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Koeman hits out at Ireland: “You’re killing my player!”

The Dutchman complained about Republic of Ireland coach Martin O’Neill’s decision to play James McCarthy in two straight qualifiers in midweek after a month and a half out with injury.

Martin O'Neill hizo jugar a James McCarthy más tiempo del que esperaba Ronald Koeman.
Diario AS

Everton’s James McCarthy was called up by the Republic of Ireland during the international break. After spending a month and half on the sidelines with a groin injury, he was named in the starting XI by Ireland manager Martin O’Neill for the qualifying wins over Georgia (1-0) and Moldova (3-1), playing 90 minutes and 80 minutes, respectively. All good so far.

Ronald Koeman riles at McCarthy's playing time

But McCarthy’s boss at Everton, Ronaldo Koeman, isn’t happy at all. Upon returning to Goodison Park, club doctors informed the Dutchman that McCarthy had over-exerted himself after coming back from a long injury.

“When James came back from Ireland the message from Everton’s medical staff was that he was massively overloaded,” he said. “Now we have to handle a player who is massively overloaded.”

McCarthy in action against Georgia in midweek
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McCarthy in action against Georgia in midweekREUTERS

Koeman questioned McCarthy’s professionalism, taking into account that he willingly played so many minutes knowing full well the condition he was in.

I would like to have more commitment from a player of Everton because we pay the player but he was in a very difficult situation and it is ridiculous that he has surgery, five to six weeks out, three training sessions, plays 90 minutes and then, after three days, plays another 80 minutes,” he said.

You're killing my player, says Koeman

Of course he is massively overloaded,” he continued. “I don’t do this to my players at Everton because you get injuries again. If you leave it up to the player to decide then he is in a difficult situation because he’s between the Everton and Irish teams. The players are really committed to the Ireland national team but there was contact between the medical teams of Everton and Ireland and he plays 90 minutes after five to six weeks out.

Play him for 45 minutes, 60 minutes, but not 95 minutes after five to six weeks out, the second time 80 minutes! You are killing the player!” he added.

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