When Kyle Lafferty joined from Hearts, there was heightened expectancy on his shoulders.
This is a big game player, someone who could come in and slay Celtic. A player, who when he was at Rangers, always stepped up to the plate on the big occasion.
Since joining, he has cut a dejected figure at times. But recently, I feel as though he’s a turned a corner in terms of effort. Whether he’s suited to system really remains to be seen, but boy is Laff trying.
Against Aberdeen he put himself about. He’s been involved, and he’s been vocal. He was mightily unlucky to have a winner against Dundee incorrectly chalked off.
He also never got the time against Rapid, and against Hamilton, he did everything but put the ball in the back of the net.
Sometimes it’s more bad luck than bad form
He just can’t seem to score. How that header in the opening minute on Sunday didn’t go in I’ll never know. It wasn’t just that one either. Lafferty just didn’t have the luck – Hamilton goalie Gary Woods somehow saved an intuitive header off the line in the second half.
And I think some fans have been harsh post-match.
This time round at Rangers, things haven’t quite been the same for Lafferty. The move felt like it overwhelmed him a little. Despite scoring a double on his return to the starting lineup against Motherwell, he really struggled to get going.
Off-field dramas continued to have a visible effect on Lafferty. He then fell out with Northern Ireland, an element of his career which has always been a saving grace in times of trouble.
But half of beating poor form is effort. Lafferty’s trying, and I don’t think it’ll be long till the Ulsterman returns to his best. Watch this space.