EVERTON manager Roberto Martinez has defended midfielder James McCarthy, who was labelled ‘a terrible flop’ by pundit Eamon Dunphy.
“It is disappointing when you look at those comments because in world football you will not find a more committed and a better character to have in any dressing room than James McCarthy,” Martinez said.
“They are quite harsh comments if you ask me. From my point of view I have been working with James for many years and we have all seen the impact that he is having here at Everton.
“I think sometimes you can see those comments as being a bit distracting from the reality of having bad results with their team.
“I think it is a shame when you have such fantastic individuals and it is all about trying to get the best out of those playing at the international level.”
Martinez is adamant that McCarthy is an ‘incredible asset to have in any team’.
“I can’t really comment from my position to see what is wrong. What I see is at the young age of 24, James McCarthy has got such incredible experience and he is a massive asset for us.
“For me he is an incredible asset to have in any team. You don’t get many players who can make a decision on who which country they want to represent.
“James McCarthy chose to represent the Republic of Ireland and that shows you that he has a strong desire to play for a nation that I think has got tremendous potential.
“It is a shame that if there is any criticism it goes down to individuals. I can tell you for us he has been exactly what we expected.
“He is a reliable footballer for us and we are not the same team when he is not on the football pitch. I know that he is going to keep growing and keep developing into a player that is very much important to us. What is going to happen at international level is a bit out of my hand; I can’t really comment.”