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Michael Owen blasts ‘absolutely pointless’ San Marino game as England cruise to 10-0 thrashing of minnows

MICHAEL OWEN blasted England’s 10-0 thrashing of minnows San Marino as ‘absolutely pointless’. Gareth Southgate’s men breezed past the part-timers with a thumping victory to round off World Cup qualification. But the ex-Three Lions striker revealed he is ‘rapidly falling out of love with international football’ with matches like this. That is despite the fact […] ...

MICHAEL OWEN blasted England’s 10-0 thrashing of minnows San Marino as ‘absolutely pointless’.

Gareth Southgate’s men breezed past the part-timers with a thumping victory to round off World Cup qualification.

EPA

England strolled to an easy 10-0 thrashing of San Marino in their final World Cup qualifier[/caption]

Reuters

Michael Owen criticised the format of playing the minnows in a competitive match[/caption]

But the ex-Three Lions striker revealed he is ‘rapidly falling out of love with international football’ with matches like this.

That is despite the fact the game was a competitive fixture and sealed England’s place at the 2022 World Cup.

Owen said: “Rapidly falling out of love with watching international football barring the big tournaments.

“I think a lot of people feel the same way. Half of these games are absolutely pointless.

“A restructure is needed.”

Uefa tried to take steps to scrap utterly needless friendlies by introducing the Nations League in 2018.


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But even so, matches like Monday’s World Cup qualifier seem somewhat unnecessary and a bit of a waste of time.

Harry Maguire got things going six minutes in before an own goal.

Then skipper Harry Kane scored four – including two penalties – to make it 6-0 at the break.

And the goals continued in the second half with Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka all on target to get their side into double figures – plus England had a couple harshly ruled out.

The result ensured the Three Lions finished top of Group I with 26 points and 39 goals scored.

For San Marino, it was another qualifying campaign with zero points – they lost all ten matches, scoring one and conceding 46.

The country are yet to win a competitive match in their history and their only victory came in a 2004 friendly against Liechtenstein.

They are officially the worst footballing nation in the world – ranked 210th out of 210 in the Fifa standings.

But even heartless and ruthless Roy Keane showed some sympathy for Franco Varrella’s side.

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The ITV pundit said: “I feel sorry for them.

“They are well short on every aspect of the game. They shouldn’t be on the same pitch as England.

“What can the manager say before the game? ‘Come on lads, we can do it?’ To get beaten every game must be heartbreaking for them.”

Owen took to Twiter to make his thoughts known on the issue
PA

It was another tough night at the office for goalkeeper Elia Benedettini[/caption]

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