Ronald Koeman has dismissed Martin Oâ€™Neillâ€™s statement regarding James McCarthy as laughable, and described the Irish manager as â€œbadly informedâ€.
O’Neill labelledthe DutchmanÂ as a “master tactician of the blame game” in a cutting statement on Friday evening in response to criticism from the Everton manager over Ireland’s handling of McCarthy.
â€œNo, no of course not,â€ Koeman said when asked if Oâ€™Neillâ€™s statement was a distraction ahead of the Merseyside derby.
â€œMy first job is preparing the team.
â€œI face something unfair and really bad informed. Itâ€™s about laughing. Iâ€™m really serious. My answer was that James McCarthy got three and half weeks of holidays and not 11 days.
â€œIf you react, please at least be well informed about the whole question.â€
The Everton boss had previously responded to Oâ€™Neillâ€™s comments on Twitter, writing â€œJames McCarthy began his pre-season three and a half weeks after Ireland were knocked out of the Euros. From the master tactician.â€
Koeman also criticized Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after Evertonâ€™s 3-1 defeat at Anfield today, claiming that the German tried to get Ross Barkley sent off.
Barkley was extremely fortunate to escape with a yellow card after a dangerous studs-up tackle on Dejan Lovren, but Koeman felt the Liverpool bench overreacted to the challenge.
The war of words between Koeman and Oâ€™Neill is showing no signs of letting up, and James McCarthy has found himself at the centre of the tug of war.