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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Koeman impressed by James McCarthy aggression

The Dutch coach was particularly please with the midfielder’s contribution in the win against Arsenal, describing him as a “motor”

EVERTON MANAGER RONALD Koeman praised the ‘aggression’ shown by James McCarthy in his side’s Premier League win against Arsenal.

Koeman’s men defeated the Gunners 2-1 on Tuesday, ending a run of five games without a win, thanks to goals from Seamus Coleman and Ashley Williams.

McCarthy made just his fifth start of the season in the game — his sixth league appearance overall — replacing Gareth Barry as the Everton boss opted to reshuffle his pack somewhat.

“How we played after 20 minutes, there was aggression in midfield and I think James McCarthy played fantastically,” Koeman told the club website.

“He was one of the motors to start to press and to be aggressive and that was a good message to the rest of the team.

“[Alongside him], the defence showed the support that the team needed until the last second but that starts with all the players and with commitment.”

McCarthy has found his playing time limited at Everton this season, due to a series of persistent injury concerns.

The 26-year-old was at the centre of a row between Koeman and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill after he featured twice for the Boys in Green after returning from injury in October.

He was named in the Ireland squad for the November World Cup qualifier against Austria, but subsequently pulled out of the panel in order to fully recover following Koeman’s protests.

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