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England farce

What is the point?

Anyone who watched England play over the international break will know that we had to pause the Premier League to watch the Three Lions take on Albania and San Marino in World Cup qualifiers.

England, if you didn’t watch, won both games. They scored 15 goals. They did not concede.

Now, first, it’s worth clarifying here that every nation has the right to be able to compete for World Cup qualification. If they play football, and they have a national team, they have the right to play for qualification.

But should they have the right to play England? Well. No.

Albania aren’t as bad as San Marino. They have taken 18 points from their 10 games in qualification and were only two points behind Poland in second. Playing them is not a problem.

Playing San Marino, though?

England may as well have taken on a Vanarama National level team last night.

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They won 10-0. Harry Kane scored four goals. It was a pointless exercise in seeing attack versus defence. England don’t air their training sessions on ITV or the BBC, do they? So what was the point in last night’s game?

We brought a pause to the Premier League to watch that last night. We’re at a loss as to why.

Legitimately, England could have sent a B, C or even X team to take on that rabble and got the three points.

The answer here, surely, is to introduce pre-qualifying so that San Marino have to qualify for the qualifiers. There has to be some degree of quality control.

Luckily, no England players picked up injuries last night, and that is the only jeopardy in these games – will an England player get hurt? We know they’re getting the three points, and then it’s just about how many goals are scored.

West Ham, thankfully, are back this weekend. It’s about bloody time!

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.