Speaking to RTE following Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Poland in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Eamon Dunphy expressed his belief that James McCarthy is far from a good player.
The former Irish international said: “McCarthy is turning out to be a terrible flop. He doesn’t do anything. He’s a hyped player. He’s a player that everyone thinks is far, far better than he is. We haven’t got time to waste with [Glenn] Whelan and McCarthy.”
24-year-old McCarthy moved to Everton at the start of last season, signing alongside Roberto Martinez when he moved from Wigan to Merseyside.
The midfielder is highly praised in the Premier League for his calm passing ability and strong reading of the game, and it is no surprise that he is one of the key members of Martinez’s side, with 68 Toffees appearances to his name already.
However, he has a habit of being overrun in the middle of the park, and his good passing ability sees him regarded as better than he is. Whilst Dunphy’s criticism that he ‘doesn’t do anything’ seems misguided, he is correct to highlight his limited talent pool.
His deficiencies are the reason that Everton have struggled this season when not able to dominate opponents, as his strong passing game is not able to be utilised to the best of his abilities.
McCarthy is a player who is made to look better than he is in a team that is performing well, and the 24-year-old could be worth dropping in the coming weeks to shake up his own, and Everton's, performance levels.