Ronald Koeman has dismissed Martin O’Neill’s statement regarding James McCarthy as laughable, and described the Irish manager as “badly informed”.
O’Neill labelledthe Dutchman 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.
“No, no of course not,” Koeman said when asked if O’Neill’s statement was a distraction ahead of the Merseyside derby.
“My first job is preparing the team.
“I face something unfair and really bad informed. It’s about laughing. I’m really serious. My answer was that James McCarthy got three and half weeks of holidays and not 11 days.
“If you react, please at least be well informed about the whole question.”
The Everton boss had previously responded to O’Neill’s comments on Twitter, writing “James McCarthy began his pre-season three and a half weeks after Ireland were knocked out of the Euros. From the master tactician.”
Koeman also criticized Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after Everton’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 O’Neill is showing no signs of letting up, and James McCarthy has found himself at the centre of the tug of war.