Frank Malley reflects on a Wembley mismatch after England duly collected three more World Cup qualifying points against San Marino on Friday.
England beat San Marino 5-0 at Wembley with Wayne Rooney scoring twice, one from the penalty spot, to overtake Nat Lofthouse, Tom Finney and Alan Shearer as fifth on the all-time scoring list for his country with 31 goals.
And England goalkeeper Joe Hart could easily have flicked through the match programme for all the work he had to do. Not a save to make. Not a cross to take.
Hart truly would have got more exercise walking his dog.
Whoever said there are no easy matches at international level really cannot have watched San Marino.
Yet for all the opposition's ineptitude, it was still a match which left England followers frustrated. England are not adept at tackling teams with no interest in forward advancement. They lack ingenuity. At times, the passing was slow and imprecise. Too often, they were too predictable and that goes for Rooney and Manchester United team-mate Tom Cleverley as much as anyone in the pivotal roles behind striker Danny Welbeck.
The suspicion is that England actually might prefer the challenge of Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday. They are guaranteed more of a contest, that is certain, but are also more likely to be able to employ the counter-attacking strategy which is more to their liking.
Still, after suffering two lost points in a 2-2 draw at home to Ukraine last month, the three points were paramount. They also needed to rack up their goal difference in a qualifying group which promises to be tighter than many might have anticipated.
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino, to give the nation their full title, duly obliged, barely venturing past the half-way line during the 90 minutes.
'Most Serene' is not the most appropriate adjective when it comes to their football team.
At home, the side from the enclaved micro-state which is surrounded by Italy are miserable. Away from home? Put it this way, the statistics do not lie. They have now conceded 136 goals in 23 away games since they last scored, with their average away defeat in the last nine years clocking in at 6-0. On that score England were slightly below par.
It is difficult to think of another team in professional sport with a more dismal record than San Marino. The 2008-09 Detroit Lions, perhaps, who were the first team in American Football history to lose every game since the NFL went from a 14 to a 16-game schedule.
In football, San Marino's losing record takes some beating.
It is why they are ranked 207th in the world, joint worst in international football along with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
There is, of course, good reason for that, much of it to do with a population of 32,404 at the latest July 2012 estimate, a figure put into stark perspective by the 84,654 fans who turned up at Wembley to witness their latest slaughter.
Yet, as another adage says, you can only beat the opposition put in front of you and while there were periods of restlessness and frustration as England sought to work their patterns around limited opposition, in the end it was a comfortable night.
It did not begin too promisingly, a jolting collision between San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini and Theo Walcott after four minutes seeing the Arsenal winger receive lengthy treatment before being replaced by Tottenham's Aaron Lennon. We can only imagine the thoughts of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
If Simoncini's challenge was reckless, then the goalkeeper was by some distance San Marino's best player, making fine saves to deny Rooney, Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The positives? Leighton Baines proved he is an able deputy for Ashley Cole, man-of-the-match Welbeck is settling into his striking role and 19-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain continues to display zest and menace.
In truth, however, anything less than five would have been embarrassing and two each from Rooney and Welbeck, plus Oxlade-Chamberlain's first senior goal for his country gave the scoreline a gloss this unfulfilling match never possessed.