The midfielder has been in and out the team for most of the season, sidelined first by a groin injury that required surgery and then recurrent hamstring issues, the latest of which he aggravated while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland last month.
McCarthy was already undergoing treatment for a hamstring problem when he was called up by Martin O'Neill during the last international break and even named him in the starting XI to face Wales in a crucial World Cup qualifier before the player pulled out of the team after feeling tightness in the muscle.
The incident sparked another back-and-forth in the media between Ronald Koeman and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, with the former criticising the latter for trying to rush McCarthy back with so little training under his belt since being injured again.
The Dutchman was asked about McCarthy's fitness yesterday during his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to West Ham.
"He is still working separate of the group," Koeman said. "There are four weeks to go and I don't know if he will be at a good level physically to play. We will wait.
"It's not the first time he's been out. We need to see how he's recovering and at what time he'll be available, I don't know."
Reader Comments (63)
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1 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:02:56
Hopefully the Irish FA or whoever they are, or FIFA, are paying his wages in the meantime.
2 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:04:33
3 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:10:54
4 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:27:25
I'm guessing that privately Koeman Is seething with McCarthy for showing a total disrespect for the club that pays his wages, instead the lad who was actually born in Scotland and speaks with a Scottish accent chose to limp to international duty with Ireland knowing there was little chance of playing anyway.
Disappointing end to it all most likely.
5 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:27:46
McCarthy has had his injuries, and it can happen to any player. But to go against your club's advice (who pay your huge salary) and play for your country (or attempt to) is in my opinion, disrespectful. And this isn't the first time he's done it.
6 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:31:34
I'm probably the only person on here that didn't know McCarthy was Scottish. Which just makes it even more of a joke that he shows so much loyalty to Ireland over his club who pays his salary.
7 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:42:45
8 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:43:28
9 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:44:04
10 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:52:43
11 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:57:54
There are about 8 million such people living in Great Britain and some of us pull more towards Ireland and others don't. It's personal. I can't see what any of this has to do with a player being injury prone or mismanagement by his national association.
In 2017 it seems that the obsession with nationality and identity has to cloud every argument. Let's just concentrate on being Evertonians, shall we?
12 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:07:35
But even my patience has been tested with this whole FAI fiasco. Time to get rid. Not sure how much we could recoup for him, I doubt Spurs are interested anymore so he will be off on his jollies back ''home'' to Glasgow.
13 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:10:15
Regarding international call-ups, I understand that, if selected, players have to turn up to be assessed by the national medical team. So not his choice to go. After that clarity is lost. If he feels fit and they agree he trains. If all goes well, although I agree that he would have been some way off full tilt and the coaches should have seen that, then he should be available for selection.
Unless surgery is required, injuries like hamstrings are difficult to assess and full recovery difficult to judge. Not playing again until pre-season will help although I imagine that Ireland have fixtures at the end of the season.
Wouldn't be sorry to see him go but we need a larger and better quality squad going into the Europa League so no problem with him staying either.
14 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:23:33
When he played the last twenty minutes against Spurs and had a problem early the following week, it was obvious that he had a deep seated problem and the manager recognised same at the time.
Nobody is going to buy the guy until he proves his fitness. I am just hoping that, when he eventually proves his fitness, he will prove his worth.
15 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:25:42
I had a mum born in Eire and a dad from Northern Ireland but I was born in Liverpool. It took me a long time to work out my national and cultural self. I suppose my country is Liverpool, which doesn't feel very English, although I've lived in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for 30 years.
To all the Yellowbellies and Yorkies I'm a Scouse. My cultural identity is also solidly Evertonian, it matters.
I think it has been a really difficult season for McCarthy and we really could have done with his aggression. I hope he comes through his hamstring problems and plays next season where he will be, to use a well oiled ToffeeWeb phrase, like a new signing. I also think Koeman likes him, in spite of his criticism of him.
16 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:30:20
If we can get Besic fully fit, that will be some midfield we have for next season.
17 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:32:20
The Liverpool game showed our soft midfield underbelly which McCarthy would address. He's way ahead of a number of our other midfielders including Besic. Still think we should hold onto him.
Regarding playing for Ireland, I wouldn't underestimate the loyalty towards teammate & Irish captain Seamus Coleman in his decision to turn up for Ireland.
Everton medical team need to answer questions on this one too. Why is it taking so long to sort a hamstring issue?????
18 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:39:53
I really like James McCarthy as a player, but this season has left a sour taste in the mouth with the club v country row.
19 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:43:12
20 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:55:36
21 Posted 21/04/2017 at 10:08:09
All the nonsense with ROI hasn't helped his Everton career and lets face it, if he was fit, then maybe we wouldn't have seen Tom Davies come through.
I know Davies has a lot to learn but he is miles better at going forward than McCarthy. Onwards and upwards.
22 Posted 21/04/2017 at 10:31:21
Have your opinion on the club v country thing but don't pretend to have any idea about where McCarthy's international allegiances lie, or the reason for it.
23 Posted 21/04/2017 at 11:16:29
If a club comes in with a good offer for him then fair enough but otherwise get him fit for next season when we will need a big squad to cope with Europa demands.
24 Posted 21/04/2017 at 11:55:17
When he is fit and firing I love his aggression and attitude and will be sad to seem him go, however, this whole Eire affair has left such a bad taste in the mouth its probably time to move him on.
In all honestly he is probably fourth or fifth choice for the central midfield position now, if Besic can stay fit he would fill that slot I reckon.
25 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:01:06
26 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:09:22
27 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:28:20
Whilst I agree with you Jim Benning's post on McCarthy is a facile one, I for one do wonder if James has tested Koeman's patience to breaking point.
I thought he was as good as anyone in his first season with us under Martinez, but he didn't carry that over into the 2nd season (along with many other players, I acknowledge).
It was also a stop-start season with him when he missed 3 months due to yes a hamstring injury. Like with the Ireland national side situation, he wasn't helped by a manager who tried to play him too soon after a period on the treatment table.
The third and last season under Martinez he looked a very pedestrian player to the one who first arrived at the club.
When he has played this season - a mere 12 Premier League appearances and 1 League Cup appearance (and some of those from the bench or being subbed out) he has shown some good form. He has also looked ordinary in other games.
The first incident with Ireland this season created friction between Everton, the FAI and the respective managers. The latest, being called up, selected and then crying off during the warm up against Wales, justifiably (IMO) rankled even more with Koeman.
As I wrote at the time, I hold McCarthy equally culpable for running the risk he did to play in the Wales game.
For 3 seasons now, McCarthy has been unavailable for long periods to play for his paymaster, Everton FC. Clearly, there is an ongoing problem particularly with his hamstrings that needs to be addressed.
I have no doubts, given the sophistication of sport science these days, the club is studying every aspect of James's training and dietary regime, etc, to get to the bottom of the issue. We have a vested interest in ensuring he is available 'to work'.
Alternatively, Koeman may well have evaluated not only the player's ability and fitness but also his attitude and commitment to ensure he is available 'to work'.
I for one won't blink an eye if Koeman concludes he is not worth retaining due to a number of factors. Because ,as good as James McCarthy can be and as much as we need a fuller, better squad next season which should include European fixtures to add to our domestic workload, McCarthy is an easier player to replace than say Barkley or Lukaku.
28 Posted 21/04/2017 at 13:15:55
I am amazed that some don't know he is a Scot, who, like many Celtic fans, would choose to play for Eire.
29 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:01:48
30 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:23:50
Disrespectful to everything EFC, including everyone on here.
He's had his chance and blew it!!!!!
Forget a fee, dump him. Loser.
31 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:30:51
He seems to be choosing country over club so I can see Koeman's frustration, considering Koeman coaches a club not a country. That said I agree with Paul (#11).
32 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:09:42
He can be okay on his day (however rare that day is) but now he is at best 4th choice defensive central midfielder in the squad and he can't really play anywhere else.
Move him on in the summer so we can at least give his wages to someone else. A very average player who won't be missed, IMO.
33 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:15:05
34 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:31:13
I think Koeman will use him again as long as he plays the game with him.
35 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:49:37
Allan Board (#30), haven't seen you on here before. Hopefully, with posts like that, I won't see you again. One of the stupidest posts from start to finish that I've seen.
36 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:04:59
I'll be round at your place later to collect any old fivers you don't want, before they go out of use (winner?).
37 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:51:24
"He's had his chance and blew it!!!!!"
38 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:58:37
He has barely played for 2 years; any influence Martinez had is long gone, there are plenty of other players from that reign still here and they are fine; Rom, Mirallas, Jags, Baines, Seamus. Time people stop using Roberto to cover up McCarthy's failure to address his issues.
The responsibility is with the player. He didn't have the will or strength to tell Bobby to do one for Wolfsburg, the same weakness when dealing with the RoI.
A hamstring injury can quickly become chronic and the fact he chose to ignore it as a professional sportsman speaks volumes for the lad.
Koeman's rhetoric is one of a man who is fed up with a player who cannot look after himself.
My assessment is cold, and unfeeling but that's the bottom line without the sentiment.
39 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:01:30
I'm not sure what it means exactly so it's hard to criticise it.
40 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:37:15
Surely though, the onus is on the Everton backroom staff to identify and rectify the problem? We shouldn't be so harsh on McCarthy himself as it seems he is in the middle of a ridiculous war of egos between Koeman and O'Neill. I'm sure he's embarrassed by it all and as frustrated as the rest of us.
And to Kim on point 1 above, UEFA are paying his wages while he is out, so no financial implications for Everton (apart from transfer value).
41 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:37:55
42 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:20:30
43 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:24:22
44 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:40:38
He seems to have landed in the middle of a club v country spat, and it looks like his manager isn't too happy. Saying all that, I reckon he'll still be here next season, and, wait for it... he'll be like a new signing!
45 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:16:25
McCarthy is an excellent option to have, especially with all the extra Europa League games next season; I hope Koeman and James can put their differences to one side (if they have any) and concentrate on getting McCarthy fit and playing well for next season.
With Schneiderlin, Davies, Gana and McCarthy we have plenty of strength and depth in the engine room of midfield.
46 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:24:00
Long way back now, I would sell him for £10m+ which I'm pretty sure we'd get.
47 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:31:30
My opinion is that Macca and Besic are two very effective midfielder's when fit and that is something that our back room and medical staff should really sort out once and for all, furthermore after what has gone on with the ROI not once but twice I think McCarthy will not take any more chances in the future with his fitness , let him represent his country by all means but only when he is 100% .
I would be disappointed if we part with him because he very much the type player that can play Koemans pressing style and when the few times he has played this season he looked very good and fits very well this system and as we know the Europa League is a long old slog so we are going to need a bigger squad and a fit Macca will be very very useful member .
48 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:35:48
That said, we will surely get hold of one or two more in what is already well on the way to becoming a truly very good midfield. I know his injury record. This 'disrespectful' stuff is a little too high horse for me. If we use 'disrespectful' now as leading a reason to sack off then he would not be the only one in the views of others on here.
Also, I don't really anyone on here pointing fingers at his shithouse national gaffer and shithouse #2. I don't know, but my hunch that's all it is is that he felt under pressure to play and might have been pressured to play.
He doesn't pick himself to play for the Irish but he can make himself available.
I would prefer that we kept him. I really would and I have been a critic. I see what he can offer us and until we add another who can offer what he can then it would be daft to sell him.
49 Posted 21/04/2017 at 20:26:19
50 Posted 21/04/2017 at 21:14:58
51 Posted 21/04/2017 at 23:06:58
I continue to predict he's played his last game for us. Koeman went on a shopping spree for defensive mids long before Besic got hurt. I'm betting he doesn't rate him at all.
52 Posted 21/04/2017 at 23:43:40
53 Posted 22/04/2017 at 01:06:42
But he does look like a walking sick-note for us, and when he then seems to ruin his return to fitness every time he shows up for international games he probably ought to have avoided just to be on the safe side, how can you really blame people for getting fired up?
This is not just once, but several times...
54 Posted 22/04/2017 at 02:13:08
McCarthy might have only started a dozen games this season, but he still averages just shy of 30 games a season. So I think the ones who bemoan his injury record are actually noticing it more because of how much we missed him.
McCarthy was one of our best players, if not the best player, when we got 72 points. The drop off in Martinez's season 2 coincided with McCarthy getting injured and the teams loss of form continued as he struggled to get 100% fit. Last season he never looked to get to 100% as Martinez threw him in too soon.
He's only 26. He's got bags of talent and a great work ethic. I'd love him to sit the season out, get properly fit, enjoy a good preseason and come back good as ever next season. We will need him and his experience in Europe.
55 Posted 22/04/2017 at 03:06:12
However, I think that he has made poor decisions regarding his fitness and allowed his fierce loyalty to cloud his judgement.
Possibly Roy Keane's indomitable spirit and history tilted James to "take one for the team". Bad call sunshine.
As for the bespectacled moron. Yes you played for the late great Brian Clough, but you clearly learned the square root of bugger all from him. As the great man would say "Your a bloody disgrace young man!"
57 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:04:34
Perhaps he was naive in being so eager to play for ROI when obviously not fit but you can't blame a lad for wanting to represent his country in a big match.
Hopefully he will have learnt from this and Koeman can help take his game up a level; now that would be a great thing to see.
58 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:23:13
If a player chooses to play for their country when not fit and consequently aggravates or incurs another injury then that is a decision that the player first and foremost has to take the blame for any fallout that they may come in for as they have a duty to themselves and the club that pays their wages to make the right decisions regarding their fitness and availability for selection. This is the second time James has made poor decisions regarding his fitness whilst being called up for the RoI.
McCarthy has shown what he can bring to the team when fit but (and it's a big 'but') when he's fit ,which as we have seen is not very often over the past 3 seasons.
I'd keep him as a squad player, if when back to fitness a decent offer came in for him I'd ship him out solely because there would be no guarantee he'd not be back on the physio's table shortly after getting back to full match fitness.
59 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:29:14
You hit the nail right on the head. What more can anyone want than being a Scouser and an Evertonian?
60 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:32:52
61 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:48:42
Now, that would be the cherry.
62 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:49:51
To many of the other posts. A player cannot refuse an international call up.
To many other posts: McCarthy protection of a dodgy back four has been the key to many of our wins when he was playing.
Finally, Koemann is also guilty of playing Maca when he wasnt fully fit hence the reasons for his recurring injury. However, I do believe he is gone (and will be missed) because of the bad publicity he has received and as illustrated in this site.
A bit of balance please.
63 Posted 22/04/2017 at 18:29:30
He knows from his performance against Arsenal and Liverpool, what a fit Macca can do, and we'll need a big squad, with the Europa League as well next season.
64 Posted 26/04/2017 at 03:51:53
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