Sunday 18 February 2018

Ronnie Whelan: This is a huge summer for James McCarthy - he has no future at Everton and a big decision to make

Read Ronnie Whelan every week in The Herald

James McCarthy could be set for a move from Everton
James McCarthy could be set for a move from Everton
Ronnie Whelan

Ronnie Whelan

JAMES McCarthy has no real decision to make if Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez wants him and Mike Ashley pays the fee.

This could be the test of wills which Benitez needs to get assurances from Ashley that he is willing to back him in the Premier League. I thought Martin O’Neill’s response when asked about McCarthy last week was very interesting.

O’Neill said that he hadn’t asked much about McCarthy’s progress and that reflects the fact that for most of this group so far, he hasn’t been fit enough to play.

In his absence, the Ireland team has done very well and O’Neill now has players like Harry Arter who will do the same and some would argue, a better job than McCarthy.

For all the noise between Ronald Koeman and the Ireland manager, McCarthy has been a peripheral figure for both men.

So this is a big, big summer for the lad and I think he has no future at Everton.

In many ways, his position is now almost the same as Darron Gibson and his time at Everton not dissimilar.

McCarthy had a very good season in 2013/14 and looked like a good buy for Everton until injuries began to take a toll on the amount of time he was on the pitch.

Like Gibson, a promising start has turned into a steady plod to and from treatment tables, physio rooms and doctor’s consulting rooms.

In the end, Gibson had to leave to get football and his spiral downward has continued into the Championship with Sunderland.

Realistically, McCarthy won’t get a better club than Everton so he may choose to stick it out and hope that Koeman moves on.

Failing that, why not take a punt on Newcastle and make a pitch for the kind of reverence which the Toon delivers for its heroes?

Football had it’s own plans for me but I would have loved to have experienced St James’ Park in full cry with a Toon shirt on.

Online Editors

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