Do not be fooled by Ronald Koeman and his gruff exterior. Underneath it all he is a canny character who knows how to motivate his players and get under the skins of those who he deems necessary.
The war of words between the Dutchman and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has been going on for months now, over the topic of the health of Everton midfielder James McCarthy.
Things flared up most recently after McCarthy was called up for the Irish squad for last week’s internationals, and despite not playing for Everton due to a hamstring injury, O’Neill insisted on starting the player. Needless to say, the player pulled up short during pre-match warmups and now will miss tomorrow’s Merseyside Derby.
After Koeman read from a prepared statement today accusing the Irish of mismanaging the player and paying no regard to his condition, O’Neill responded via the Football Association of Ireland website calling Koeman a ‘master tactician of the blame game’.
The Everton manager has never been one to back down from a challenge, and instead refuted O’Neill’s assessment of the McCarthy’s break, signing off with a term that the Irishman himself used.
Three tweets very aptly capture our reaction!
@RonaldKoeman pic.twitter.com/td7pOGrPkc— Everton Musings (@EvertonMusings) March 31, 2017
@RonaldKoeman pic.twitter.com/2Kb1N5IDt6— DeulofeuOnABreak (@FinKitch) March 31, 2017
@RonaldKoeman pic.twitter.com/YMxdNzimaf— Dom (@Dom_EFC) March 31, 2017
Get the popcorn, this extraordinary squabble is nowhere near abating!