Everton Left Counting the Cost of Someone Else's Battle

As if you didn't need another reason to hate international breaks...

Lyndon Lloyd 25/03/2017 94comments  |  Jump to last

If you’re like me, you didn’t need a reason to hate the international break more than you already do. Yet last night’s meeting between the Republic of Ireland and Wales provided one… and that was even before Neil Taylor brought Seamus Coleman’s season — almost certainly his year with Everton as well — to a shuddering halt.

You’d have thought that the shenanigans over James McCarthy’s fitness and the war of words between Ronald Koeman and the Irish camp’s Tweedledum and Tweedlescowl that erupted the last time the midfielder was rushed back into ill-advised action by his country would have been put to bed by now on the basis of bitter experience alone.

But, no. Martin O’Neill not only included an injured player in his provisional squad for the World Cup qualifier against the Welsh and Tuesday’s friendly with Iceland, he called him up to the team proper and stuck him in the starting XI. Koeman must have been glowering into his beer when he saw the Irish team sheet and Mrs Koeman was probably hiding the china when — surprise sur-bloody-prise — McCarthy pulled up injured during the warm-up.

It’s unclear whether the 26-year-old would have been deemed fit enough by Everton’s medical staff to make the squad to face Liverpool in Sunday’s Merseyside derby if he had stayed at Finch Farm but he is surely ruled out for definite now. With Morgan Schneiderlin in a race against time to be fit himself, a sufficiently ready McCarthy would have provided another option for Koeman in what is sure to be crucial midfield battle against Jurgen Klopp’s energetic outfit. No longer…

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Of course, despite rumbling on for over two years on the back of suspect treatment under the Roberto Martinez regime, McCarthy’s situation pales compared to that of Coleman who was literally cut down at the peak of his playing career by a horrific tackle from someone who was accurately described on these pages as a “third rate no mark playing in the Championship”.

Taylor’s tackle that fractured both of the bones in the Irish skipper’s leg was horrific and worthy of a lengthy ban — Luis Suarez was kicked out of international football for months for leaving a few teeth marks in Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder — not the mealy-mouthed “he’s not that kind of player” remarks from manager Chris Coleman afterwards. As many on social media rightly pointed out, if you make a potentially career-ending tackle like that you are that kind of player, full stop.

Ireland’s loss as they try to make it out of their group to qualify for Russia 2018 will be significant. To Everton, the club that actually pays his wages and depends on him for the other crucial 30-odd weeks of the season, it will be much more damaging to the hopes of making a late and unexpected charge for the top four.

It might be a little over-dramatic to say that any hope of stealing into the Champions League places has evaporated with the 28-year-old’s broken leg — it was an outside chance anyway — but Coleman’s value to the side is often under-appreciated even when, as was the case last season, he isn’t at his best.

A vital member of a back line that has kept five clean sheets in its last six home games and helped the Blues on a run of just one defeat in 12 overall, the £60,000 man from Killybegs was a focal point of Everton’s attack. As pointed out in an article last month following the 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough, Koeman’s team overwhelmingly favours attacking down the right flank, something that has only shifted towards more balance very recently.

With four goals to his name, Coleman was on course to beat his previous best tally of strikes for the season and his three assists to date don’t really tell the story of how important he is to the Blues’ offensive unit. His trademark bursts to the byline and service from the flanks have been a regular source of ammunition for the likes of Romelu Lukaku.

That Everton haven’t had a natural replacement for him since Tony Hibbert retired — in all honesty, with Hibbert’s effectiveness seriously diminished two or three years before that, the need for cover at right back has been fairly acute for a while now — is baffling on the face of it, but Koeman does have options.

Mason Holgate has already proved to be a versatile defender capable of attacking down the right flank to great effect. And he has already played an impressive role in a three-man back line. In the latter respect, the 20-year-old has had to bow to the experience, both collective and individual, of those centre-halves ahead of him since the manager turned away from a central defensive trio but he will most likely find himself back in the picture again, at least until the end of the season.

Recalling Callum Connolly from his loan spell at Wigan or giving more first-team playing time to Jonjoe Kenny are also avenues open to Koeman but it’s likely he will err on the more senior members of the team for the time being. Beyond that, in view of the fact that Seamus is unlikely to play again in 2017, he will surely turn to the transfer market for further reinforcements.

The whole episode leaves you infuriated, though, especially when you consider that it might have been avoided entirely if referee Nicola Rizzoli had taken the correct course of action and sent Gareth Bale off a minute earlier. International competition has certainly lost its lustre over time and certainly when compared with the excitement of the Premier League, it doesn’t really come close until the bi-annual major finals. And even then there has been criticism that they have lacked the quality, drama and unpredictability of decades gone by.

For most of the players — as captain, Coleman is, I’m sure, particularly honoured — it is fantastic to be honoured by and to represent your country. Regardless of how supporters feel about it, there is surely a case to take to Uefa arguing against pointless mid-season international friendlies and the excruciatingly laborious and drawn-out qualification process that disrupts the domestic campaign at regular intervals and exposes players to additional risk of injury.

Ultimately, for what seems like the majority of Evertonians, an unwanted break in our season that we just wanted to get out of the way has cost us a hugely influential player for many months to come. It’s true that this could have happened in the cut and thrust of a Premier League game, but at least then he would have been serving the Everton cause.

By all accounts, one of the nicest pros in the game, Seamus is the last person anyone would wish an injury like this upon. He is nothing if not a born fighter, however, and you get the sense that his indomitable spirit will see him dispel the fears that he will never be the same player again. What appear to have been clean breaks to his tibia and fibula offer hope that the corrective surgery and subsequent healing will be relatively straightforward and that he could be back playing at the top level while he can still enjoy his best years.

Blues fans will be 100% behind him supporting him all the way like they did another popular player who didn’t deserve the mis-fortune of a double leg break, Bryan Oviedo. Most of all though, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the whole situation was just so damned unnecessary.

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Reader Comments (94)

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Jay Woods
1 Posted 25/03/2017 at 06:58:09
I have long despised international football anyway (I'm from Northern Ireland, so why do we even bother?), but this is just another reminder why it is damaging to the only football that really matters, ie, club football.
Darren Hind
2 Posted 25/03/2017 at 07:05:13
As usual, you find the words to express what most of us are feeling Lyndon. Great article, painful subject.

It's a difficult one. For people in Ireland, Wales,Scotland and other countries, the international games represent the only real opportunity for them to see their boys in the flesh.

But yes, the case for moving these games to the summer becomes more and more compelling.

Peter Anthony
3 Posted 25/03/2017 at 07:18:07
Deepest sympathies to Seamus, our Captain without the armband. As Bryan Oviedo showed, you can get back 100% fitness from these terrible injuries now, but it is sickening nonetheless.

Take time to heal and come back 100%, Seamus. True Blue. Living Legend. Proper Player.

Mike Connolly
5 Posted 25/03/2017 at 07:56:15
Peter (#3)

"Take time to heal and come back 100% Seamus. True Blue. Living Legend. Proper Player."

With those two Irish clowns, he'll be playing as soon as he gets off his crutches.

Tommy Coleman
6 Posted 25/03/2017 at 07:57:34
Thanks Lyndon.

Exactly how I feel.

David Greenwood
7 Posted 25/03/2017 at 08:07:58
Players have a duty of care to one another. Taylor failed to fulfill this.
He should be banned for the same length of time as Seamus is out the game.

Thomas Surgenor
8 Posted 25/03/2017 at 08:51:41
I've never cared as much about a player being injured as I do with Seamus. He is a true pro and a gentleman. Horrific thing to happen him! Gutted! Just hope he knows how important he is to us and that he is in our thoughts!
Craig Fletcher
9 Posted 25/03/2017 at 08:57:53
Agree Lyndon with your point on the Bale "tackle" on John O'Shea a minute earlier. If the referee had done his job properly, Bale would have been sent off, and the sequence of events that led to the brutality on Seamus likely would not have happened.

I've felt absolutely gutted for Coleman all day, and can only hope that the break in his leg is a clean one and we see him back on the pitch as quickly as possible. My thoughts too to his wife and family, who must be equally devastated.

As for Neil Taylor... out of interest, I went to an Aston Villa fans forum to read some of their comments on Taylor, and for the most part they also quite rightly vilified their club's player for the, well, let's call it what it was... assault. What the hell went through Taylor's mind when he got a rush of blood to the head and decided to charge in, only he will know, but this will be something he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. And sadly for him, whatever may happen in his football career, he may well end up being best known for this one act.

I have no sympathy for him. I'm sure he immediately regretted what he did when he looked back to see the injury; the fact is, he did it – and if there was any justice, he would be banned from all football for a period of time (for arguments sake, let's say three months).

Anyway, I digress – the focus shouldn't be on him. Get well soon Seamus, everyone connected to Everton is behind you.

Stan Schofield
10 Posted 25/03/2017 at 09:05:26
David, I agree that Taylor failed in his duty of care. I also believe that O'Neill failed in his duty of care to McCarthy.

It's difficult to see how tackles like Taylor's on Seamus can be avoided given the physicality of the game, other than to impose penalties that deter such behaviour.

In comparison, it is not difficult to see how disputes like the one between O'Neill and Koeman can be avoided. It strikes me that there is a role for a third party to mediate, to rule on the medical fitness of a player, over and above the opinions of the warring parties and the player.

Such a ruling to take precedence over any rules from the likes of FIFA regarding international call-up. The third party would represent the protection of the player, for his health, safety and welfare. In this respect, there surely must be some regulation of safety in the UK, to protect players, because at the end of the day they are workers. Perhaps the Health and Safety Executive might be able to have some input here?

John Audsley
11 Posted 25/03/2017 at 09:20:22
Every word is correct, Lyndon. I hate international football and last night was horrific. That Taylor deserves a proper smack for what he has done.

"Not that kind of player" talk is bollocks, he has done it so he is exactly that kind of player.

Peter Murray
12 Posted 25/03/2017 at 09:20:26
In a non-sporting context this would have been deemed, at the least, as GBH. Players suffering this kind of attack – which is what it was – should be encouraged by a supportive PFA to instigate a private prosecution.

As it happens, the assailant, a thug masquerading as a footballer, will miss a few games (in essence a nice rest). The victim faces a threatened career.

Peter (#3),

I don't wish to be unduly pessimistic but, in my opinion, Oviedo never recovered the full form and confidence he was showing prior to his horrific injury.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 25/03/2017 at 09:35:36
Thomas (8) exactly my thoughts on Seamus, one of the most down-to-earth players in the game, so very sad for him. I can only wish him a full recovery.

Lyndon, a very sensible article, as usual, and I agree with you on International football; I'm just not interested in it, no matter what country is involved, but it will go on, so we just have to wait for these matches to occur and get them out of the way as quickly as possible.

Every Evertonian will be gutted for Seamus and hoping for a better future for him; he is a fighter so has a good chance of getting back in the game, God willing.

Shane Corcoran
14 Posted 25/03/2017 at 09:50:37
I love international football. It allows me to follow a group of players that, mainly, come from the same place as I do and with whom I can identify. They play the game for no or little financial gain.

The Premier League pits twenty English teams littered with players with generally no affiliation to their teams together. It pays them ridiculous amounts of money before they move on to a club that will pay them more or give them a chance to win more trophies.

I have no problem with the Premier League but what I find strange is the animosity towards International football from the same people that get goosebumps when we have a local player playing for Everton. We also hear about how there are so many Scandanavians supporting Liverpool yet we want to reach out worldwide to attract fans. I don't get it.

I felt sick for Seamus watching last night. It was like someone I knew was down injured. That's really all the bothers me at the minute.

Damian Wilde
15 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:00:32
I feel very upset by what happened to Shay, truly awful.

Even before this, I hated international football.

As for O'Neill & Keane, prize idiots. I hope Koeman has a pop.

Also sickened by Welsh, Villa, & Liverpool fans having a pop at Coleman on Twitter. Disgusting. Get well soon, Seamus.

And I agree, Lyndon, he has been a tremendous player for us. Of late, he was back to his best. What a player, what an attitude, what a nice guy.

Peter Murray
16 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:01:18
A further thought. How is it that the management positions of British teams become a public platform for unfettered idiocy?

We have had the nonsense of Allardyce, then the Republic of Ireland's Laurel and Hardy wilfully discarding Everton's concerns about the fitness of McCarthy whilst simultaneously attacking the manager and the club in public. Hope they are now satisfied.

Now we have Chris Coleman trying to convince us that Taylor is Mr Nice Guy. Suddenly Southgate is beginning to sound like a genius.

Seb Niemand
17 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:07:41
This is appalling. Time to bring the lawyers in, I think.
Michael Lynch
18 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:08:56
I tend to agree with Shane @14 in some ways. Not that I enjoy watching international football these days, it's mostly shite, but it does theoretically reflect some of the better footballing traditions of playing for loyalty, pride, and as representatives of your community. You can change clubs as often as you like, but once you've committed to a country, that's the only badge you will kiss throughout your international career.

But it has to be said that I, like most people I know, have become less interested in the game as a whole, and more interested in what happens to Everton and Everton alone. I rarely watch any other teams these days, and have ditched Sky because of that. I can get all the Everton games on my computer and that's all I need.

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:27:29
"Also sickened by Welsh, Villa, & Liverpool fans having a pop at Coleman on Twitter. Disgusting". What's been posted??

Lyndon's piece really says it all. But you still feel the need to express sadness and sympathy. As you would for any player but especially for such a decent person as Seamus.

You hope it's a clean break and heals well. And then you hope his confidence in tackles is not diminished when he returns (cf Ross?). In the meantime, and I know it's less important in a sense, Everton might be just as well served by the likes of Holgate at right-back.

Best wishes Seamus.

Paul Smith
20 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:28:22
It's a terrible thing and I gasped in horror at that tackle last night. But let's remember these boys chose to be there; as Lyndon pointed out, it's a privilege for them, no matter how we view it. Until such time that they view it like us and put club before country, nothing will change.
Damian Wilde
21 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:36:46
Brent, one example from a red was to mock up a photo of Strurridge doing the wavey dance with his arms, but photoshopped in Seamus' broken leg in replace of arms. Sick.
Ajay Gopal
22 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:43:53
So sad for Seamus Coleman, I hope he recovers fully. He still had 3-4 years in the top flight of football. A proper Everton player – a fighter and with no little skill.
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:44:41
Damian. Thanks. As you say, that's disgusting.
Mike Powell
24 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:50:02
Spot on, Lyndon. I hope Seamus makes a complete recovery.

I cannot believe some of the disgusting comments I am reading on Facebook and Twitter from the Kopites and the Welsh. I fucking despise Liverpool FC, we back them in everything and this is what we get back in return.

Kim Vivian
25 Posted 25/03/2017 at 10:52:02
If that sort of thing is being posted by RS idiots then presumably LFC know about it and I hope they denounce it loud and clear on their home site, if not more publicly, disassociating themselves from vermin like that. If it was the other way round, I hope we would also. Utterly inexcusable.

On the incident itself – not so different from Alli's sending off against Gent. That was grams away from a break but luckily for the Gent lad it was higher up the leg and the knee joint absorbed the shock.

Mike Murphy
26 Posted 25/03/2017 at 11:25:42
Pure sick for Seamus and his family. Brillant lad on and off the pitch.

He is a credit to club and country. Not the most skillful but would run through a wall for his team, comes from his Gaelic football days.

I think it was a heat of the moment tackle from Taylor, let's not get too carried away with abuse for the lad. I bet he can't look at himself in the mirror this morning. And these LFC fans are not fans of the game, so don't get too upset by these fools.

Get back soon, Seamus, we love you at Everton FC and Ireland. Hopefully a speedy recovery.

Get well soon,super Seamus Coleman.
Alasdair Mackay
27 Posted 25/03/2017 at 11:38:42
The fact that Mason Holgate is described as the "more senior member of the squad" shows how much of an effect this could have on the side.

I have wanted to see more of Callum Connolly and JonJoe Kenny for a while, though, so perhaps this is the opportunity to allow one of those two to lay down a marker and say to Koeman and Walsh, "You don't need to go into the transfer market – you have me!!"

Alexander Murphy
28 Posted 25/03/2017 at 11:40:22
Just get well, Séamus, that's what's most important of all here.

It's probably best that I just do not post my true feelings. I'm utterly revolted by this.

If no Everton player EVER plays another game for their country, then I won't be the slightest bit disappointed.

Frank Crewe
29 Posted 25/03/2017 at 11:44:29
I have no particular problem with international football other than it interrupts the club season. Players want to play for their countries and I can't blame them for that. Players can also get serious injuries playing at any level of football.

Fans, including us, expect players to get stuck in and give their all on the pitch and we are the first to complain about them if we think they are not trying hard enough. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, tackles are mistimed and players get hurt. It's unfortunate but football is a contact sport and injuries both minor and major are likely.

We can only hope that Coleman recovers as quickly as he can but I would not expect to see him in a blue shirt for the best part of a year.

Now, as bad as it is for Coleman, it has created an opportunity for someone else at the club to stake a claim for a first-team place. Names have been mentioned in the OP. Holgate, Connolly, Kenny etc. So hopefully, unwanted as it is, this cloud will have a silver lining for someone else. Let's hope whoever gets it is up to the job.

Barry Jones
30 Posted 25/03/2017 at 12:16:34
This is truly dreadful and I feel sick to my stomach. I adore Seamus. He has quality and spirit and offers so much to Everton.

I am Welsh, but I would have preferred to have seen Wales thrashed and eliminated from the tournament than to witness this. I wish Seamus a speedy recovery and want to see him back to his best in the future.

Andrew Clare
31 Posted 25/03/2017 at 12:45:41
Without doubt Seamus is one of the best players in English and – dare I say it – European football. A model professional. Hope he he makes a full recovery and we see him back asap.
Damian Wilde
32 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:13:24
Well said, everyone, some nice wishes for Seamus.

Seems like everyone's mood is downcast. Not even beating the RS & Mancs would make it up.

Shane Corcoran
33 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:14:51
As an add on, Shane Long's treatment of Coleman on the ground. Another class act.
Mike Green
34 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:15:54
Ask any player, "Would you like to play in a World Cup?"

I think the answer would almost universally be "Yes".

For those who want to play International football, they should be supported and managed responsibly; for those who don't they should be allowed to sit out, supported in that decision and allowed to get on with their club careers.

I'm not mad for International football, and have little interest in the qualifying stages and friendlies, though, if you are going to have global tournaments – which millions of football fans around the world are interested in – then these are a necessary evil.

I have a hunch many of those who "hate" international football will gush over the top team of the time, whether it be Brazil, Argentina, Italy or Germany and perhaps take a lot of enjoyment out of seeing a Costa Rica or Iceland, for example, show up against the big boys and turning the tables.

International football, if managed correctly, adds to the global football experience, it doesn't detract from it in the greater scheme of things. We as supporters have pulled the short straw over the past 24 hours but this is down to a pair of irresponsible coaches and a hugely irresponsible tackle.

Ask Seamus Coleman this morning if he'd prefer to have never played for Ireland – and I imagine he'd answer very clearly he'd do it all again tomorrow,

My thoughts are with him. I wish Seamus a speedy recovery after a horror tackle which we all wish, including Taylor I'm certain, had never happened. It's one that could have happened just as easily in a blue shirt as it had a green though, both of which I'm sure Seamus is equally proud of wearing.

Get well soon.

Kim Vivian
35 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:20:53
Good post, Mike Green.
Seamus McCrudden
36 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:22:06
News on Seamus is that the op has gone well this morning but they won't know really for another 24 hours. They have given a timescale of next January or February before he is back playing again.
Shane Corcoran
37 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:22:08
Just hearing, operation went well in Dublin. Out until January or February of 2018.
Darren Hind
38 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:25:42
I think the actions of those kopites simply comfirm what most of us have always known. The vast majority of Kopites are indeed Gobshites.

I would give anything to see young Mason smash in a "That one's for Seamus" winner to sicken the fuckers next week.

Jack Convery
39 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:34:35
We have been here before. Southall's ankle break whilst playing for Wales against the same opposition cost us (IMO) the double. Meaningless competition affecting the real football. Get rid.

Best wishes to Seamus.

Good article on the Arseblog if you are interested:

Seamus Coleman's injury was sadly inevitable and Neil Taylor is that kind of player

Bobby Mallon
40 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:47:08
I blame McCarthy – it's up to him and he should have said No to playing... the fucking idiot.
Anthony Jones
41 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:55:26
Double leg breaks don't come easy.

The FA should revoke players' licenses or this kind of violence.

I would look into legal proceedings, but I imagine that the PFA have that angle covered.

Dogs are put down for less.

Martyn Thickitt
42 Posted 25/03/2017 at 13:56:04
Speedy recovery, Seamus... or, if this was Allardyce, 'Simon'. Your club needs you.
Don Alexander
44 Posted 25/03/2017 at 14:24:01
Thanks for the link Jack Convery, #39, the Arsenal bloke speaks a good deal of sense.
Tom Fazal
45 Posted 25/03/2017 at 14:36:30
Jack (#39), thanks for posting that, possibly the best piece I have read about this (and other similar). If I knew how I would post that link to all those 'professionals' uttering 'he's not that kind of ' and suggest they read it and have a long hard think – though since thinking requires brains cells, I am not sure it would help.

Best wishes to Seamus and I hope he makes a full recovery in whatever time he needs to do that.

Mick Davies
46 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:13:24
When Bryan suffered the same injury, no-one blamed the Stevenage player, as it was a full blooded tackle between two committed players, but Taylor knew Seamus had got past him and made the decision to foul him.

Now I know he didn't mean to damage him, but it was vicious, and the authorities need to come down strongly on this, as each player has a duty of care to fellow players. God help him if we get Aston Villa in the cup next season.

As for McCarthy, I've always been a big fan, but if he prefers risking his career thanks to Moron O'Neill, then he doesn't deserve to wear the Everton shirt... FFS, he isn't even Irish!

Chris James
48 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:18:25
There needs to be some sort of sanction/penalty for negligence both on the field and management (as exhibited last night) and in the world of modern football that means either bans or fines.

1. Taylor should be banned for at least 8 games from International football + a sizeable penalty. There needs to be punitive action to discourage rash tackles not just platitudes.

2. O'Neill and Keane (and/or the Irish FA) need to be hit with some sort of action over the McCarthy situation. There's been previous when he's been taken unfit and effectively had problems exacerbated and the club medics and management made this point but were ridiculed and insulted. Yet again they've demanded an unfit player features against club advice and the result is an injury – this is flat-out negligence. If it was in any other profession there'd be some sort of criminal or civil case, that won't happen here, but there needs to be something done to deter this nonsense.

When the Irish FA start paying for players and their salaries over the season, they can call the shots on these things. Until then, the club's view should come first.

Paul Smith
49 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:20:22
Before the game last night & I hear it from commentators and pundits time and time again, is a kick back against the clamp down by referees on tackling.

Such phrases as "It's turning into a non-contact sport" or "You can't put a tackle in early like you used to" or even from fans themselves wanting that "Big Grock, nasty fucker of a centre half"... well, you can see why the game has changed over the last few years when Seamus suffers an injury like that.

Let's not forget, Oviedo was never again the player he was before his break. I hope for our sake (and, in a strange way, Taylor's) that one day we can watch Seamus sprinting down the right wing, cutting inside, and slotting one in the far corner. If not, we will be denied a consistent and top class pro in the mould of Baines at his peak and Taylor will have to live with that disgusting tackle for the rest of his life. God help him if he ever plays at Goodison Park or the new dockside.

John Wilson
50 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:27:54
The law is that professional sportsmen come into the game expecting a certain degree of risk. However, where there was a degree of risk caused through blatant negligence, then more likely it will be breach of a duty of care.

The standard is the professional football player standard, so in essence would the normal professional in his situation have taken the risk knowing that, if it goes wrong, there was a strong likelihood of a dangerous injury. If all yes to the above, then it is negligence, pure and simple, by definition.

Were there any other defences, such as it's difficult to judge things in real time, ie, in fast moving sport, ie, International football at World Cup level, the player or his football club would normally be liable for Everton's loss. The losses are subject to actual losses which are not covered under contract and or covered under contract but not where covered under tort (ie ,personal injury law).

Was the negligence so bad that it satisfied the jump from civil liability (tort) to criminal liability, ie sufficiently serious, is another question all together.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:33:54
As always, a very well thought-out and presented piece, Lyndon.

All that needs to be said is "Wishing Seamus a speedy and successful recovery."

Bill Gall
52 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:39:30
A really unfortunate injury and we have to wish Coleman a speedy recovery.

Although we have not heard anything of any disciplinary action,I would have to agree with the writer from Arsenal that the punishment will not fit the crime, and it is about time the world governing body reviewed this.

These incidents should include punishment in the players domestic league, as – even if he is banned for three international games – there was no guarantee that the offending player was going to be picked again.

James Marshall
53 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:46:18
I don't think it's meaningless - Seamus is the captain of his country and by his own words, extremely proud of that. He loves playing for Ireland, so I don't see why club supporters have any right to deem that International qualifiers are meaningless.

If a pro footballer didn't want to play International football, he would just retire from International football.

Phil Bellis
54 Posted 25/03/2017 at 15:53:46
Terrible thing to happen to any footballer, never mind one of the most genuine, likeable, humble pros in the game.

What the hell does that millionaire PFA chairman, Taylor, get paid for? What other union would say nothing and do nothing when such violence is perpetrated by one of it's membership against a fellow member?

Terry Underwood
55 Posted 25/03/2017 at 16:51:41
Alan Bodell
56 Posted 25/03/2017 at 16:54:01
I don't recall any piece written by you, Lyndon, with such anger, and rightly so, as it could easily ruin Seamus for a lot longer than the end of the year. A double fracture? To our most consistent player for a long while.
Jay Wood
57 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:02:08
Here's hoping Seamus Coleman makes a full (and rapid) recovery. Let's not go all 'doomsday' just yet, claiming this is potentially career ending.

From the current squad, if I had to pick someone to be on my side if it ever kicked off at a 'Scouse Wedding', that pick would be Seamus. Because, as Chumbawamba's Tubthumping song goes, Seamus may "get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down."

His background, his progression in professional football, at both club and international level, demonstrates – as others have referenced – a battler. Someone not easily deflected from his course. He is going to need to draw on all his strength on the long road to recovery.

As Lyndon also mentions, whilst not always at his best this season, he is out on his own within the current squad for his position. He is going to be missed for what he offers the team at both ends of the pitch.

But, one man's misfortune is another's good fortune. We will now see how imaginatively Koeman covers for Seamus's absence and who will claim his shirt and whether they have the mettle to be a regular pick for the first team.

Finally, as no jingoistic nationalist who is not so enthused about international football as I might have been in the past, nor am I totally opposed to it. Calls to only contract players who will not play international football only prejudices the club's interests. Like it or not, the more international players you can field, the likelihood is you have better quality footballers than having a team of non-internationals.

I would also suggest this particular TW aversion to international football is very much a minority view among global football fans. Whilst I would agree too many games at the World Cup or Euros are borefests, in my experience most players selected for their national teams and certainly the supporters DO give greater value to international football than is often expressed on here.

Don't forget also, even allowing for the corruption of officials like Blatter at Fifa, the World Cup is a cash cow that helps finance football (and related social programs) at grass roots level in every football-playing nation on the planet.

And the new head of Fifa is pushing to expand participating teams at the World Cup finals, so those opposed, don't hold your breath just yet that international is destined for the scrap heap.

Once again, get well soon Seamus. We're gonna miss ya, big time.

Andrew Cunningham
58 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:18:00
Well said, Jay @1. I would just like to add that Seamus is of good Irish stock and will someday return and lift a trophy with the Blue Boys.
Damian Wilde
59 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:26:05
Thanks Jack, great blog by the Gooner.
James Hughes
60 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:31:03
Jack (#39), thanks for the link, great article and some support from the Gooners there.

When the news first broke last night, I was not happy and, having seen some footage, I am feckin' livid. Seamus, or any other player, does not deserve that sort of tackle. To break an opponent's leg is not easy and not an accident, it is gross negligence and basically assault. So best wishes, Seamus, and here's to a full recovery both physically and mentally.

The powers that be need to start clamping down on this again. A few years ago, any studs-up challenge was a straight red (remember Rodwell v the shite) but this seems to have lapsed. This sort of tackle now seems to be acceptable again so has crept back into the game. Time to review the rule / regulation.

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:32:15
While there's a moron element in every set of supporters (including our own), I have to say I've seen lots of supportive tweets, FB messages etc from RedShite, Aston Villa and Welsh supporters. We shouldn't generalise so much when it's only a few sick cretins who post crap.

Get well soon Seamus lad.

Steavey Buckley
62 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:40:01
The whole matter concerning the injury to Seamus comes on top of what happened to McCarthy, because he and the Republic of Ireland FA are showing little respect to Everton FC by insisting he plays when he is clearly injured.

As for Seamus, Everton should sue the Welsh FA for damages because of the reckless and career-ending tackle. At his age, and the time it recovers from such tackles, will cost Everton £20 million to replace Seamus.

Rick Tarleton
64 Posted 25/03/2017 at 18:13:23
A dreadful tackle that may end a career, but in all honesty it was no worse than the one Bale did on O'Shea a few minutes earlier, studs up, half way up his shin. He was lucky O'Shea was merely bruised. When players are over-eager in every sense, their duty of responsibility to each other goes out of the window.

We, as Everton, will lose one of our better players for at least six months and possibly a lot longer. Injuries in Internationals are not able to be avoided, and when it happens to one of our players, it is even worse.

Neil Cremin
65 Posted 25/03/2017 at 18:40:00
Some of the comments are a bit myopic and xenophobic because it is Ireland that these Everton players were playing for. Yet we were all happy that Ross was back in the English squad and Tom Davies captained the England U19s. See other threads on this site.

The incident last night could have been avoided if the ref did his job and sent off Bale for his horrendous challenge on O'Shea. It was just as high and just as bad, the only difference was that it didn't connect fully.

Bit of balance please. We are Everton.

Tony Draper
66 Posted 25/03/2017 at 20:03:05
All day I've thought about Seamus. And no matter what, I just can not stop. He's been constantly on my mind

Big strong lad, but would he EVER do that to a fellow pro?

Can't remember feeling so gutted since we sold "The Red Haired Dynamo".

Couldn't "give a blow of a Ragman's bugle" about the bloody derby at the minute.

Just get well, Shay. Just get well, son. If anyone has the bollocks, then it's you.

I say Ronald should make him Captain for the derby match.

Andy Crooks
67 Posted 25/03/2017 at 20:23:49
Lyndon, I am sure you are aware of my admiration and support for Seamus, for many years. I am utterly gutted for him. However, I think your article is unfair and at odds with the balance, consideration and insight that your work usually shows.

The headline is unfair. Seamus was not fighting someone else's battle. He is an Irishman playing for Ireland. It was not "damned unnecessary" – it was an injury.

I can understand your frustration and I am as upset as you but we will get better and Seamus, my favourite Evertonian, will get better.

Alexander Murphy
68 Posted 25/03/2017 at 20:38:01
Steve your comment 65 and others playing the "let's be reasonable card". No. No. Definitely No. Get a grip. Have you seen some of the filth that the reds are pumping out?

Sèamus is a belting player, strong and skillful. Not once in his entire career has he "two footed" an opponent.

Problem with us Evertonians these days is that we've confused our nobility with saying "thank you" for being shafted. It's NOT the same!

We really do have to learn. Being battered isn't a reason to say thank you. Sèamus was assaulted. And I'm pissed off. So are others, and we are fully within our rights.

We can tell gobshites to "Fuck Off!", because standing your ground is not a crime.

I'll stan my groun,
Stan ma groun,
I'll nay be afraid!
(Sgt McKenzie)

Michael Connelly
69 Posted 25/03/2017 at 21:00:10
It's only Everton that matters on here, as you would expect, but to most of our players, playing for your country means more, aside from the local lads maybe.
Tony Draper
70 Posted 25/03/2017 at 21:08:11
Alex @68.

That's used in one of my favourite films:

"We Were Soldiers Once and Young".

I cannot hear it without thinking of Big Dunc.


Peter Mills
71 Posted 25/03/2017 at 21:17:50
I have been mocked by friends for posting on this site. They have suggested I am "sad" for doing so.

Okay, they are right. I am sad today for Seamus, one of the very few players I have truly liked and admired over the past 50 years. I hope he recovers to lift a trophy for us.

Tony Draper
72 Posted 25/03/2017 at 21:28:56
Michael @69 !!!

I'm utterly dumbfounded at your comment. "Playing for your country means more". Has Everton become SO meaningless?

But, thank you for illuminating me that my club really have become so third rate.

How many of us have failed to protest and express our expectations during these barren decades? I have. And I'm so very deeply sorry. Genuinely, I am. Genuine apology.

Des Farren
74 Posted 25/03/2017 at 21:59:38
"Someone else's battle"? What does that mean?

He is Irish! He wants to play for Ireland. What exactly is wrong with that?

As far as McCarthy is concerned, what have Everton being doing about his hamstring problems?

Johnny Sexton has been suffering similar and probably more serious hamstring problems for Leinster and Ireland. He was sent by his club to a Specialist Sports Clinic in Dublin and this specialist treatment appears to have worked.

So...why blame the FAI? What have EFC been doing?

Damian Wilde
75 Posted 25/03/2017 at 23:11:30
Well said, Alexander (#68). The amount of reds I've had to block on twitter, incredible. Hundreds before the Seamus incident. Lots more since. Cause a lot of them come looking to abuse, sick they are. I'm human, they annoy me, understandably so.

Some of the stuff they put on about Seamus was just horrific. And not just a few of them. I hate the club as a whole.

Safe recovery, Seamus. I'll bring you back some Lourdes water for that leg. God bless.

John Pierce
76 Posted 25/03/2017 at 00:00:16
International footy. Always been a fan. Love watching the different styles and yes, its not the pinnacle of the game it once was.

Our perennially dismal performances in tournaments from all british isles has taken our interest to new lows and our intolerance to new highs.

Well lots of blame to shovel around one might think but in the case of McCarthy and others similarly placed, then they need to own the responsibility of it.

If the lad isn't fit he should say so, so what of ROI pull a hissy fit? He will in all probability get picked again.

James has persistently risked his own career longevity by being meek. He is likely to lose his place at Everton based on his inability to look after himself.

Sure you may get called up but then it should be made plain you cannot play. Hours after a fully fit player gets seriously injured McCarthy should think long and hard about what he wants.

Mike Gaynes
78 Posted 26/03/2017 at 02:25:21
I've had a knot in my stomach all day about Seamus. What a class player and representative of Everton. What a class human being. What a tragedy for him.

Nothing more need more be said about the cowardly opponent whose name I will not use. You guys said it all.

Regarding Macca, so much of the rage seems to be directed at O'Neill, but I say the player has the greater responsibility, and James was just plain irresponsible to accept this invitation, no matter how tempting. I won't shed a tear if he's shipped out this summer.

ps: Adding my thanks to Jack for the Arseblog link. That's one outstanding blog post. Superb.

Lyndon Lloyd
79 Posted 26/03/2017 at 08:09:25
Andy, the article was written very much from my point of view and that of Everton in general so I make no apologies about the title.

(At the same time, I make no judgements about or seek to lessen the pride that others – Shane Corcoran for example – take from following their country's national team.)

In that context, seeing as Everton is not Ireland and that the club have lost a highly influential player through no fault of their own, this was someone else's battle.

And seeing as it could have been avoided by the referee, it did feel – again, to the eyes of someone without a "dog" in the Irish-Welsh fight and who finds the long-winded, season-disrupting qualification process an annoyance and a risk – "damned unnecessary".

Seamus, quite rightly, won't see if that way but the collective we as Evertonians would be within our rights if we did. That was my point.

Phil Walling
80 Posted 26/03/2017 at 09:28:14
Well put, Lyndon, but as others have said it must be a great consolation to Seamus to learn that Taylor 'is not that sort of player' What asinine shite!

As far as a replacement is concerned, I suspect Lennon will have a part to play – particularly in those games in which Koeman adopts an attacking approach.

Rob Davies
81 Posted 26/03/2017 at 09:40:21
Lyndon I agree with most of what I have read from you previously and I know this is obviously an Everton focused site, but surely this isn't about club v International football right now. It's about an individual's career.

Everton will move on, Ireland will move on but very sadly one of our greatest players may not. It is all about Seamus and surely nothing else.

Tony Draper
82 Posted 26/03/2017 at 09:48:27
Mike Gaynes @78.

By heavens, Mike, your opening paragraph entirely sums up my thoughts. Sick to the very pit of my stomach.

I cannot wait for the day that Seamus pulls on his Royal Blue Jersey again.

Andy Crooks
83 Posted 26/03/2017 at 13:51:02
Lyndon, I see your point. I don't like international football and I support both Irish teams because I like to see local lads do well. Not because pure chance made me Irish.

I would love Ross Barkley to get a World Cup winners medal because, as an Evertonian, I see him as a local lad and I want the best for him.

It's not about flags or jingoism and as Shane said on another thread.

Andy Crooks
86 Posted 26/03/2017 at 13:56:31
My reasons for being an Evertonian were random but over 50 years it has become special but it does not make me outraged by Martin O'Neill.
Keith Jones
87 Posted 26/03/2017 at 18:26:18
Lyndon, I have been following this website for many a year. I live in the Midlands and a season ticket holder, and this is my first post.
You speak so much sense and as a supporter we recognise which players buy into the club, thus the we feel that connection, such as Seamus has that connection!

If only players could bottle that for this club, they would truly appreciate what a great club this is!! Rom, read this please.

Keep up the excellent writing on this website

Gavin Fennessy
88 Posted 26/03/2017 at 19:10:51
As an Irish Evertonian, I am very conflicted by some of the comments regarding club versus country.

I completely understand those that regard the international game as an interruption and potential irrelevance to the greater interest of a club's fortunes. I know these feelings are shared by a lot of fans irrespective of nationality.

However, as an Irish fan, I am more conflicted as I know that the deeper meaning of representing one's country, particularly a small and young nation. I do not condone the Irish manager and assistant's attitude to the club. For me, that has all the hallmarks of a dispute that could and should have been avoided with better diplomacy.

I am a proud Evertonian and a proud Irishman and the only thing I would ask of those of who utterly disengaged from the international game is that, in Ireland, at least, the national team is a source of great pride for football fans.

Seamus Coleman embodies the sort of honest and ingrained endeavor of those raised in Gaelic Games (and highly parochial) tradition where representing your own place has a significance that is hard to explain to everyone who is understandably pissed off with Everton players returning from Irish matches on crutches.

I do understand the different viewpoints and that international success or failure (particularly of a country to which you have no affinity) may seem like an abstract and downright aggravating intervention into the regular flow of the club game. I'd also point to the fact that international football is an enormous sense of pride for many nations and the spine on which the global game is built.

I am gutted for Seamus as a fan and I wish him the best in his recovery. I will continue to proudly support both Everton and Ireland. COYB

Damian Wilde
89 Posted 26/03/2017 at 22:48:47
I'm not bothered by international football at all. When England were playing the other night I watched: Michel Roux, Secret Restaurants. Great show.
Kevin O'Regan
90 Posted 27/03/2017 at 08:10:18
I can't speak across the board here, but I have noticed that those folks who have Premier League football on their doorstep, or any kind of decent standard of professional football, will appreciate that first and foremost – and not International football.

If then you have a team like England where most players couldn't be arsed, are overplayed and overpaid – and not very successful in the past number of years (in terms of expectations at least), then I can understand those people losing interest in Internationals.

However, many Irish, Scots and Welsh think differently about their Nation, don't have the luxury of Premier League footie each week, and pride themselves on their national team through thick and thin. Seamus has blue veins and a green heart and is decision to play for Ireland should be respected. He is rightly captain and should not be criticised for playing for his country – nor should anyone.

Yes, Keane especially should shut-up for once and also O'Neill must be strongly criticised for their handling of McCarthy. But don't wipe Internationals off the cards for everyone just because team USA or England are crap (supposedly).

Seamus is a legend and my heart breaks for him and for the absence of his spirit, motivation and boldness in a blue shirt in the coming months. Get well soon, Seamus – we'll need you back when you are ready to go.

Ian Hollingworth
91 Posted 27/03/2017 at 12:43:12
Playing for your country, possibly in the World Cup Finals, and for the even luckier few winning the world cup would be and is the pinnacle of the career for each and every footballer out there.

So as fans who generally are more dedicated to our clubs than the international team we just have to accept that players go on international duty. Plus the better your team then the more likely you will have more international players.

For Seamus, this was very much his battle and not someone else's and unfortunately he has paid a heavy price for being in that battle. I would hasten a bet that, even though he obviously does not want the injury, he would not duck the battle.

We should celebrate our players who are selected for international duty.

Eugene Ruane
92 Posted 27/03/2017 at 13:59:26
Not my thing, International football, although when the finals come round, it's preferable being in the pub watching Germany vs Spain on telly, rather than a cricket County Championship game at OT between Lancashire V Kent (attendance 976).

As for any 'national pride', I have none... at all.

Basically, I heard George Carlin for the first time in the late 1970s and the effect was immediate and lasting (it's why I'm not proud to be 5' 8")


Shane Corcoran
93 Posted 27/03/2017 at 14:31:46
Gavin at #88 makes a very important point with regards to why some Irish, myself included, have such passion for their football team.

A lot of us follow two sports in the main, soccer and GAA. In soccer, due to a relatively poor but improving league, we look to our nearest neighbours for entertainment and a team to follow.

In GAA we follow the county you're brought up in. There is no alternative. That's the way it is. All the players are from that county and, with one or two noticeable exceptions that I won't get into, that's the way it is.

The contrast is huge. Playing for ridiculous money, for a club that you have no affiliation with versus playing for nothing with a group of players that couldn't have been brought up more than two hours from you.

The closest thing in soccer to this is the national team, albeit diluted by the Granny rule. Now supporters from other countries will tell me I'm talking shite as they don't have a GAA equivalent and can be just as passionate but I still feel it plays a big part for me.

Brian Furey
94 Posted 27/03/2017 at 15:07:25
I was going to post on here on Friday night but decided not too as tensions were running high. Decided the same on Saturday and Sunday but glad to read some more balanced opinions today.

Friday night was a big game for both nations as Wales had to win to get themselves back in with a chance of qualifying. Roy Keane certainly stoked the fire before hand with talk of tough but fair tackling and so it panned out.

As we all know, Seamus is a fully committed player which is one of the main reasons we love him so much and he really went flying into that tackle but Taylor was reckless with his lunge. It could have happened in any Premier League game but I can understand the frustration of many who are not Irish (or Welsh) who think it's a terrible injury for a stupid international game that doesn't matter. I see FIFA will be paying Coleman's wages for the time he's out.

Re McCarthy, it's hard to get accurate information but from what I read he felt a small twinge during the warm up and decided not to risk it himself. Maybe he was going to do that the whole time but wanted to look keen to play.

Amit Vithlani
95 Posted 27/03/2017 at 15:45:37
I have no affinity for the respective teams involved in the fixture where Seamus broke his leg, yet I disagree with sentiments expressed that International football is a waste of time.

Seamus could have suffered a bad injury from a terrible tackle in a Premier League or Cup fixture, as Aaron Ramsey or indeed Oviedo did.

International football meanwhile provides a platform for many a talent and try telling Ronaldo that Portugal's exploits in Euro 2016 were not worth writing home about, which may not have been possible without an extended format necessitating more qualifiers.

Taylor was undoubtedly reckless but career threatening injuries are the black swan events of top level football, to borrow a phrase from the financial markets: not very common but when they do occur the consequences can be dire.

I am optimistic for Seamus and believe he can still have a long career with the blues. He may need to adapt his game but he has more than enough ability to change his game and still prove to be an effective right back.

I also think Holgate has the talent to stand in as an able deputy. We may lose the cut and thrust down the right that Seamus gave us, but having depended on the Bainaar axis for years down the left, the side will need to find a new way of breaking down the opposition.

Who knows, perhaps Koeman can look to Lookman and Calvert-Lewin to provide speed down the flanks, with our full backs returning to more conventional defensive roles, freeing the youngsters to attack with freedom.

Phil Walling
96 Posted 27/03/2017 at 18:17:11
"No, I haven't spoken to Everton but I believe my medical people may have done."

So much for my long-time admiration of Martin O'Neill!

Oliver Molloy
97 Posted 27/03/2017 at 20:26:19

From the last shenanigans involving McCarthy, Koeman has basically refused to speak to O'Neill (who has contacted him or tried to) on a number of occasions, and proper order to.

I don't think O'Neill has any chance of speaking to Koeman directly unless he and Keane acknowledge and take back / apologise in the press or whatever that they indeed messed up last time round with McCarthy and looking at what happened this time round that looks like it isn't going to happen.

McCarthy I was told today was under big pressure to try and get himself fit for the Wales game. That doesn't excuse him being an idiot in my opinion. The player should have been telling O'Neill / Keane he wasn't properly fit; by not doing so, he has treated Everton FC with zero respect.

Geoff Brown
98 Posted 27/03/2017 at 23:45:58
Saw the spot on local TV news about about Seamus's involvement with the Down Syndrome kids team and was very impressed with the commitment he showed, and then this!

It will be a long battle, Seamus, but I am sure you have the grit and determination to come back stronger than ever.

Good luck on behalf of all Evertonians!

Barry Jones
99 Posted 28/03/2017 at 03:09:24
Sometimes we have to cast aside all the football politics. To me, this is all about the human perspective.

Seamus, a wonderful person in so many ways is going through quite an ordeal. He has probably pondered whether his career is over or at least is negatively impacted by the injury. I hope not. I really admire the man. He has the character to fight through this, and that is half of the battle.

If you are reading this, Seamus (probably not), I cannot wait to see you out there again fighting with all your heart for OUR team and giving that quality, that in my opinion, has made you the stand out right back in this league for the last several years.

How many full backs provide assists and score goals for fun like you. You are invaluable!

Nicholas Ryan
100 Posted 28/03/2017 at 03:42:34
Why has the no-mark Taylor not been charged with a criminal offence?

As someone who practised Criminal Law for 20 years, I remember that 'intention' is not a requirement of assault; 'recklessness' will do. There is absolutely no doubt that what happened was reckless.

'Ah, but it's different if it happens of the pitch'. Really? I think Duncan Ferguson would beg to differ!

Declan Martin
101 Posted 01/04/2017 at 01:34:19
I'm with Nicholas (#100).

Ronnie – stop bleating on about Martin O'Neill, who actually has a better track record than you as a top flight manager .

Focus instead on Chris Coleman, who sent out his players in the second half v Ireland to do damage.

Once Bale got away with his assault on O'Shea, it was open season – resulting in Taylor attacking our Seamus Coleman, thinking he could get away with it.

Who is the real culprit?

Dermot Byrne
103 Posted 12/04/2017 at 08:31:20
Good to see boss and Jags visiting Seamus at his home in Ireland.

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