Clarke says ex-Celtic star Tierney was left out of squad at Arsenal’s request

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has said Kieran Tierney wasn’t included in the Scotland squad at Arsenal’s request.

The full-back was expected to return to the fold after returning to from injury and featuring for the Gunners.

Clarke said: “Kieran has got an ongoing issue that Arsenal are keen to address in the next international break and Arsenal asked us not to select him.

“It’s a little bit frustrating. It’s obviously frustrating for Kieran as well, but we’ve got good cover in that position.”

The Scotland manager always expects a headache or two when it comes to picking the squad, he said: “There are always issues when it comes to squad selection, people in the squad and not in the squad,” he said. “I’m learning on the job and not to read too much into squad selection, team selection, not to think about it too much until you have actually got the players in camp.

“I have to focus on the players that come. My job is to try and build a squad that comes 100 per cent committed, everyone committed ready to come here and do their best for their country, and that’s what I am trying to do.”

Robert Snodgrass has announced his retirement. The winger played in the 4-0 defeat by Russia last month but left the squad before the victory over San Marino.

When asked if the news of his retirement came as a surprise, Clarke said: “Not really because I have had a few conversations with Robert before he came back into the squad and I know where his thoughts are.

“He phoned me the night before he announced his decision to retire, we had a good conversation and wished each other well and we have to move on.

“Nothing happened, Robert just decided he wanted to focus on his club career. He wants to play more often for West Ham and he decided the best way to do that would be to retire from international football, so we wished him well.”

Hearts player Steven Naismith has been brought back in, despite, him only playing 37 minutes of football this season. Clarke has no worries, he said: “He hasn’t played much but I spoke to him yesterday and his fitness is good.

“He expects to start the next game and he’ll be a good addition to the squad.”