James McCarthy No-Show: The Facts
Forget all the speculation in the newspapers and on the radio, we all know what Irish pundits are like. Everyone seems to be confused about why James McCarthy wasn’t in the Ireland squad to face Northern Ireland, and what actually happened. Once again, GreenScene is here to provide you with the facts. These are quotes from the people involved, and not from “sources close to the player”. Nothing more, nothing less. You can decide for yourself what is actually happening.
Roberto Martinez, Wigan Manager:
“‘He had a challenge in the game against Stoke with Jermaine Pennant, we had a scan and the scan revealed grade one ligament damage in his right ankle. We passed the report to the Republic of Ireland medical team and they are well, well aware. That is where James had an operation earlier this season and it is an area that is a bit of a concern. We have to work together to try and get him a speedy recovery but he is not available to play and he will need at least three or four weeks to recover.”
Giovanni Trapattoni, Ireland Manager:
“We will have to decide why we call them up next time. This is their federation, the FAI. McCarthy, Wilson and Walters didn’t come, they didn’t bother answering. We have been watching these players over one month, two months. If they are injured that is okay but they must come to us and see our doctor. It is about respect. It shouldn’t happen anywhere, not just Ireland.”
FAI Press Release:
“The Irish team doctor responded that evening to ask when the scan would be carried out, and Wigan replied that they would send it the following day (Monday). On Monday at 6.37pm the Irish team doctor received an email from Wigan with a scan which showed no evidence of significant injury. At 6.39pm the Irish team doctor replied to ask when the player would be reporting. No response has been received since and the FAI has written to Wigan today (Tuesday) regarding the matter.”
Marco Tardelli, Ireland Assistant Manager:
“It’s not that they (FAI) didn’t believe him but the scan which they received didn’t give a clear sign of a bad injury or a difficult injury. What we are saying is he could have come in and then gone back to his club. The problem with James McCarthy is not if he comes or not, the problem is the behaviour. Mary O’Brien (who liaises with players about travel arrangements) sent him the message and he never answered. Mary O’Brien is a woman who works for the FAI. She needs respect. Also you (the media) need respect. Why you ask me always about James McCarthy? Ask James McCarthy. We respect allplayers. We deserve respect like the Irish people, the journalists, the FAI and Mary O’Brien. Giovanni and I went to Wigan in a car, a three hour journey. We spoke with James. I think the FAI, Giovanni, me, we need all Irish players. James McCarthy has a problem, he has an injury. The season for James McCarthy was very hard. He played with the problem in his ankle. I believe him, I believe Stokes, I believe the other players. But sometimes it’s possible to come here to be assessed by the doctor and then go back. “For us, there isn’t any problem.”
“Every player has a future in the Irish team. Why not? The problem with James McCarthy was that the message was never answered. I don’t know if there is an injury or not – I believe he is injured. He is a young player and he wants to come here to play, but maybe he is injured. We believe him. Giovanni never doubted there was an injury. It is not that they didn’t believe it but the scan we received didn’t give a clear sign of a bad injury. He could have come, been assessed and then gone back to his club.”
“James had a scan yesterday which revealed first-degree ligament damage in his right ankle,” Martinez told the Evening Post. Because of the operation he had earlier this season, it’s clearly an area where there is a little bit of concern for us. We passed the results to the Republic of Ireland medical team, and they are well aware of the situation. We’re going to work together on this one, and hopefully he’ll have a speedy recovery. But he’s not available to play for Ireland at the moment, and I feel he’ll need at least three or four weeks to fully recover.”
If and when more facts emerge, they will be added to this article. For now, however, that’s the only official word from either camp.
James McArthur, Wigan and Scotland midfielder:
“I don’t want to say too much about Trapattoni because he’s a great manager, but James has had a traumatic injury. He still gets wee niggles and went for a scan and it showed some damage on the ligament. So I think it’s very unfair for such a young boy to get so much criticism when he does have an injury. There’s so much pressure put on him. James has committed himself to Ireland and they just need to give him space. They’re lucky to have him. Scotland did everything they could to get him. Gary Caldwell and I tried to get him to change his mind before he played his first competitive game. We made a lot of phone calls, but I don’t think there was ever any doubt that he was going to stay with Ireland. To be fair, they were very good to him, looked after his family and gave him his chance as a teenager. We were gutted that he didn’t choose Scotland, but, as a friend, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him. I told him that he’d love being with Scotland and that there were quite a few guys he knows in the squad. It’s sad that he won’t be playing for us — I’m devastated, to be honest — but it gives me a better opportunity to get a game!”