Five things we learned from Scotland's World Cup qualifiers

A largely successful series of World Cup qualifiers means Scotland will head into this summer’s Euros in good spirits.

Che Adams and Kieran Tierney were two of the success stories from Scotland's World Cup qualifiers.
Che Adams and Kieran Tierney were two of the success stories from Scotland's World Cup qualifiers.

The international weekend is over and Steve Clarke will be pleased to see his Scotland side occupy second place in Group F of the World Cup qualifiers.

The 4-0 win over Faroe Islands combined with a battling display at home to Austria will have given the 57-year-old Scotland boss plenty to smile about, but the draw in Israel still leaves him with a few concerning question marks over his team.

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Here's what we learnt from Scotland's performances this week.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

Could Kieran Tierney now be Scotland's main man?

The Arsenal defender is having a tremendous season for club and country and is slowly turning into a world class defender – and Scotland's main man.

A left-back by trade, Tierney has been shoe-horned on the left hand side of Clarke's prefered back three but, even out of position, he's looked head and shoulders above the majority of his team mates this week.

BBC pundit and former Scotland striker Billy Dodds ran out of superlatives for the defender, admitting he was "wondering if he had any faults".

Scotland manager Steve Clarke interacts with Kieran Tierney of Scotland as he leaves the field after setting up three goals against Faroe Islands.

He underlined his class with three assists against the Faroe Islands on Wednesday and is maturing at the rapid pace many expected when he left boyhood club Celtic in 2019.

Scotland may have found their striker

It may have taken a while to get Che Adams in the navy jersey of Scotland, but now he's here, he certainly looks the real deal.

Clarke has persisted with Oli McBurnie, placed faith in Lyndon Dykes and gave opportunities to the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Lawrence Shankland, and whilst all of them have done well in patches, Adams has a Premier League level quality that Scotland have needed for far too long.

Che Adams rolls the ball home for his first goal for Scotland against Faroe Islands at Hampden Park.

It may have come against international minnows but his first Scotland goal against the Faroes was seeped in quality. The little roll of the ball, the pinpoint finish into the bottom corner – it's something Scotland fans haven't seen in some time.

Add the form of John McGinn just behind him, if Southampton frontman Adams can continue to show the quality he did this week, Scotland may just upset the apple cart at Euro 2020.

Is Ryan Fraser better on the international stage?

Any Newcastle United fans watching Fraser turn out for the Tartan Army must be scratching their heads.

After leaving relegated Bournemouth last year, the tiny winger moved to the North East on a Bosman free contract and has scored just one goal in all competitions, failed to consistently provide the service for the Magpies’ shot-shy strikers, and been largely hampered by a succession of injuries. Contrast that with his performances and goal return in a Scotland shirt and it's almost like a different player.

He offers something different up top for Steve Clarke's men, with ability to run in behind and cause havoc for defences with his pace. Fraser is making a strong case to be a certain starter ahead of the European Championship.

Should Scotland expect more from Andy Robertson?

He's the golden boy of Scottish football. A genuinely world class left back that has won all there is to be won at club level – so should Scotland fans expect more from their captain, or is too much expected of him?

Clarke certainly seems to have no issue with his skipper and defended his display against Israel earlier in the week, stating he was "good first half, and second half" despite claims he was 'under-par'.

The truth is that Robertson has had a poor season at Liverpool, alongside his team mates, but he is most likely victim to his own high standards. He's been excellent for two or three seasons now and possibly the best left back in the world at certain points in 2019.

He might not be setting the world align for club or country at the moment, but the Glasgow born defender has never let his country down and should still remain one of the first names on that team sheet.

They still can't beat Israel

To be fair to Scotland – Israel can't beat them either.

It's a side they seem to have some difficulty with (unless it's in a penalty shoot out) and the manager will be concerned that a side that now has real quality within it ranks is still not able to put teams like Israel away.

You can make allowances for draws against teams like Austria, who are placed a good 20+ places above you in the rankings, but consistently beating teams like 87th-ranked Israel is what will set this Scotland side apart.