KENNY Dalglish never replicated his club form for Scotland.

Graeme Souness was a big head. It was all about him. Paul McStay did nothing in a dark blue jersey. Ally McCoist wasn’t the same player at international level. Christian Dailly? Never good enough to win one cap let along over 60. And as for Kenny Miller…the guy didn’t have a first touch.

Ah, the good old days. When we could have a go at our greatest ever player for playing 102 times for his country, scoring 30 goals in the process.

If only now we could call upon the six out of ten McStay and a half-interested Souness. Or someone such as Dailly who could play in a number of positions for Scotland and if asked would run through several brick walls.

McCoist with 19 goals is fifth on the all-time list. Miller a place and goal behind him. McStay was our best player at Euro 92 by a country mile. And none of them, once upon a time, were good enough. Or so the uneducated told us.

All of those mentioned came in for plenty of criticism during their international careers. It was ridiculous then as it now.

These gentlemen were wonderful servants. Not only could they play football, the Dalglish fella in particular was awfully good, but they cared about Scotland. They gave everything for the cause.

That Steve Clarke could do with players of this ability now is obvious. But equally the Scotland manager could do with their passion, their willingness to put their body on the line when wearing that red lion on their chest

I am beginning to think there are too many of the current players for whom international football doesn’t matter all that much. If the players aren’t that bothered, then why should anyone turn up to watch them.

Monday night was awful. Although those of us at Hampden will at least be able to say we watched football played the way it’s supposed to be. Belgium could have scored six or seven. David Marshall, as he did against Russia, kept the scoreline, cough, respectable.

The No1 team in the world have always been better than us but on all the years we have taken on the very best, Brazil, France, Germany, Argentina and, yes, England, we at least looked like a team capable of doing the basics.

What shocked me about Monday was not the result but it was the way we meekly allowed Belgium the freedom of Glasgow to strut their stuff. There was no fight, no real desire and we are now in a situation in which our men’s international football team is an afterthought at best.

As of Monday night, teams in a stronger position than us and that have experienced better results in the qualifiers included Kosovo (second to England), Northern Ireland (second but on the same points as Germany), Ireland top their group, Slovakia are second to Croatia, Slovenia (second), Iceland (third in a three-way tie at the top with France and Turkey) and Finland (second).

Scotland are fifth in Group I. We would be bottom if it were not for San Marino who shouldn’t be allowed to play international football.

Take a look at those names. Are their football associations richer? Do they have better facilities? Are their players starring at the top of Europe’s big leagues? That we have fallen so far behind the ‘minnows’ is shameful.

We can blame the SFA, an association which has not been fit for purpose for years. But is the Kosovo FA so brilliantly run? Northern Ireland doesn’t have better training pitches than us. Same with Slovakia.

Scotland’s youth teams, from under-21s down, actually hold their own at that level. The teams beneath have pulled off some superb results in recent times.

Clarke is a good manager. He has players from Celtic, most with Champions League experience, Manchester United and Liverpool to choose from. There are several in the Premier League or at worst the top half of the English Championship.

Yes, there are weaknesses in the team that even Sir Alex Ferguson would struggle with. But Michael O’Neill copes.

Iceland got thrashed 4-0 and 3-0 by Belgium in the Nations League and lost 4-0 in France during this campaign. But they beat the team lower than them and the qualifier they played before last night’s trip to Albania was a 2-1 home win over Turkey.

Scotland’s last great result came in Paris 12 years ago. I watched that game recently. The starting eleven and substitutes ran themselves into the ground. Crosses were blocked, cynical and clever fouls committed, Davie Weir and Stephen McManus threw themselves at every cross ball as if their lives depended on it.

Did we see any of that on Monday night at Hampden? Yes, we did. But they were all Belgians.

It was the world class talent of the world’s best team who showed they were proud to play for their country. Kevin de Bruyne comes from another world he still gets stuck in.

Their second goal comes from a tackle being won – Thomas Menuier was never going to allow Callum McGregor possession despite being second favourite in the challenge.

The third was a header when there was only going to be one winner, which was Toby Alderweireld. At the third, Liam Cooper slowed down as he attempted to block De Bruyne.

The Belgians were brilliant but they worked hard, put in challenges and got back to win the ball.

Scotland didn’t even get stuck right in, which used to be our thing. We allowed Belgium to stroll past without a tackle being made.

Clarke said he knew the size of the task he was walking into. No he didn’t. But he does now.