If you were looking for inspiration, this was not the place to find it.

Last night’s defeat to Israel was another sobering reminder, and there have been a few, of just how stark Scotland’s troubles are; current evidence does not auger well for what lies ahead and there is little encouragement to draw from recent performances that Scotland are building up to a team capable of competing again at a decent competitive level.

Alex McLeish has had ten games now to oversee the national team and it is difficult to find too many nuggets of comfort in the fact that Scotland have shipped 10 goals in 7 games and scored just four. Israel, ranked 94th in the FIFA table, enjoyed their first win in a year against Scotland and to add a further layer of humiliation to Scotland was the fact that they were so well beaten.

It was a dreadfully inept performance from McLeish’s side and they only comfort they could take from the game was the fact that they left Israel having got off lightly. Callum McGregor had a solid effort in the latter stages of the game but in fairness it would have been a travesty had Scotland taken anything from the encounter, such was the manner in which they were outplayed for the bulk of the evening.

To put the night into context, Israel’s only success on home soil in the last four years have come against Andorra and Liechtenstein.

Here are five things we learned in Israel:

1. That you can score four goals and play out of your skin at club level but still not get into the Scotland squad.

James Forrest has been arguably the most consistent performer for Brendan Rodgers’ side of late but he was unable to command a starting jersey again under Alex McLeish. Jonny Russell has had a solid start to his MLS career but he has never been renowned for hitting the back of the net with any regularity. It seems odd that a player capable of offering genuine pace and menace was overlooked until just after the hour mark. The decision to leave him on the bench for so long seemed all the more puzzling given just how much Scotland desperately needed something to alleviate the constant pressure.

2. The Scotland defence needs a rethink.

John Souttar and Charlie Mulgrew were given the runaround at times by Salzburg striker Mannus Dabbur. Stephen O’Donnell has played well for Kilmarnock and progressed hugely under Steve Clarke but international football is a different beast. In fairness to O’Donnell, he had very little support on the left-hand side as Taleb Twatha left him in knots. Mulgrew did well to net the penalty before going off with an apparent knock at the interval but he had a testing evening as Israel continued to come at Scotland. But given the fact that Israel were made to look like world-beaters highlights the magnitude of the job that McLeish faces.

3. Allan McGregor looks to have a firm hold of the Scotland gloves.

The Rangers goalkeeper made a string of solid stops, particularly in the opening period, and it could well have been a far more embarrassing scoreline without some of the stops he made. McGregor was on hand to deny Israel throughout and on current evidence Craig Gordon could have to be patient as he looks to get back into the starting line-up.

4. Leigh Griffiths isn’t the only Scot who looks as though he needs to work on his sharpness.

Alex McLeish’s side looked flat and disjointed and there was little energy about the performance as a whole. Having escaped into the interval with a slender one-goal lead courtesy of Mulgrew’s spot-kick, there seemed an inevitability about both the continued wave of attack on McGregor’s goal and the fact that Scotland could not hold under the weight of those incessant forward forays. McLeish hinted that Griffiths might not get back into the Scotland set-up but ultimately the national side desperately need a fit and confident Griffiths to lend something to what was a staid display. One shot on target doesn’t auger well against a team who lost their opening Nations League game to Albania.

5. Kieran Tierney is far more effective and comfortable on the left-side rather than as centre-half.

The defender was unlucky when he sliced Beram Kayal’s ball into his own net. In fairness, the 2-1 scoreline flattered Scotland after a night in which McLeish’s side were under pressure from start to finish.