The explosive start to the Scottish season will have given Scotland boss Steve Clarke plenty of food for thought.
The new national coach is due to announce his squad a week tomorrow for the crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and Belgium, both at Hampden.
With the results liable to have a huge impact on the country’s chances of reaching the Finals via the traditional route, the selection is a significant moment.
Clarke – who has shown himself to be nothing if not methodical in his approach to the job – knows this, and has been clocking up the miles in his attempt to watch as many of those in contention as possible.
The key words being “in contention”.
While international football management offers unparalleled profile, it is not without its frustrations.
It is entirely in keeping with his position that Clarke will start by putting a red pen through the name of Scottish football’s most-expensive-ever player.
Kieran Tierney holds that title, having started his time as Arsenal’s £25-million man with a spell on the sidelines.
Typical too, is the fact that as one high-profile name extends his international absence, there are another couple of prominent stars sticking their hands up in the air for re-selection.
Leigh Griffiths, a Celtic team-mate of Tierney’s until the record transfer a fortnight ago, is a unique case.
The striker took the second half of last season off in order to fight serious depression.
With his mental health issues now checked, he has returned to action with the Hoops and is amongst the goals again.
Even considering the fact his game time has been slightly restricted, he looks nailed-on to be given a recall.
Why? Because, as his two stunning free-kicks in the World Cup qualifier against England back in 2017 illustrated, the 28-year-old is quite simply the best finisher Scotland possess.
With a perfectly legitimate professional reason to frank the player’s return by bringing him back into the fold, Clarke has a pleasing opportunity to hand him a personal boost at the same time.
One which will send a positive message to players everywhere who may be struggling that there is a pathway to better mental health.
Joining him will be Champions League winner, Andy Robertson, who, like Tierney, missed the Dark Blues’ last outing –the 3-0 defeat from Belgium in the King Baudouin Stadium in June – through injury.
Greg Taylor, a Scotland Under-21 internationalist who played for Clarke at club level, slotted in at left-back at Brussels and acquitted himself well.
While that will stand him in good stead, Kilmarnock’s stuttering start to the season counts against him, as it will against team-mates Stuart Findlay, Stephen O’Donnell and Eamonn Brophy.
Former Killie man Steven Naismith’s efforts for his country will give him a fighting chance of a recall, but he will need to demonstrate his fitness for Hearts to make the cut.
Elsewhere, the importance of the games in terms of the Euro 2020 is likely to lead to a generally conservative selection.
Clarke proved as much when handing a raft of second chances to the players who crashed in Kazakhstan under his predecessor, Alex McLeish.
Oliver McBurnie, a veteran of that night who recently made a £20m move to Sheffield United from Swansea, is likely to again make the cut.
James McArthur has retired from international duty so can be safely counted out, but the softer stances taken from the likes of other English Premier League performers James Snodgrass and, less so, Matt Richie could conceivably feature.
Long shots with an eye to the future, meanwhile, could include Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson and Mikey Johnston of Celtic.