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03 April 2017 02:01

Sean Dyche does not expect Arsene Wenger's eventual successor to be British

Burnley manager Sean Dyche does not anticipate Arsenal hiring a British boss as Arsene Wenger's successor if the Frenchman decides to leave this summer.

Former Gunners midfielder Paul Merson suggested at the weekend that Dyche should be a candidate to replace Wenger when discussing the work the 45-year-old had done in east Lancashire with the Clarets.

"Why not?" Merson had said in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday.

"He would go in and liven it up. He's a good coach. With the players he's got now he plays a certain way, if he was at Arsenal he wouldn't play that way.

"He should get another job, I don't want to be disrespectful to Burnley but he should be the next one in line. For me, that's how it works. He's done brilliantly."

Wenger's future at the Emirates remains undecided but, even if the long-serving Arsenal chief decides to move on when his deal expires in the summer, Dyche thinks it is doubtful the Gunners' hierarchy will opt for a replacement from these isles.

"I think it's highly unlikely that English managers are getting massive jobs in the Premier League, at the moment," he claimed.

"Maybe over time the feeling about football changes. I just don't think English managers have still got the kudos of some of their foreign counterparts. That's not a big deal, that's the nature of what it is at the moment.

"I think for Arsenal I need some more experience, more depth to my experience, more growth as a manager and I think it's fair to say that we're working hard at what we do here."

None of the current top seven in the Premier League are managed by a British boss and more than half of the 20 clubs are led by overseas chiefs.

Put to him that it was "sad" British managers are overlooked for the top posts, Dyche - whose side face Stoke in the Premier League on Tuesday night - replied: "I just think it's a reality, I don't think it's sad at all. The nature of the market is that.

"There's some really good British managers out there. Tony (Pulis) is well versed in what's going on. Alan Pardew was spoken about as the England manager, then a few months later was out of a job because of the complexities of football. He is still a top-class manager. There's Sam Allardyce, of course, Eddie Howe is doing a fantastic job down at Bournemouth.

"I just don't think they're thought of in the same way sometimes as what their foreign counterparts are. There's no angle in that, I just think it's the reality of where it's at.

"They (Arsenal) have got a top-class manager, they've got one already and if anyone wants him out they'll probably look and say, 'Shall we get the same version of him in?' I think he's top class personally."

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) is "more or less" back in full training, according to Dyche, and could be considered for the trip to Middlesbrough at the weekend.

Although Dean Marney (knee) is out for the season, Dyche still has other midfield options in Steven Defour and Robbie Brady, both of whom were used from the bench in the loss to Tottenham on Saturday, for the game with Stoke.

Potters boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, accepts his side have it all to do in their bid to secure another top-10 finish.

Stoke are currently ninth, a position they have finished in each of their last three seasons under Hughes, but travel to Burnley having won only one of their last five matches.

Back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and at Leicester have left Stoke eight points adrift of eighth-placed West Brom, while half a dozen rivals are now queuing up behind them.

"We have eight games to go and it's clear what we need to do to at least finish in the top 10," Hughes told a press conference on Monday morning, quoted on the club's official Twitter page.

"We are always trying to be better than the season before. We have just come through a run which has allowed teams to close in on us.

"The displays against Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Chelsea were very good, however Leicester City not so."

Defender Phil Bardsley will return to contention after missing out at Leicester through suspension, but Hughes will assess both Geoff Cameron and Peter Crouch, who was withdrawn on Saturday after taking a knock on a knee.

Cameron recently returned from a four-month lay-off due to knee ligament damage, but did not feature at the weekend, while Xherdan Shaqiri also remains sidelined.

Goalkeeper Jack Butland (ankle) is still not ready to return to match action and Glen Johnson (shoulder) is also an absentee.

Source: PAR