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Saturday 24 February 2018

Ronald Koeman now claims he is 'laughing' at Martin O'Neill as verbal war sparks again

Ronald Koeman had ANOTHER pop at Martin O'Neill after defeat at Anfield
Ronald Koeman had ANOTHER pop at Martin O'Neill after defeat at Anfield
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has served up yet another verbal jab in the direction of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, as their increasingly farcical public spat turn a fresh turn.

Everton and Koeman are furious that their midfielder James McCarthy attempted to play for Ireland in the World Cup qualifier against Wales last week, even though he went into the game carrying a hamstring problem.

McCarthy aggravated the injury in the warm-up to the game at the Aviva Stadium, sparking a week of bizarre sparring that has seen Koeman and O'Neill trading insults via various media platforms.

Koeman criticised McCarthy and O'Neill in his press conference on Friday, inspiring the Ireland manager to release a statement suggesting the Everton boss was 'a master tactician of the blame game'.

O'Neill's statement also suggested McCarthy returned to Everton training just 11 days at the Euro 2016 finals last summer.

That comment inspired a late night tweet from Koeman as he suggested O'Neill was misguided in his comments and he added to that story as he spoke to Sky after today's defeat to Liverpool.

"If I see something really unfair and really badly was all about laughing, seriously (at O'Neill)," stated Koeman after his side's 3-1 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

"My answer was James McCarthy had three and a half weeks holiday and not just 11 days, so if you are going to respond, at least be well informed about the whole question."

This slightly embarrassing story shows no sign of losing momentum and now we wait to see if O'Neill has another response up his sleeve or maybe (we hope!), Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane may find time to offer his comments on the fractious affair.

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