Easy night out for England as Rio gets earful from fans for staying away
ENGLAND'S travelling army delivered their own damning verdict on Rio Ferdinand as Roy Hodgson's men recorded their biggest win since 1987.
Before they mocked San Marino with taunts of "are you Scotland in disguise", they abused the man who opted not to play in this mismatch and commentate on it instead.
As Jermain Defoe scored twice to head a lengthy list of scorers that also included Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and substitute Daniel Sturridge, who netted his first international goal, Ferdinand bore the brunt of supporter ire.
Should he ever appear for his country again, the 34-year-old can be certain of a hostile welcome, and there is no doubt Roy Hodgson has ended on the positive side of the ledger.
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Indeed, until Montenegro managed a goal in Chisinau, 11 minutes from the end of their meeting with Moldova, it looked like being one of the best days Hodgson has had in charge of England.
But Mirko Vucinic's effort means England remain two points behind Montenegro as they set off for Tuesday's World Cup assignment in Podgorica, although with 20 goals from their five games so far, Hodgson's men are unquestionably the most entertaining team in Group H.
Providing there was a volume feed in Al Jazeera's Doha base, where Ferdinand was commentating on the game after pulling out of the England squad, the Manchester United defender would have heard what the fans felt about his absence.
Towards the back end of the first half, with victory already assured and the only concerns getting through the game safely and attacking the scoring charts, those supporters who had made the journey to the world's worst footballing nation turned their attentions to Ferdinand.
Their songs were numerous. But they all shared the same theme – you've let us down and we would prefer never to see you again.
There is little doubt the "intricate pre-planned" training regime with which Ferdinand excused himself is genuine. It is hard to see what damage he could have done last night though, unless he failed to warm-up properly.
Although Joe Hart was the first goalkeeper to touch the ball, neither Chris Smalling nor Joleon Lescott were extended in central defence, where their task seemed simply to ferry the ball towards a wide area, or prod Lampard or Tom Cleverley into forward bursts.
Little meaningful analysis can be gained from one-sided occasions such as these.
England certainly did not require the assistance provided by Alessandro Della Valle but they accepted it anyway as the defender turned Leighton Baines' 12th-minute cross into his own net to open the scoring. And it was all one-way traffic from there.