Niall Quinn has waded feet first into the increasingly petulant spat between Everton manager Ronald Koeman and Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.
The row between Koeman and O’Neill, which has been played out via the media and in full view of the public, centres (as it usually does) around James McCarthy, the midfielder suffering from a hamstring strain which was aggravated on international duty.
Koeman may have since moved on from O’Neill and tried to start a new argument with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, but Quinn has put the previous disagreement back into focus by coming down on the side of O’Neill.
Speaking to the Irish Independent on Monday, the former Ireland international (and the chairman that brought O’Neill to Sunderland in 2011) claimed that he would not have stopped the ex-Celtic manager from releasing the infamous statement last Friday night if the pair were still working together, and fully supports his reasons for doing so.
He does, however, accept that this story is doing favours for neither man and it will be better for all concerned when it dies down:
“Martin stood up for himself and that is all part of the man he is. I don’t have a problem with it. He had every right to do what he did.
“It emancipates his spirit that he didn’t just laugh it off and ignore Koeman’s comments. He fired straight back and I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him.
“Martin has always been good at coming back from pressurised situations if somebody calls him out. I remember him being like that even before I knew him when he was doing punditry. If somebody disagreed with him, he’d come straight back in.
“There was never enough time to think about it, he was so sharp and bright. It is played out so much so much bigger these days that the story got bigger. The quicker is goes away for the two of them the better.”
It remains to be seen if McCarthy is still an Everton player at the beginning of next season. As important as he is to Koeman and his plans for the club, the manager may feel that the ex-Wigan man may be more trouble than he is worth.