McCarthy facing another short-term layoff

Thursday 22 December 2016  49 Comments  [Jump to last]

James McCarthy won't play again until the New Year with Ronald Koeman suggesting he will be out for another two to three weeks.

The Irishman suffered another "slight" hamstring strain late in the first alf of Monday's Merseyside derby and did not re-emerge for the second half.

It's the latest in a succession of soft tissue problems to disrupt McCarthy's season. He had to undergo surgery on a groin issue and has been affected by niggling hamstring issues since the operation.

“He was overloaded when he came back from Ireland but I was really confident that James was on a good level of fitness and he showed that against Arsenal," Koeman said in his press conference today.

“There was no reason not to start him against Liverpool, so of course I'm worried about his fitness and his several muscle problems.

“But we need to wait.”

Koeman also confirmed that Maarten Stekelenburg is a doubt for the Boxing Day trip to Leicester City. The goalkeeper also had to come off in the derby following a collision with Leighton Baines.  

Reader Comments (49)

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Mick Davies
1 Posted 22/12/2016 at 16:41:51
I think O'Neill can take some of the blame for overplaying James before he was fully fit, but it's such a coincidence that Everton seem to get more of these type of injuries than other clubs.

I'd love to see any stats – if they exist – but I'm sure there's something wrong with our physios, training or fitness coaching

Steavey Buckley
2 Posted 22/12/2016 at 16:49:50
Losing McCarthy is a terrible blow, because it's due to his middle partnership with Gueye that Everton were able to beat Arsenal and dominate Liverpool in the first half.

And I hope Koeman is not lining up Barry as his replacement because, when he came on against Liverpool, they took control of the game. The situation will be repeated against Leicester if he plays.

David Connor
3 Posted 22/12/2016 at 17:22:35
Such a shame but this lad is a serious crock and I think we should offload him asap along with Besic. They spend much more time on the treatment table than they do on the pitch. A move away I think would be better to both us and them.
Bill Gall
4 Posted 22/12/2016 at 17:36:10
Loosing McCarthy is a terrible blow as we will also be loosing Gueye to the Africa Cup, and this only leaves us with Cleverley, Barry and, if he is fit, Gibson. That leaves us going from a fairly strong midfield to an "Oh my god – is that the best we've got?" midfield.
Tony Hill
5 Posted 22/12/2016 at 17:51:37
He's got a bad weakness there, sadly. I'm not sure how this will leave James's longer term career.

Either we play Davies or re-organise without two defensive midfielders.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 22/12/2016 at 17:54:03
I rate McCarthy quite highly and I defended him during the dark days when he was singled out, by some, as one of Roberto's failures. But these constant injuries are making me think he is another James Vaughan, or a Darron Gibson. It's a shame as I think he really suits the system Koeman wants to employ.
Mark Morrissey
7 Posted 22/12/2016 at 18:21:40
Sell him to Celtic asap. He's too injury prone. Good player but too much of a risk. He wants away, let the lad go and best of luck to him but I fancy he's a lame duck, like Gibson.
Kunal Desai
8 Posted 22/12/2016 at 18:24:37
Get Schneiderlin and another midfielder in January. Let injury-prone McCarthy move on and also move on the other sicknote, Gibson.
Kim Vivian
9 Posted 22/12/2016 at 18:31:58
What's the position with Mo Besic? When is he likely to be fit again?
Barry Pearce
10 Posted 22/12/2016 at 18:34:37
Hopefully this will force Moshiri to release the purse strings. As our Ronald doesn't think Tom Davies is ready yet, the alternative doesn't bare thinking about.
Steavey Buckley
11 Posted 22/12/2016 at 18:46:15
James McCarthy has shown in his last two games against two of the best teams in the EPL he is one of the Premier League's best midfield players, and that is due to Koeman getting him playing the right way from the wrong way Martinez had him playing.

But the idea of selling him to Celtic is laughable... to waste his talents in the SPL where Celtic have already won the league where they have no opposition.

Jay Wood
12 Posted 22/12/2016 at 19:29:24
Steavey @ 11

"[McCarthy] is one of the Premier League's best midfield players [thanks] to Koeman getting him playing the right way from the wrong way Martinez had him playing."

You think...? You do realize, until the single game at the end of last season under Unsworth, and this season under Koeman, James McCarthy's ENTIRE playing career as a Premier League footballer was under Martinez?

The last 1½ games (subbed at half-time against Liverpool, remember?) does not offer sufficient data to reach the sweeping conclusion you leap to.

Steavey Buckley
13 Posted 22/12/2016 at 19:39:25
A player's ability is only really proven against top teams. McCarthy's performances against Arsenal and Liverpool were outstanding, because he gave their usual outstanding players little or no chance of dominating Everton.

Against Liverpool in the first half I was left wondering what happened to their usual selves, as they offered little or nothing going forward. The answer was given in the second half when McCarthy did not return, Liverpool were able to go on the rampage without him on the pitch. That's how effective he has become.

Mick Davies
14 Posted 22/12/2016 at 19:49:03
Jay @ 12, You think...? You do realize, until the single game at the end of last season under Unsworth, and this season under Koeman, James McCarthy's ENTIRE playing career as a Premier League footballer was under Martinez?

You've inadvertently given the reason why McCarthy wasn't on fire for 18 months. Martinez neglected the side, and along with his injuries, Macca didn't perform to his first season standard (along with almost every other player). He was MotM in Unsy's game last game of last season along with Davies, and was prominent in Koeman's early season good form.

Notice how we've gone backwards since he got injured? His comeback game was in an unfamiliar position (ACM) but the next two, as Steavey said against top sides, he was immense, alongside Gueye.

He is amongst the top defensive midfielders in the Premier League, as Sky Sports News have just shown with their stats and graphics showing how well were pressing in the first half of the derby and how we were pushed back in the second.

I think he would find a lot better suitors than Celtic if we were to be stupid enough to let him go. So I hope he comes back fit and sharp, and stays with us for as long as possible, as no-one drives the team as good as he can.

Jay Wood
15 Posted 22/12/2016 at 19:49:41
Steavey @ 13

"A player's ability is only really proven against top teams."

Ah! Right!

So the previous game before playing Arsenal and Liverpool, against Watford when he was totally anonymous and ineffective, doesn't count because ... well, it was Watford, innit? And they're not a top team.

Got it! Thanks, Steavey!

Mick Davies
16 Posted 22/12/2016 at 20:08:59
Jay @ 15, read my post: he was playing (for some unfathomable reason) in the 'fabled' No 10 position. If you played Rom as a right back, how well do you think he'd be? McCarthy has proved what he can do – everyone was saying how even Gana's game had gone to pot, but look how he's performed lately with Macca alongside him.

A few on here have been saying for a long time "get rid of him" and "he does nothing". Well, he's actually got a better Premier League tackling rate than Gueye and hasn't got a bad scoring rate for a defensive player, compared to attacking players like Bolasie and Deulofeu. It's a pity people don't notice the unglamorous work he puts in.

Jay Wood
17 Posted 22/12/2016 at 20:22:00
Mick @ 14 (and 16!).

I like McCarthy.

I noted after the Derby game his withdrawal at half time proved pivotal. But like you, I acknowledge he has had a poor 2 years (rather than just 18 months) and has been absent and very stop-start due to injuries.

But to describe him as Steavey does as "one of the Premier League's best midfield players" is over-egging it a tad, doncha think?

The point I was making by referencing the fact that, until this year, for the bulk of Jimmy Mac's professional career he played for a single manager, Roberto Martinez (since the age of EIGHTEEN no less).

Ergo, Jimmy Mac is very much made and shaped in the image of Martinez. And against Arsenal and Liverpool, Jimmy Mac was playing as we recall the best of him in his first season at Everton. In the style and the role Martinez schooled him in for EIGHT YEARS!

It has nothing to do with Steavey's claim that "Koeman is getting him playing the right way" whereas his principle creator and mentor, Martinez... wasn't?

Sorry Mick. There is no logic to Steavey's original claim or subsequent post.

Oh! And McCarthy wasn't MotM in Rhino's game against Norwich. That honour went to Tom Davies.

Mark Morrissey
18 Posted 22/12/2016 at 20:46:05
Gents, he is an okay player but injury-prone.

Steavey .you say the idea of selling him to Celtic is laughable to waste his talents in the SPL where Celtic have already won the league where they have no opposition.

I don't care whether he goes to Celtic or not. I chose them because they are his team and he would go there if asked. I don't see that his talent would be wasted because he will be injured.

He is a good player but he is not fit to lace Gana's boots. Different gravy, different league – the SPL suits him

Fran Mitchell
19 Posted 22/12/2016 at 20:46:27
When at his best, a very useful player, hardworking ball winners are always welcome at Goodison.

But maybe this could be a blessing, as it may force Koeman's hand and give him no choice in the Davies situation.

Davies needs to be promoted. I hope to see him at least on the bench in the next game.

Steavey Buckley
20 Posted 22/12/2016 at 21:31:04
Jay (#15). Against Watford, it was Gueye, who has played most games this season, who was replaced by Barkley in the 64th minute. Not McCarthy.

Yet, McCarthy has not played that many games this season until hitting top form against Arsenal and Liverpool. Hopefully, he can return again after his latest injury with his best football.

Steavey Buckley
21 Posted 22/12/2016 at 21:36:53
Jay (#17). The type of premier class performance that McCarthy put in against Liverpool, one of the best Premier League teams, was for him to make them look very ordinary going forward in the first half. But his disappearance in the second half made Liverpool look like world beaters – even with Gueye on the field.
Anthony Hughes
22 Posted 22/12/2016 at 21:55:09
I kind of like McCarthy but to describe him as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League is a step too far for me.

Yes, he's a Duracell bunny and can press and close all day long but, to be one of the best, you need to add attacking facets to your game – dominating and running matches, creating and scoring goals. Unfortunately James has never displayed any of these abilities.

Gavin McGarvey
23 Posted 22/12/2016 at 23:06:37
I like McCarthy, but he is not one of the Premier League's best midfielders. He is though better than the midfielders at the mid level clubs.

One of the reasons for this is the succession of injuries he's had, and the pressure on him of being key to Everton (particularly before Gueye's arrival) and also being so important to the republic of Ireland.

Between the two, he's really been the victim of something of a squeeze, being rushed back from injury and then being blamed for being injured.

Paul Holmes
24 Posted 22/12/2016 at 23:39:59
He can be the best player in the world but that's no good if your always injured! Get rid while we still have a chance and let him be another team's medical problem ffs!
Matt Garen
25 Posted 22/12/2016 at 23:50:28
As a partnership, him and Gueye have got the potential to be a successful central midfield partnership. Barring injury, the main thing which will stop this coming to fruition in that being successful is the 5 behind them and the 4 in front. Let's hope Steve Walsh can address that.
Don Alexander
26 Posted 23/12/2016 at 01:44:36
I've no idea about the causes of hamstring or soft tissue injury but I remember the incidences of them throughout the squad rose dramatically after Bobby Bullshit took over, what with his self publicised physiology qualification and all.

So good was he that most if not all of the previously competent physio staff were dispensed with by our esteemed cheese paring chairman.

So, for his entire English career, McCarthy has maybe been blighted by the total inadequacy that is the mark of the Catalan Clown.

I just wonder if such a run of the same soft tissue injuries means irrecoverable damage? If so, it's a shame because he had a good engine and many a good team needs a water carrier in midfield. Hopefully we have one in Idrissa these days. Successful teams don't need two on the pitch.

Dan Egerton
27 Posted 23/12/2016 at 03:18:14
Watford aside, Macca has been playing shit since Martinez's first season way way back when both had something to prove. He's playing well all of a sudden, to get in the shop window right before the January transfer window opens. (Jay Wood – you were spot-on.)
Neil Cremin
28 Posted 23/12/2016 at 06:54:51
Two comments. Oh how McCarthy has risen back to the top of the favourites list for some fans on this website after only two matches. It was only a few short months ago when he was being vilified here. How fickle.

More concerning is the attitude of our manager. He has not only not given McCarthy any assurances about his future at Everton with rumours of his imminent departure but he has also sought to blame the Irish for the problems. If Koeman believed that McCarthy needed recuperation after his return from International duty he should have rested the players until he was fit. Instead he also played him so why go blaming somebody else?

This leads me to the most obvious point: Does our manager have man management problems??? McCarthy, Davies maybe others. Has he lost the dressing room already???

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 23/12/2016 at 08:27:58
If Koeman has man-management problems, it makes me wonder how much he would be missing Sammy Lee? A genuine scouse kid, who was most probably the perfect foil for Ronald at Southampton.
Declan Campbell
30 Posted 23/12/2016 at 08:44:58
Yeah, Tony Abrahams, I was thinking the same, everything would be rosy at Everton if they had an ugly kopite as a coach.
Mark Andersson
31 Posted 23/12/2016 at 09:20:43
Good point, Tony Abrahams. There was some discussion on here about Sammy Lee joining Ron. Anyway whatever the problems, real or not, are, time will tell.

I am less optimistic for 2017 than at the beginning of the season. It's just one drama after another. Sadly I feel for the fans who keep wishing for better things but continue to be disappointed.

Next is the January window that people will be hoping to be the beginning of yet another new dawn..... Yawn.

John Hammond
32 Posted 23/12/2016 at 13:09:27
McCarthy is another who needs to go I think. I like him but he's part of a squad that's run its course and it's time to move on. It's pretty obvious Koeman doesn't fancy him.
Paul Tran
33 Posted 23/12/2016 at 13:43:27
Neil, in some respects Koeman's got the same problem Martinez had.

At the end of his first season, Martinez said we needed seven new players. I suspect most of us agreed with him. He didn't get his seven players, then 'lost' the ones he had to keep.

It seems pretty clear to me that Koeman doesn't rate most of what he inherited. And if it's clear to me, how clear is it to the players? When discussing Barkley's contract, the sentence that stuck out for me was "Let's see what happens in January." That suggests to me that he's anticipating some activity.

He's got my full support in his efforts to break up this squad. I do think he can get more out of what he's got, however average they are. If he doesn't bring new players in next month, he may have similar problems and ending as Martinez.

Colin Glassar
34 Posted 23/12/2016 at 13:50:20
Tony, I've often thought of that. It was Sammy the hobbit and that blond fella, who was with England as well, who were very active on the Southampton bench. Maybe we got the wrong backroom staff.

As for Macca, well I always think the players have a big responsibility when it comes to their own bodies. James has never had the balls to tell O'Neill and Keane to piss off when he knows he's not fully recovered. He's partly to blame IMO.

Neil Cremin
35 Posted 23/12/2016 at 15:16:41

I will live in hope, however I feel very frustrated at every transfer window where so much is anticipated but so little delivered. Just like with Martinez, we had a very good start but in reality our start with Koeman was good only because the opposition were none of the top teams.

Let's see what January brings.

Mick Davies
36 Posted 23/12/2016 at 16:33:14
Colin @ 34, good point. McCarthy might be tough on the pitch, but he comes across as either a wimp or a bit thick when it comes to his own personal health and fitness. If he had the balls to tell O'Neill, he'd get the backing of everyone at Everton, including his manager.

If anyone cares to check through my backlog of posts, I've been a big supporter of James since he came here, but I am beginning to think his recurring injuries (admittedly attributed to the way he plays for us, all action) could spell the end of his Everton career.

That would be a pity as for all the attacking players we have, no-one has been more effective at breaking up attacks and protecting the back four over the last few seasons: he's like Carsley on speed, and his blossoming partnership helping to raise Gueye's game has been the only bright spot for months. Fingers crossed he's had all his bad luck and remains fit after New Year.

Colin Glassar
37 Posted 23/12/2016 at 16:44:15
Mick, I understand players wanting to play for their countries but they need to be able to say "I can't" sometimes.

We don't want a pussy like Sturridge who only plays when he's pain free but – when players are forced to play when not fully recovered – they need to be honest.

John Pierce
38 Posted 23/12/2016 at 18:59:27
Ultimately you can dice this up whichever way you want.

I think he ain't good enough, even in his peaks offered little going forward; a midfielder needs to be able to do multiple things well.

If you think he's the real deal then surely his injury record suggests he has the touch of the Rodwells about him.

Bin him off to Palace or Celtic for Dembele.

Christy Ring
39 Posted 23/12/2016 at 22:05:41
The sooner McCarthy is back, the better. Why would we sell a player who gives everything on the pitch? He showed against Arsenal and the Red Shite, when played in his proper position, and Koeman can see now, he's worth keeping.
Colin Glassar
40 Posted 23/12/2016 at 22:19:18
Christy, rumours tonight suggest that McCarthy and Ross will leave this window to be replaced by Schneiderlin and Sissoko.

Barry, Schneiderlin, Gana and Sissoko will be our midfield regulars.

John G Davies
41 Posted 23/12/2016 at 22:51:56
In what formation, Colin?

Looks unbalanced to me.

Paul Smith
42 Posted 23/12/2016 at 22:53:05
Rubbish that, Colin.
Patrick Murphy
43 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:07:32
Colin may have a point as regards to Ross; Koeman has been speaking about the player and seems unsure whether Ross will fulfill his potential at Everton. Many of the nationals have picked up the 'story'.

Will Ross ever be Boss?

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:11:06
I hope it's rubbish as I think Sissoko is rubbish. I'd hate Ross to ge replaced by him.

John G, they (2 of them) would be our starting central MF I suppose.

Is he serious or are these mind games Patrick?

John G Davies
45 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:31:51
What about the other two, Colin?

I can't see how you could play the four of them in the same side.

Clive Mitchell
46 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:31:21
Replacing Ross Barkley with Sissoko? Replacing Ross Barkley with Sissoko and 㿞 million quid would confirm Koeman's place as Everton worst manager since Mike Walker.
Neil Cremin
47 Posted 24/12/2016 at 07:57:39
Should have added Barkley to list that Koeman is demoralising. Compare his attitude with that of the neighbouring manager who is more like a father figure where the team would apparently run through a brick wall for him.

Let's see what January brings.

Peter Murray
48 Posted 24/12/2016 at 17:29:27
I completely agree, Neil (47) – he might be a comedienne, the Klopp – but at least it appears the players respond TO HIM – win, lose or dra !!

As obviously previously mentioned on these pages incessantly, time will tell!! I just know completely who I'd prefer – and it isn't our so-called here we come Barco supporter!!!

COYB incessantly/always!!!

Laynald Hansen
49 Posted 25/12/2016 at 16:25:51
Cremin is right – Koeman is a bitter man who hates to develop youngsters, he just wants to treat everyone as punching bags in the media.

Have you seen how many times he has blamed the attackers, but only Barkley has been treated this way in public.

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