Why England vs San Marino Was A Waste of Time

England's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring with Leighton Baines and Frank Lampard-1779761

England’s 8-0 win against San Marino just proves once again that teams like San Marino don’t deserve to be in World Cup qualifiers.

The game itself was pretty bad. The game was so one sided, San Marino managed one shot in the 60th minute which went closer to the corner flag than the goal. Joe Hart may as well have brought out a chair and an iPad because San Marino never looked like threatening England’s goal.

San Marino’s record in qualifiers speaks for itself. They have played 106 games, won 0, drawn 2 and lost 104. In these games they have scored 14 and conceded 465.

It doesn’t really help when the San Marino team includes an accountant, a barman and an owner of an olive oil company. Even their head coach is a P.E. teacher.

You may say that I’m being harsh on San Marino and that because they are a very small nation, they don’t have the facilities to produce any good players.

But this is my point exactly, there is no opportunity to improve by being battered constantly by good teams. How can you improve if you don’t get a chance to pass the ball and defend in your own half for 90 minutes.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) in action with San Marino's Michele Cervellini-1779613

Does this game help England?

This game does give an opportunity for the players, who are not necessarily in the first team, a chance to prove themselves and push towards the starting 11. However with poor opposition like San Marino does it really show us anything because they are not really being tested.

It could also be used as a practice match for the upcoming match against Montenegro as the England Team haven’t played together in a while. But surely, aren’t friendly matches supposed to used to test out players and formations and it’s usually the same squad of players so the must be used to each other by now.

Does this game help San Marino?

Well you can argue that it is ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to play against teams like England, so it would be a good experience for their amateur players.

I’m sure it also brings in some sort of money for San Marino but they haven’t really developed as a football team from this at all over the past years.

What needs to be done? 

I think the lesser nations like San Marino, Andorra, Faroe Islands and Malta need to take part in pre-qualifying and fight for 1 spot for the actual qualifying of the World Cup/European Championships.

This benefits the lesser nations because they would be playing against other teams with similar ability. They would gain confidence from winning games and learn to improve as a football team. It is much better than losing 8, 9 and even 10 nil every time they play because you can’t really learn from results like these.

It also benefits the stronger nations because less games would need to be played. There is always the club vs country argument, where clubs don’t like their players being picked especially for meaningless games and friendlies for the fear of getting injured.

Daniel Sturridge (L) heads the ball to score-1779923

I hope something like a pre-qualifying is created for the lesser nations, so we don’t have to endure what is essentially a 90 minute training session.

But I feel the chances of this are very slim as FIFA and UEFA always support the smaller countries in making it fair for them to compete. Let me know in the comments your thoughts on whether teams like San Marino should be allowed to take part in qualifying.


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