Ronald Koeman has been branded a “master tactician of the blame game” by Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.
Everton boss Koeman was left furious after James McCarthy picked up a hamstring problem during the warm-up of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Wales last weekend.
The 26-year-old is expected to be out of action for a lengthy spell and Koeman hit out at both O’Neill and McCarthy for defying medical advice.
But O’Neill has hit back at Koeman, saying that some of the blame for McCarthy’s problems lies with Everton.
In a statement on the FAI website , O’Neill said: “Once again the Everton manager, master tactician of the blame game, has struck out in his comments today, criticising both myself and James McCarthy.
“Perhaps a review of Everton’s pre-season programme might provide some enlightenment.
“James had a magnificent tournament for the Republic of Ireland last summer during UEFA EURO 2016, playing his last game in very late June. He then returned to Everton after a very short break, but only 11 days later, he played his first of three games, all within an eight-day period, against Real Betis, Manchester United and Espanyol. Overloading?
- Premier League manager press conference highlights2:27
- Jose Mourinho gives Manchester United team news a1:50
- Jose Mourinho admits regret over Bastian Schweins3:00
- Liverpool unveil their new dressing room at Anfie0:45
- Meet the Man United Fan who has the club crest ta1:30
- Setback for Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson0:29
- James Corden weighs in on Cristiano Ronaldo’s sta0:34
- Liverpool dealt big blow ahead of Merseyside derby0:33
O’Neill and Chris Coleman react to Seamus Coleman injury
“It should be added that James last played for his country on the October 9, 2016 – almost half a year ago. Since that time he has been totally under Everton’s supervision.
“James is diligent and conscientious in his professional preparation.
“Perhaps, in this instance, quiet introspection may serve the Everton manager and his medical staff better.”