As football weeks go, this one might well be filed away as essentially unremarkable.

And yet there was something a bit different about the week that was; for the first time in almost two decades, Scottish clubs won four European matches in the same week. August 2000 was the last time that particular boast could be offered.

Whether it is a portent of what is to come or not – and that late goal at Pittodrie the other night when Aberdeen should have had the game long out of sight may yet come back to bite – but it was a welcome reprieve from the hand-wringing that so often accompanies European misadventures at this stage of the season.

No-one needs any sober reminders that Scotland continues to reside in the foothills of European football but any kind of success in this environment has to be seen as the most precious of riches.

It is also something of a decent start as Scotland looks to rebuild its reputation, both internationally and domestically.

Harking back to the glory days tends to conjure up grainy images of Jock Stein’s Celtic, Willie Waddell’s Rangers and Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen, but even more recently there were seasons when Scotland was able to punch above its weight in European circles.

But even as recently as back in 2003-04 and then again in 2007-08, both Celtic and Rangers competed simultaneously in the group stages of the Champions League. After a decade of punishing and gruelling qualification campaigns for one golden ticket, having two already seems like something from a halcyon age.

Alas, it is something unlikely ever to come around again given the impossibility of raising the co-efficient so significantly as to be rewarded with two places in Europe’s most prestigious tournament.

In October 2007, Walter Smith’s Rangers pulled off an astonishing 3-0 win over Lyon on their Stade de Gerland soil, the only time a Scottish side have achieved an away Champions League win over a team from one of Europe’s big five leagues.

The next night, Celtic kept up their side with a pulsating 2-1 win over AC Milan – the only time a Scottish side have defeated the Champions League holders. In the same season, Aberdeen also qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Cup after putting Ukrainian club Dnipro out through the away-goals rule.

Three Scottish clubs competing in European group stages simultaneously has become the stuff of imagination. Three of them being involved in European football beyond the parameters of those group stages as happened in 2007 seems so fantastical as to belong to Roy of the Rovers stuff.

One can be forgiven, then, for allowing some enthusiasm to creep in to an acknowledgement of this week’s results. It remains embryonic in terms of a European campaign, but if there is some positivity to take in four victorious results then we have to embrace that.

The incline fairly steepens the longer the summer goes on, but having European football as an intriguing addendum to the season offers so much in terms of spicing up the campaign.

The Champions League offers riches and glamour and Celtic’s financial men will not need to be told the cost of missing out on its lucrative rewards for a second successive term. But for supporters and players and the mishmash among us on the sidelines, it is not about money but rather the drama and excitement that participation at that level brings.

And while the Europa League might often feel like the fizzy wine next to the champagne of the Champions League, there are no Scottish teams who will be sniffy when it comes to partaking at any level in continental competition.

Enjoying a European campaign adds an entirely different layer onto the mundane day-to-day business of the domestic campaign. One suspects that is as relevant to players and managers as it is to those of us who observe from a distance.

Steve Clarke, too, will be an interested spectator this week, not least of all because of the part he played in getting Kilmarnock into that first tie against Connah’s Quay Nomads. Their 2-1 win sets them up nicely for the return leg on Thursday evening but for Clarke in his new role as Scotland manager, the ideal base for him to try to restore the fortunes of the national side would be with a spine of players who have experience of European football and all the vagaries that brings.

There is a streetwise element that comes with exposure to the game at that level as much as anything else and as Clarke attempts to steer Scotland back to a major tournament after an absence that stretches back two decades, that can be no bad thing.

And another thing...

The acquisition of 21-year-old Brazilian Douglas Luiz yesterday by Aston Villa for £15million underlines the way in which football’s biggest clubs have monopolised the market and commodified players.

Luiz was signed by Manchester City two years ago for £10m but never made more than a youth-team appearance for the English giants. His story is not unusual. Clubs with such immense pulling power are increasingly commandeering vast numbers of emerging talent and still selling on at profit even if they have never kicked a ball for the first team.

Instead, City and clubs such as Chelsea farm out these players on loan deals – in City’s case to their sister club, Girona – and are then content to make a profit whenever they choose the time to cut ties.

Celtic were stung by Charly Musonda who arrived from Chelsea on a loan deal under Brendan Rodgers. Coming with significant pedigree due to his time with the London club, Musonda was an expensive experiment who failed to make any impact at the club.

Patrick Roberts made a far more telling contribution during the two-and-a-half years that he ended up staying with Celtic but like Luiz, it is highly unlikely he was ever making it into the City first team. But the pricetag that goes with being affiliated to one of the big clubs makes such players unaffordable buying options at times.

Celtic were prepared to push the boat out to buy Roberts a few seasons back, only for City to insist he was not for sale. The winger is all set for a loan season with Norwich this term after a difficult year in Spain with Girona as City still hang on to him; at 22, Roberts has never started a game for the English side.