The midfielder had missed weeks after undergoing groin surgery, and had yet to return to game action when he left Goodison Park for Ireland duty.
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Koeman is furious after Martin O’Neill trotted McCarthy out for 90 minutes against Georgia and then ran him out for another 81 against Moldova. Everton’s medical staff says the midfielder was “massively overloaded”.
So it’s fair to expect we won’t see much of McCarthy against Manchester City on Saturday.
“You hope something like this would be solved by the understanding of the doctor of the Ireland team or the manager of the Ireland team. They asked him if he was ready to play. It is very difficult for a player to say no because he is in Ireland. I like to have a lot of international players because it is a very good experience for every player. But sometimes, in several cases in fact, you like to have a little bit more understanding for a player who has been out injured for five to six weeks. 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.”
Ireland beat Georgia 1-0 and was deadlocked with Moldova until the 69th minute before pulling out a 3-1 win, and the Irish needed both results badly for any hope of making the World Cup.
But Koeman has a point. There’s no duty to the club for the national team, but a club may not even use a player for 171 minutes in two quick games following a return to surgery.
Usually, managerial gripes off an international break are sour grapes, but there’s something here from Koeman.