England confirmed their place in the 2016 European Championships with an emphatic 6-0 drubbing of Group E minnows San Marino in Serravalle on Saturday.
Three Lions’ boss Roy Hodgson was pleased with the professionalism of his players in what was an unsurprisingly straightforward victory against San Marino in England’s seventh Group E qualifying match. The 68-year-old also singled out Jonjo Shelvey for praise, with the Swansea midfielder playing the entire 90 minutes and impressing with his passing and vision from deep.
Meanwhile, the man of the moment Wayne Rooney got himself on the scoresheet and equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals for England. The Manchester United striker is now aiming to break that record when England face Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night.
“I’m satisfied we’ve won it by a good margin” – Hodgson
The result on Saturday was never in doubt, and for all intents and purposes, it was quite simply a matter of how many goals England would score. In the end, the Three Lions put six past San Marino, with Wayne Rooney scoring from the spot, whilst Theo Walcott, Ross Barkley and Harry Kane also got on the scoresheet.
Speaking after the game, Roy Hodgson revealed he was pleased with the discipline and professionalism of his players despite the relatively poor conditions in terms of the playing surface. The former Liverpool FC coach also praised Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey for his ‘faultless’ performance.
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy today in the sense that the pitch was poor,” Hodgson is quoted as saying by the F.A.’s official website. “It was important to maintain our discipline and professionalism because we know we’re a much better team and should win the game.
“But we didn’t want anything to go wrong for us or for anything to happen in the game that would’ve seen us taking a step back before Tuesday’s game. I’m satisfied we’ve won it by a good margin and now we’ve qualified we’ll see what happens.”
Regarding Jonjo Shelvey, Hodgson added: “Jonjo Shelvey really does deserve a mention because he played faultlessly for 90 minutes – that was a good performance.
“In Michael Carrick and Jonjo we have two very good passing players in that central midfield position and when Jack Wilshere gets back the competition will be increased even further.”
Rooney aiming to break England record in front of home fans
Wayne Rooney converted a spot kick in the first half to score his 49th goal for England, equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goals record. The 29-year-old is now aiming to go one better when the Three Lions take on Switzerland on Tuesday at Wembley.
Speaking after England’s emphatic 6-0 win, Rooney said (via The F.A.): “It would’ve been great had it happened tonight. But to break the record at Wembley, with all its tradition, would be great although it’s more important we win the game.
“It’s a proud moment for me to equal Sir Bobby’s record and my aim is to push on and try and help the team get the victory on Tuesday night and break that record and become the out-and-out record holder.”
With qualification already wrapped up, the Three Lions will be hoping to maintain their 100% record in Group E when they take on Switzerland, and Wayne Rooney will have the perfect opportunity to score his 50th goal in front of the home fans on Tuesday night.