The war of words between Martin O'Neill and Ronald Koeman escalated again on Saturday with the Everton boss criticising the Ireland manager after the pair traded bitchy barbs online the night before.
The Ireland boss released a statement on the FAI website on Friday night labeling Koeman "the master tactician of the blame game".
Koeman tweeted to correct O'Neill's claims about Everton's use of James McCarthy in pre-season.
The row centers on McCarthy’s injury, which Koeman holds O’Neill and Ireland responsible for. O’Neill strongly refuted that claim.
The midfielder was selected to start against Wales for last Friday’s World Cup qualifier, but an injury forced him out at the last minute as he pulled up in the warm-up.
The Everton boss hit out at his international counterpart in the wake of the 3-1 Merseyside Derby defeat to Liverpool:
“If is see something really unfair and really bad informed, (Martin O’Neill’s statement) it is about nothing. My answer was James McCarthy got three and a half weeks of holiday, not 11 days.
“If you react please at least be well informed about the whole question.”
FULL TEXT OF MARTIN O’NEILL STATEMENT
Once again the Everton manager, master tactician of the blame game, has struck out in his comments today, criticising both myself and James McCarthy.
Perhaps a review of Everton's pre-season programme might provide some enlightenment.
James had a magnificent tournament for the Republic of Ireland last summer during UEFA EURO 2016, playing his last game in very late June. He then returned to Everton after a very short break, but only 11 days later, he played his first of three games, all within an eight-day period, against Real Betis, Manchester United and Espanyol. Overloading?
It should be added that James last played for his country on the October 9, 2016 - almost half a year ago. Since that time he has been totally under Everton's supervision.
James is diligent and conscientious in his professional preparation.
Perhaps, in this instance, quiet introspection may serve the Everton manager and his medical staff better.