Everton manager Ronald Koeman has told midfielder James McCarthy to ignore his call-up to the Republic of Ireland national team ahead of the upcoming international break.
Well, the Toffees star has been included in Martin O’Neill’s provisional squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Austria despite struggling with injury.
Koeman wasn’t happy that the 25-year-old was also included for last month’s matches against Georgia and Moldova despite not featuring in the previous six games for his club because of a groin problem, and has urged the midfielder to continue his recovery with Everton this time around.
Speaking in his Chelsea pre-match press conference, the Dutchman said: “The player is not fit.
“I think to have a call-up he needs to be close to being fit. But it’s a little bit the same story [of] what happened last time.”
To put it simply, yes. After featuring for Ireland in those two qualifiers last month, McCarthy has played just 57 minutes for Everton and Koeman said O’Neill had “massively overloaded” the midfielder.
However, O’Neill hit back by saying McCarthy was training on the day that Koeman was “bleating” about his concerns.
I don’t think Christmas cards will be exchanged between the two this year…
While he will want to play for his country, McCarthy might just choose to follow the advice of his club manager on this occasion to make sure he returns to action for the Premier League side in a fully fit state.