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Seamus Coleman hits back at Jamie Carragher and accuses him of having an anti-Everton agenda

The Ireland skipper responded about Carragher’s comments that he “felt sorry” for Coleman during last season’s 5-0 drubbing at Tottenham.

Everton and Ireland's Séamus Coleman. Photo: Reuters© REUTERS

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Everton captain Seamus Coleman insisted he brushed off stinging personal criticism from former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, but admits he is more annoyed by his constant digs at the Goodison Park club.

Speaking exclusively to sundayworld.com at a SPAR Better Choices event, the Ireland skipper responded about Carragher’s comments that he “felt sorry” for Coleman during last season’s 5-0 drubbing at Tottenham.

"Seamus Coleman - I actually feel sorry for him - he's been a great full-back for Everton, but right now this is happening far too much, where people are just running in behind him,” Carragher told Sky Sports. "And that goes back to Everton's recruitment, that Seamus Coleman's still playing right now."

It was a cutting verdict from the Liverpool legend, but Coleman has given his reaction to the comments by suggesting the agenda Carragher has against Everton is a bigger concern ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

“It’s part and parcel of the game that you get criticised,” said Coleman. “When Carragher had a go at me after the Spurs game, no problem at all.

"But when you are maybe consistently having a go at Everton then you can get more angry at that.

“As a player, I have always tried to understand where people are coming from and Carragher’s comments came after the Tottenham game, when we got well beat.

Seamus Coleman: Hitting back at criticism from Jamie Carragher

“We were everyone’s punching bag at that time and we were very bad on that night, but you just want some balance in the comments from pundits at times.

“When you see Richarlison’s ankle bending over on a TV replay and some of the pundits are telling him to get up and stop play acting, then that can feel a little different.

“People were well within their rights to question us last season given where we were, but the lads showed great character to get out of the situation we were in.

“At the end of it all, it could have been a disastrous season for Everton, so you have to understand where pundits are coming from at times.”

Coleman went on to suggest he might not make it as a TV commentator when his football career comes to an end, as he would not be controversial enough.

The Ireland captain confirmed he would rather stay in football when his playing days are over, as he doesn’t believe he could capture headlines like Carragher, Roy Keane and Gary Neville on Sky Sports.

Coleman still has big ambitions on the field for club and country, but the 33-year-old will soon be looking at a football afterlife and he fears he might lack the verbal punch to shine in front of the cameras.

Seamus Coleman is backing the SPAR Better Choices campaign

“Nowadays to be a pundit, you need to be so controversial with your opinion to get back on TV next week,” Coleman believes. “That means that sometimes some of the opinions can be a bit silly.

“At the same time, you don’t want to be sitting on the fence, but it is a balancing act.

“I see heard pundits and you kinda wonder whether they have forgotten that they were a player once and went through the same battles that the current players are going through.

“When I’m injured and watching a match in the stand, the game looks so easy, but when you are in the thick of it and in a tough match, you can’t always be perfect.

“Sometimes I question whether pundits are saying things for the sake of getting a reaction on TV. This is why I think I’d like to stay in football in some way when my career comes to an end.

“For now, I still have big targets to aim for with Everton and Ireland, but I know that day will come.”

Coleman worked with Roy Keane during his time as assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland national team and he is keen to point out that his criticism of pundits is not directed at the former Manchester United captain.

Roy Keane broadcasts ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford last Monday© Manchester United via Getty Imag

“What we see from Roy on TV is just him,” he added. “He was like that as a player speaking to his teammates, saying it as he sees it. Now he is doing that as a pundit.

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to have a background in the game at a high level to have a good opinion on the game, but Roy is someone you listen to.

“He was up front and confrontational as a player and now he is doing something similar as a pundit and I enjoy watching him. His personality will never change.

“I like Roy, I have a lot of time for Roy and I am defiantly more likely to tune into the TV on a Sunday when he is on the Sky Sports panel.”


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