Kyle Lafferty’s international career finally can get back on track.
After an incredibly ridiculous saga over the past week, the Rangers striker and Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill will have crunch talks. According to the Daily Record, O’Neill wants Lafferty to show his commitment for the double-header next month.
The saga all began when the striker phoned up O’Neill to tell him he would be dropping out of the latest squad. The Northern Ireland manager was furious that Lafferty had left it so late. Rangers’ forward told his manager it was because of a late achilles injury.
This then led to the Northern Irish FA invoking a rare FIFA ruling. The rule halts Lafferty from featuring for Rangers against Hamilton this weekend as part of a five-day rule.
O’Neill is on good terms with both Steven Gerrard and McAllister. The Northern Ireland supremo is good friends with the latter, and will discuss with them the decision to veto Lafferty.
Fortunately, Lafferty is going to have his chance to have a sit-down with his international gaffer to sort things out. It’s the kind of situation that really can just be resolved by sitting down and having a chat about it.
The whole saga has been blown entirely out of proportion. It hasn’t helped either Lafferty or the Northern Ireland set-up, who lost both of their Nations League games this month.
We spoke yesterday about how invaluable Lafferty is to his national side. Finally it looks like O’Neill is starting to realise this. Northern Ireland can’t operate to their best without the Rangers front-man, and O’Neill recognises that. It makes you wonder whether this month’s double-header had him thinking about how valuable Lafferty truly is.
For Rangers fans, they’ll be pleased about one of their star-men still having an international future. In the main, however, it’s important that he starts to deliver on a weekly-basis for Rangers. So far, the forward hasn’t been as impactful as first hoped.
Unfortunately, he won’t get the chance to change that against Hamilton on Sunday. But if Lafferty truly is suffering from an achilles injury, it’s probably for the best that he doesn’t touch the astroturf surface.