OPINION: Either Lafferty moves on or NI do
Either Kyle Lafferty moves on or Northern Ireland do.
That’s possibly a rather harsh way to put it for a man who, a year ago, was the undisputed hero of the GAWA.
But if the Norwich forward doesn’t start to pick up more minutes at club level, his place in Michael O’Neill’s starting XI could be up for grabs.
He’s caught in no man’s land at the Canaries - not starting but not being allowed to leave either. And his lack of minutes showed on the pitch in Prague.
At his press conference before the game back in Belfast, O’Neill said that a lack of club football will eventually catch up with players on the international scene. For Kyle, that time is fast arriving.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Enniskillen man. I’m young enough to have lined up for his autograph. And up until this campaign, he was always the first name on my team-sheet.
But his club frustrations can’t be allowed to hamper Northern Ireland’s campaign, especially given Magennis’ lively display off the bench.
As for the positives, well I’d start with the full-backs. Ferguson and McLaughlin were solid as Carl Frampton’s abs - and both can provide a big threat going forward.
Steve Davis’ masterful midfield display is a given, as is Jonny Evans’ Rolls Royce defending. It was ever thus.
And at least the Czechs didn’t score. Somehow. A point’s a smashing one for us. As we say on the golf-course, there are no pictures on the scorecard.
But please, Norwich, play him or let him go. For us.