England: Why Their 5-0 Win Against Moldova Doesn't Really Matter
Earlier tonight in their first 2014 World Cup qualifier, England walloped minnows Moldova 5-0.
A Frank Lampard double, as well as goals from Jermain Defoe, James Milner and a deflected Leighton Baines effort were more than enough to see off Moldova and at times, it was almost embarrassing for the Moldovans.
In truth, Roy Hodgson and his players were on a hiding to nothing, regardless of what the result was.
The reaction whether they won 1-0 or 5-0 would've been the same.
A narrow win would've brought out a negative reaction and a huge win, like tonight's, is to be expected from a side that's ranked in the top five of the official Fifa rankings.
It's a common problem for a national side like England because they're generally expected to beat almost every team they come up against in these qualifying groups.
Although a five-goal win will do wonders for confidence at the start of the group, as well as send out a statement to their rivals, these games aren't what England (and Hodgson in particular) will be judged on.
England's success or failure is pretty much determined by how far they get at the actual tournaments, rather than how they do in qualifying.
In the last 20 years, England have only failed to qualify for two tournaments, World Cup '94 and Euro 2008, which cost the incumbent managers their jobs.
It's also important to remember that Hodgson has now had time to settle into his role as national manager.
When he took over a few weeks before the Euros, he couldn't have had enough time to express his philosophy to the players.
Now he's got his feet firmly under the desk and can work with the players, England have every chance of success.
Hodgson is yet to taste defeat as England manager in normal play and to be honest, I don't see that changing on the road to Rio.
Every England fan wants their team to play well, score goals and win matches.
Tonight, they did that.
However I wouldn't read too much into it because with the greatest of respect, Moldova were never going to provide the toughest of tests.
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