World class. It’s not a term to be thrown around lightly. Nor has it been applied to many Scotland regulars this side of the new millennium.
But Craig Gordon does not hesitate in applying such superlatives to a former Celtic team-mate who has stepped up several levels since his move to Arsenal.
It’s fair to say that Kieran Tierney, who laid two goals on a plate for John McGinn and played a supporting role in Che Adams getting off the mark for Scotland, had a pretty decent night at Hampden.
Kieran Tierney laid on two goals for John McGinn as Scotland defeated the Faroe Islands
For Hearts goalkeeper Gordon, who has known the 23-year-old pretty much all his adult life, none of it came as a surprise.
‘I thought he was incredible – and he has taken his game on even further,’ said the veteran.
‘He talks so highly of the Arsenal coaching staff and how they have helped develop him.
‘For us, over the last three games he has been excellent – if not the standout in every single one.
‘He has been magnificent and hopefully we can keep him fit and playing at this level.
‘I think he is world class, I really do. He is so consistent as well and that is what makes him so good.
‘He is doing it in every game and he’s a big asset for us on and off the park.
‘He is also in charge of the music and he is great for the camp, a real valued member of the squad.’
Tierney was a standout as Scotland got the first win of their World Cup qualifying campaign
Explaining a little more detail on the improvement in Tierney since his 2019 move to London, Gordon said: ‘He has been more consistent.
‘Tactically and technically he has improved, playing against better players week in week out. He has raised his level because of that.
‘I have seen him come through from 17 to where he is now – and he will only continue to get better.’
Tierney, who often found himself going beyond wing-back Andy Robertson to reach the byeline and cut the ball back, admitted that he might – just might – have taken Steve Clarke’s permission to get forward a little further than the gaffer expected.
‘I think the manager probably wanted me to sit a bit more but I couldn’t help myself at times,’ he admitted
‘I just tried my best as always. I had a bit more time to go forward tonight, so I enjoyed it.
‘Everybody knows I like being high and wide, putting crosses in. That’s my game and tonight I did a bit of that.’
Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon insisted the Arsenal defender is a ‘world-class’ talent
Against limited opposition likened to 2010-era Stoke City by double goal scorer John McGinn, most of Scotland’s starters – and subs – played their part in a handsome victory.
For Gordon, eager to be part of the squad for this summer’s European Championship at the age of 38, a couple of excellent reaction saves caught the eye.
Rating his own performance as ‘good’, the keeper said: ‘Clean sheet, I had one save first-half that was pretty good and that I was happy with. I got the touch over the bar.
‘Other than that, I was just trying to keep everybody on their toes and make sure everybody was doing their jobs in front of me, which I did most of the time.
‘There were a few shots from the edge of the box and set pieces were always going to be their big threat.
‘We managed to keep them out. We knew we were going to have to deal with that.
‘Everybody has to go back to their clubs now and start putting in good performances to keep in the manager’s thoughts for the Euros and for the warm-up matches.
McGinn set Scotland on their way before heading in Tierney’s cross for his second of the night
‘Whatever camp we can get beforehand, depending on what the rules state at that time, we will get together and everybody will be desperate to get into that squad.
‘It is a big end to the season for all of us to stay fit and impress the manager.
‘We just need to look forward to the Euros and giving the best account of ourselves as we possibly can.
‘We will go in there and everybody will be trying to do their absolute best to try and qualify from the group.’
Che Adams has arguably done enough already, in two starts, to guarantee himself a spot in the warm-up matches still to be confirmed.
Getting that first goal is huge for a striker, Gordon testifying: ‘You could see how happy he was to get off the mark.
‘He was a little bit frustrated coming in at half-time that he hadn’t got his goal already.
Che Adams scored his first Scotland goal to give his chances of playing at the Euros a boost
‘But that is great. He had the appetite to go back out there and get one.
‘It was a good finish as well. I was right behind it. It was right inside the post all the way.
‘He is a good striker. We have seen it in training. He is a quality addition to the squad.
‘We feel as if we are really coming together and have a bit of firepower that can see us score goals in this World Cup campaign.’
Adams admitted that getting the goal so early in his international career was a relief, saying: ‘It was a great feeling seeing it hit the back of the net.
‘I’ve been in that position many times at club level, the first goal gets your confidence going.
‘We’re just looking forward to the summer and seeing what that brings.
‘Definitely that’s the focus for me, get the club level right and the rest will take care of itself.’