Dyche surprised by Arfield Scotland omission

Scott Arfield tangles with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero
Scott Arfield tangles with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero

Clarets boss Sean Dyche admits he is surprised Scott Arfield has again been overlooked for the Scotland squad.

Arfield is in line for his 200th appearance in English football at Southampton tomorrow, having started all bar one game for Burnley this season.

Capped at Under 19, 21 and B level for his country, the former Falkirk midfielder has been on the radar of the national side, as assistant Mark McGhee admitted in January, saying: “I have been a couple of times recently to watch Scott Arfield at Burnley.

“These are boys who are getting good reviews down the road and who therefore deserve consideration.”

But he missed out on the squad to face Northern Ireland and Gibraltar next week, along with George Boyd and Matt Gilks, and Dyche said: “I think managers can only pick a group, and if they deem it inappropriate, that’s totally up to them.

“I take great value in him, Boydy and Gilksy, but that doesn’t mean they go in the squad.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has overlooked Scott Arfield for the Scotland squad

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has overlooked Scott Arfield for the Scotland squad

“The staff there pick whoever they think are the right ones.

“I will say I’m surprised though.

“This game can be like that though sometimes.”

There are suggestions Canada could try to take advantage of the situation, as Dyche added: “I think he does qualify, but you’d have to ask him.”

I will say I’m surprised though.

Sean Dyche

Arfield has virtually been an ever-present under Dyche since arriving in the summer of 2013, having been released by Huddersfield, scoring nine goals last season on the way to winning promotion, and earning a new contract in the process.

And Dyche feels his attitude is a massive asset: “He’s just someone who enjoys the environment we’ve got, and enjoys playing.

“I think he loves training, always plays with a smile on his face, and if you ask him to play in a number of positions, he doesn’t overthink it, he’ll just say ‘Yeah, ok, ready, what do you want me to do?’

“Some players can hit the ceiling when they go up levels, but he consistently pushes his head through and says ‘Let’s have a look here’.

“He just keeps moving forward. His enjoyment level gets him through, every time, if there have been questions asked, because I haven’t asked too many, he has tremendous will power to get through it, and that’s a tremendous quality.

“Over time, that’s been more and more realised.”