McCarthy forced off with hip injury

29/11/2015  22 Comments  [Jump to last]
James McCarthy sustained a hip injury in the second half of yesterday's 3-3 draw with Bournemouth and could miss Tuesday's League Cup clash at Middlesbrough.

After battling hamstring problems this time last year, the Irish midfielder has been in fine fettle this season but he had to come off after 68 minutes of what was ultimately a disappointing encounter at Dean Court from the Blues' perspective.

Everton were leading 2-0 when he left the pitch and ended up giving up that advantage, re-taking the lead in stoppage time and then throwing away the points as the Cherries equalised again right after the kick-off.

[James] over-extended his groin and couldnt carry on, Roberto Martinez said after the match based on an initial assessment that was later revised. "Its a concern for us because he is not the kind of player who would come off for anything.

We will assess him and make a decision about Tuesday.

McCarthy's absence will be felt should he not make it but with Tom Cleverley and Muhamed Besic both fit again, Martinez has cover in defensive midfield.

Quotes sourced from Setanta


Reader Comments (22)

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James Stewart
1 Posted 29/11/2015 at 15:35:14
If anything comes out of the ugly mess that was yesterday's performance, hopefully it will be that the Tuesday team will be as strong as possible.

Plenty of cover for McCarthy in Besic, Gibson, Cleverley so no point playing him if not 100% fit.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 29/11/2015 at 15:53:14
McCarthy has been Martinez's best buy so far. He does all the dirty, unattractive graft in midfield and gets no credit for it. I wish him a speedy recovery as we will miss him. Mo Besic would be his natural replacement IMO.
Barry McNally
3 Posted 29/11/2015 at 16:14:14
I'm hoping yesterday's draw will be a kick up the hole and we can go on and win every game up to the half-way point but the defence and lack of cover is a serious concern. This could be Besic's time to make his mark.
Denis Richardson
6 Posted 29/11/2015 at 16:40:54
As much as McCarthy has been playing okay recently, I'm not really gutted about his injury (presume it's minor) because I'd like to see how the team would play with Cleverley in one of the two CDM positions, as opposed to left wing.

Only an injury or suspension would make RM break the Barry - McCarthy partnership and with the likes of Cleverley, Besic and Gibson, we have to start to see if another combination can provide something different. Barry's legs are not going to last forever either.

I assume he'll play Cleverley but it could be Besic I guess; I can't see it being Gibson as a Barry - Gibson CDM combo would have zero pace or stamina to cover properly. He could also rest Barry but I don't think he should tinker too much.

McCarthy's injury and Baines being fit again, plus the Kone - Barkley performance would suggest at least 3 outfield changes for Tuesday. Robles would make it at least 4. That's already enough for me – this game is more important than Palace as it's the next game and with the Palace game being on Monday, we have enough time to rest and recover.

We really need a result on Tuesday otherwise I can see another grim December coming up.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 29/11/2015 at 17:55:16
Denis (#6) – You're not gutted by McCarthy injury? Are you for real??

He covered every blade of grass, and protected the back four, before being replaced by your man Cleverley. Did you not see what happened when he went off injured? I give up.

Harold Matthews
13 Posted 29/11/2015 at 18:07:35
There is no natural replacement for McCarthy. This lad can do the work of two men in the centre and down the right and we're always extremely vulnerable without him.

Cleverley is not a defender but is very willing, Naismith will try anything, Gibson has the know-how but lacks mobility and Besic has been coached for the No 6 role, which covers the centre and left side. The area Barry is supposed to cover but no longer has the legs to manage all of it.

It's a big blow but I'm sure we'll sort something out. After studying the final 27 minutes of the Bournemouth fiasco, the manager and the players will have a fair idea of how it all went pear-shaped when McCarthy departed.

Minik Hansen
14 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:15:24
Harold, you might be right about McCarthy being off. I hope this will give Martinez a good different perspective of the catalysts in midfield to the back and front and how to really approach it in match situations.
Malcolm Kitchen
15 Posted 29/11/2015 at 20:43:13
Mo Besic hopefully will step in for Jimmy Mac, Robles will come back in goal, otherwise unchanged! I know McCarthy covers stacks, but what else does he do?

There is a footballer in there somewhere, wish he'd show it more often like the Villa game for instance!

Frank Wade
17 Posted 29/11/2015 at 23:05:19
I agree with Harold. Neither Besic or Cleverley have the legs or ability to fill the McCarthy role. It's also clear that Kone cannot play that left-side midfield role and support Lukaku in away games. It seems Eddie Howe spotted this and brought on that speedy right back at half-time. Unfortunately for Galloway, he was left without support.
Harold Matthews
18 Posted 29/11/2015 at 23:41:42
Spot-on, Frank. The left side area in front of Galloway is a free zone for the opposition. Unlike McCarthy on the right, Barry can't get across and Kone kept leaving his post.

This makes Galloway a sitting duck and once Eddie Howe brought on Smith in the RB position we were in trouble. Nothing to do with our boy being a young novice. Baines and Garbutt suffered the same trouble last season.

Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
19 Posted 30/11/2015 at 01:56:36
Howard yet again was at fault too today, though I agree the entire team let the Cherries back in.
James Marshall
20 Posted 30/11/2015 at 06:45:21
Barry no longer has the legs? Why do people keep saying this?

He's covered more ground than any other Everton player in pretty much every game this season!

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 30/11/2015 at 07:44:40
Agreed James, Barry outstrips McCarthy in almost all statistics and certainly covers more ground. In fact I think McCarthy has been fairly anonymous this season and am curious about all this 'unseen' work that he does given how closely we all watch and dissect the games!

Hope that Cleverley or Besic can step up as think they are both capable of replacing him though have obviously been out with injury for a while.

Ian Jones
22 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:00:43
Hi Jimmy at 11. Not sure if I agree with you but I might be missing your irony. Blaming Howard for the goals seems a bit harsh!

Not a Howard fan these days. Agree with many that we need a commanding goalie so his overall performance may not have exuded confidence. His attempt to get to the ball which led to Stones hooking off the line is perhaps a reason he shouldn't stray from his line too far. :)

I didn't see the game apart from highlights of the goals on MotD so perhaps I'm not in best place to comment! But from my 10-minute snipppet, not sure how Howard was to blame for any of the goals. No-one closed down the player for their first; good shot. Second was a decent cross; I think Cleverly stopped running to cover Stanislas. As for third; poor defending.

Ian Jones
23 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:04:44
Hi Jimmy. Just checked your post at 11. I will add to mine at 14. I better note you don't actually blame Howard for the goals. I assumed it!

Butland would seem a decent keeper to go for but most clubs would be after him.

Jim Jennings
24 Posted 30/11/2015 at 08:14:53
James / Sam,

It's not about how many kilometres Barry covers in a match. It's how quickly he covers ground when our attacks break down. Or more to the point, how quickly he can no longer cover the ground.

The "stats" don't tell you that for example 20% of his distance covered probably consists of trotting back, taking the back off Howard and knocking it square to either centre half, then trotting back to midfield.

Harold and Frank are spot on in saying Galloway is exposed every game because Barry cannot get across quickly enough and Kone's natural tendency is to drift inside which leaves the opposing right full in space. It was the same last week versus Villa but they had a full back in Hutton that couldn't take advantage and didn't have a midfielder capable of picking the right pass for a 2 v 1.

Coleman on the far side has McCarthy whose positional sense when we lose the ball is second to none and Deulofeu who hugs the touchline and tracks the full back.

That's not to say Barry has not been playing well because he has. But he just can't get cover quickly enough at times through no fault of his own.

Darren Bailey
25 Posted 30/11/2015 at 09:15:36
I agree totally with Jim (#16) and to add to the Barry problem, this then means Funes Mori was forever being dragged over the left to help Galloway out, leaving holes in the centre. To his credit though, when this did happen Barry would trot back to cover Funes Mori.

Maybe this is the tactic RM is installing rather than Barry covering Kone's absence. However, one thing I do know is that Kone cannot carry on being utilised on the left any more. Granted he has had some very good games cutting in from that side and, at times, has done a decent defensive job but the fella is a forward who wants to cut in and support Rom and that doesn't work for us defensively.

Mirallas and Lennon are natural wide players who should be played out there and in Lennon's case will give much better support to the LB. The right-hand side is balanced well with the Coleman - Deulofeu - McCarthy triangle and that needs to be mirrored on the other side. A lot of our defensive problems this season (and last) have been from our left side.

Not a Barry fan but, to his credit, I will say he has done a great job this season and captained the team well in Jagielka's absence. He's been back to the form of two seasons ago but Besic has to be given more game time as a Besic - McCarthy combination will be fantastic.

James Stewart
26 Posted 30/11/2015 at 13:40:10
Looks like McCarthy and Barry are out for tomorrow so it will be interesting to see who plays.
Paul Cherrington
28 Posted 30/11/2015 at 14:05:16
Besic has got to be the McCarthy replacement for me – he is the only one with the required attitude and will to graft and tackle.

If Barry is out too, I would put Barkley back there alongside him and then you could bring Mirallas into his position in attack. You would obviously have to tweak it slightly as Besic would have to cover defensively all across the pitch.

Denis Richardson
29 Posted 30/11/2015 at 16:22:14
Christy (#5) – if you read my post again you'll see that I said I'm not that gutted as (i) it's not supposed to be serious and (ii) we have about 500 midfielders in the squad!

If we can't manage without McCarthy for a week or so, then we may as well pack up for the season and go home. It's not like he's Messi ffs.

What's the point of having the likes of Gibson, Besic, Cleverley etc if they can't step in when needed? Also, our manager has said we have excellent competition throughout the squad (apparently) so I'd like to see an example of this for myself.

Re Barry – people going on about the distance he covers in matches are just angling for an argument. It's obvious that it's primarily his pace that's being talked about. Even a snail can cover 10 km given enough time. The number of yellows he picks up is because he has to foul the opponents a lot to stop them jogging past him.

Oliver Molloy
30 Posted 30/11/2015 at 20:53:42
I've just finished watching the match over again.

McCarthy going off did affect us, but we still should have won this match at a canter. Too many players just going through the motions after we went two-nil up – job done kind of mentality.

Martinez said recently he trusts Barry to show the younger players how to play and how Barry never panics. Well, how can a player of Barry's experience let a quick free kick be taken? Bournemouth score from it, as we know. The more I see it the more angry I get. It's just basic stuff.

Howard showed once again he is past it and was all over the place on a few occasions, and could have done better for their 3rd IMO. Martinez left it too late once again with substitutions and why Mirallas didn't get 25 minutes is beyond me.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 30/11/2015 at 21:26:01
Jim (#16), have to agree with your assessment there.

Also, I agree with Sam (#13), that McCarthy has not been too clever this season, but he never gets caught out by the pace of a game, unlike Barry.

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