England got off to a great start in their game against San Marino. Despite the lack of noise from the crowd, England’s players put on a good show against San Marino. They were runaway 5-0 winners in a game sponsored by FreedomPop that was never a serious contest. However, questions have to be asked about a San Marino team that never seems to improve.
San Marino have been involved with UEFA qualifiers for more than a decade. In that time, they have failed to show a single ounce of improvement. They battle hard for the first ten or fifteen minutes of a game before collapsing and accepting defeat. They have now lost their last 30 matches in a row.
Surely we have now reached a point where the powers at be have to wonder if San Marino are being helped or harmed by being in these groups. They are the yearly whipping boys of every other team in the continent. They have yet to win a game against any half decent opposition.
San Marino are not alone in this situation. There are a few other European nations that regularly lose games 4-0 or 5-0. Perhaps a two tiered group system is necessary? This would eliminate some of the weaker nations early on and leave a more competitive field. It would also allow the weaker teams to play against each other and win some matches.
Roy Hodgson will go home with a smile on his face. Wayne Rooney is a goal closer to the England record. San Marino’s players will pat each others backs for a good effort. But did we learn anything from today’s game? Probably not.