So, the road to the World Cup - hopefully - has begun for Scotland.

If I was Steve Clarke, I’d have been thinking that nine points would have been brilliant from the opening three games, absolutely top notch. Had I got seven out of nine, I would be saying it was very good. And if I got five, that is still good, because Austria and Israel didn’t beat me, so I’m taking two points away from their total whatever happens.

I’d be happy with that. We’re still right in there.

Austria were hard to beat, though they got a stinker of a result against Denmark, which I didn’t see coming. And unless you are in cuckoo land where everything is lovely and wonderful and Scotland can just roll teams like Israel over, then that was always going to be a sticky game.

Another positive though is that Scotland came back from going behind three times, so they showed character. We have also introduced another Premier League player for the squad in Che Adams who looks as if he could score us goals. I knew about him just before I left as Scotland manager, and I was always wondering when he would come on board. If he feels Scottish, then he’s Scottish, and I’m glad he’s now made that call.

He is one of those players who look better playing with another striker, and I’m sure Steve knows that.

And then there was Kieran Tierney, who was absolutely fantastic.

There will be those who say we shouldn’t get carried away by his performance against the Faroe Islands, but I saw him against Austria, and it was the same thing.

Tierney is just different from anybody. He has now become top class in the Premier League, and nobody in Scotland should take offence to the notion that you haven’t proved yourself until you’re doing it in that division.

Kieran was already a very good player when he was at Celtic, and he showed that in the Champions League. But he has stepped up another level since he went to Arsenal.

Players like Kieran, Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn, Andy Robertson, they’ve all taken it on and they’ve all gone on and become better players.

For me, Kieran has now followed Robertson into that world-class category. You can’t label either of them as left-backs or wing-backs or whatever. The both of them are just two wonderful, competitive players who can play at the very top level.

Kieran would drive to the by-line with Celtic, but now he is driving past world class players and getting to the by-line with Arsenal. You’ve got to put that extra 10 percent in there, whether that’s power, energy, or in your thinking. You need that to get past the best players.

For me, he is arguably Arsenal’s best player now. He just couldn’t help himself but to bomb on from left centre-back the other night, and that is fine against the Faroes, you can go wandering a bit.

But Kieran has the intelligence to know when he can do that, and when he can’t. I played him there against England, and we weren’t going to have enough of the ball for him to go wandering up the pitch.

He has this wonderful thing when the ball is coming to him of seeing where and when there are holes and space to run into. His first touch can nullify about three players in the opposing team because he just drives with it. He doesn’t need to beat them one by one, he can just go past three of them with his running.

He’s got that power to keep going, so he ends up beyond his position, but he’s comfortable there.

We still don’t have that match-winning player. A Christian Eriksen at Denmark, a Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Sweden, a Robert Lewandowski with Poland, a Luka Modric with Croatia or a Gareth Bale with Wales. That player who can win games on his own and take you from being ranked between 20th and 50th in the world to breaking into that top 20. Kieran is wonderful, but he can’t quite do that yet.

What I would say though is that while Arsenal are a huge club, there might well be other clubs even at that level above them who are looking at Kieran right now.

The reason that Kieran has reached such a level, ironically enough, is that he doesn’t have anything like that in his mind at all. He just wants to try his best every day for himself, his team, and his teammates. That’s it.

It’s a great outlook in life, because it gets you places that you never thought you would get to. He’s so driven. A lot of people are driven to the extent that they forget about the people round about them and their teammates, but not Kieran. He likes socialising, he likes to be part of his team. You can still be a leader and be part of your team.

He’s different, because I’ve met people who are driven towards money and stardom, and he’s not like that. He lives for the day. And every training session and game is the same.

Forget about the runs forward for a minute. He can go in against the top teams as well and do the other side of the game.

When we played England, one question was who was going to find Dele Alli, He would go in and try to play between the lines. Not a problem for Kieran Tierney. He’ll go and find him, not a problem at all.

The good thing then is that after winning the ball, he can then be a right good footballer with it. Some people can go and stop somebody playing, then that’s it. Kieran can stop you playing then start a move at the same time.

He’s got it all in his locker. His enthusiasm for the game is first class. He has stepped it up a level from the very good player he already was at Celtic. It is exciting for all Scotland fans to see how far he can take it.