by Ireland.
Since then, the 26-year-old has been in and out of the Blues' team because of recurring soft-tissue injuries, the latest of which kept him out of Saturday's 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Koeman explained then that, although the injury was said to be minor and that he only expected McCarthy to be out for a couple of weeks, he was keen for the club's medical staff to get to the bottom of the underlying problem.
That would obviously be complicated if he went away with Ireland but O'Neill, who has named McCarthy in his 39-man preliminary squad, said the Irish camp will assess him in training. Regardless, he indicated that he won't accept any blame if McCarthy breaks down again.
"He's upbeat, he said he'll monitor it this week," O'Neill is quoted as saying by the Irish Independent. "He's hoping to be back in full training. He's had issues with Everton but this particular time, I think we are blameless.
"We've not had him for quite a few months, Everton had him for quite a period of time, so I don't think they will attach any blame us... but you never know."
The newspaper's report says that Koeman accepts Ireland are within their rights to call McCarthy up again but he would no doubt prefer that he stay at Finch Farm.
Reader Comments (31)
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1 Posted 14/03/2017 at 17:32:05
2 Posted 14/03/2017 at 20:31:17
3 Posted 15/03/2017 at 00:54:32
A thought spared for the player stuck in the middle would have been even nicer though.
4 Posted 15/03/2017 at 01:06:03
5 Posted 15/03/2017 at 06:10:22
Not only is O'Neill showing blatant disrespect to Everton FC's medical staff, but most of all, to James's long term health and fitness. If they play him when it's obvious he has an underlying long-term problem they are risking his future as a professional footballer.
McCarthy should be man enough to tell him that he is not fit and must share some of the blame for the situation by not having the guts to stand up to O'Neill. He should remember who pays his wages and it is not the Irish FA.
6 Posted 15/03/2017 at 07:37:41
7 Posted 15/03/2017 at 12:19:44
They need to really look at the amount of matches teams play in these groups thst never seem to involve anything other than part time dross making the numbers up and adding to the amount of games needed.
8 Posted 15/03/2017 at 12:52:38
If he's injured and can't play then no problem but if he's not too bad then I'm sure he'll want to play. It's not as if he's crucial to Everton's season at the moment with him being 4th or 5th choice currently. It would be different if we were dependent on him for vital games.
9 Posted 15/03/2017 at 15:49:01
10 Posted 15/03/2017 at 19:13:01
O'Neil did it with Gibson, but he was out injured for 12 months due a cruciate liagament injury suffered on international duty when playing a second full game in 4 days for the ROI when not match fit.
11 Posted 15/03/2017 at 20:41:09
He tries to disguise his irritant nature by having a bigger irritant alongside him. Roy Keane.
12 Posted 16/03/2017 at 00:17:45
13 Posted 16/03/2017 at 11:57:46
He's fit or he's not, full stop. Clubs give players diet sheets telling them what not to eat, won't let them take part in other risky sports/pastimes but have to swallow this?
I know it works the other way sometimes, players with fake injuries at their club, that suddenly heal for the next match day... but surely there's a procedure... isn't there?
Steavey do FIFA have some kind of power to compel the player?
Edit: compel the player to play based on their assessment, as opposed to attend?
14 Posted 16/03/2017 at 12:35:46
15 Posted 16/03/2017 at 23:58:40
A regulator could take appropriate enforcement action regardless of the wishes or judgement of the player involved if independent medical evidence confirmed the club's judgement.
16 Posted 17/03/2017 at 04:39:38
Seems then, it's the player that makes the decision to respond to the call up? That's quite a pressure, more so for some personalities than others. If a player feels press-ganged by the likes of O'Neill and Keane at the risk of jeopardizing their international future, a patriotic calling separate to their pro' club career - well it's easy to see what can happen.
A dated and unsuitable system, a clash of two interests. Time for yet more bureaucracy in the form of properly independent medical assessment maybe; though that takes away clubs' options of playing their jokers.
I'd envision the HSE more likely to be involved in serious cases after the SHTF, it often works that way.
Not an easy one to resolve. Over to you James.
17 Posted 17/03/2017 at 09:10:53
18 Posted 17/03/2017 at 09:21:11
Often, individuals need protecting from themselves as well as protecting from others. The HSE work on the principle of avoidance of an injury, over taking action after the event.
19 Posted 17/03/2017 at 16:30:15
Could be a can of worms if someone initiates something in this area of football but what's the answer? It's an incredibly amateur set up.
20 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:12:21
It would be interesting to get the HSE's view on the situation. The national headquarters of the HSE, Redgrave Court in Bootle, are about half a mile from Goodison.
21 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:32:14
Even more importantly, if the player himself knows he is risking prolonging his current injury, but doesn't seem to care for whatever reason he should expect and accept no sympathy from the manager of Everton.
22 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:32:39
23 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:50:43
24 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:52:16
25 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:59:47
So before blaming O'Neill (who I have always respected as a deep thinker in the football world) let us remember Baines playing on for most of a season with a gammy ankle, injections before games, eventually leading to a long rest and two operations.
The player has to have more sense, and if these managers really cared about them, then they would be more circumspect.
26 Posted 17/03/2017 at 20:44:35
And sometimes you have to force managers to do the right thing, that's why they might need some form of policing from a regulator, to inject some common sense.
And if this did happen, the requirements set down by the regulator would take precedence over any rules from FIFA and the like, thereby cutting through a load of bullshit of the kind we see from FIFA.
27 Posted 17/03/2017 at 21:37:27
And we must remember also that it is the clubs that pay the player vast sums of money, week-in & week-out, injured or not for me, club vs country is no contest.
28 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:16:09
Oliver, I agree, it is the clubs who have the most to lose, and EFC have suffered with our Irish boys being particularly hit. I remember Fergie rarely allowing Giggs to play for Wales unless it was a big game-; Giggs always pulled out with an injury.
Perhaps it is typical of modern player power, that the clubs are finding it hard to restrict availability for these meaningless friendlies (not Ireland in this case). Who knows what is in the contracts of our players?
29 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:47:52
30 Posted 19/03/2017 at 01:41:15
Sorry Martin, Lad.
31 Posted 19/03/2017 at 13:57:43