Friday, 12 October 2018

Manager opens war of words with Rangers star

It has to be said the Kyle Lafferty situation has become quite intriguing. We’ve monitored events with this one closely, not wanting to make any conclusions till as many facts had come out as possible and as much had been said as feasible.

We feel it’s now time to comment and discuss this slightly bizarre topic.

It all broke when Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill spoke publicly about ‘disappointment’ that one of his star strikers Kyle Lafferty had withdrawn from his international call up.

No reason had been initially cited, but O’Neill’s tongue was forked as he expressed his disdain and that he and the Rangers star would be having a ‘discussion’.

It has emerged in the past 24 hours, thanks to further testimony from the one-time Dundee United midfielder that Lafferty pulled out over an injury, not a massive one but enough to cast doubt on his fitness. That he phoned O’Neill and explained the situation and that he wouldn’t be able to make this particular break.

The coach has now suggested Lafferty’s international future… well, he’s actually said about 12 different things, but while on one hand saying his future is up to him, he then said he’s not helped himself.

We find the whole thing very odd.

Take the Leigh Griffiths strop with Scotland manager Alex McLeish. Griffiths simply rejected the call up having been overlooked previously and said that club fitness was his priority but that he was still available for his country. Eck accepted this huff and didn’t make a big deal of it.

Over at the Ulster camp, O’Neill is moralising about a player WHO IS INJURED making the call to say he wouldn’t be able to make it VIA AN INJURY.

Is anyone else seeing the issue here – a Celtic player does it, and the NT coach accepts it. A Rangers player does, and his NT coach goes off on one.

Sure, we accept O’Neill wasn’t thrilled about the lateness of the withdrawal, but boo hoo, this stuff happens. To act like his player has committed some kind of offence seems more than a touch off.

Northern Ireland don’t exactly have a tonne of great talent up front. It would be best for their coach not to make enemies of the ones he has.

Comments System WIDGET PACK