New FA chairman Greg Dyke’s ambitious target for England to win the World Cup in 2022 may sound like pie in the sky to some, but football betting fans should applaud him for his confidence and clear strategy.
Dyke, in his first speech since taking on the key role overseeing English football, admitted there is plenty of work to be done if the Three Lions are to become much more competitive under his tenure but he believes, with the right guidance, coaching and a clear stratgey in place, they can eventually challenge the likes of Spain, Brazil, Italy and Argentina in the global arena.
Anyone who watched England’s valiant but ultimately weak exit from last summer’s Euro 2012 against eventual beaten-finalists Italy knows boss Roy Hodgson has a tough job on his hands to get England out of the doldrums. Critics of the national side have been fierce in recent years but the reasons for their perennial failures – at least in the big tournaments if not the qualification process – range from poor management and debatable tactics right through to an obvious lack of in-depth talent and not enough top young players getting regular action in the Premier League.
These are all obvious arguments and the fact that we have been trying to improve our fortunes in the major tournaments since dismally failing to qualify for Euro 2008 under much-derided former coach Steve McClaren without seemingly getting very far is a source of frustration for everyone involved in the England senior set-up.
Coaches have come and gone since then and, while the handful of world class stars have under-performed when it has mattered most, it is clear there has been something rotten at the core of English football for some time.
This summer’s abject failures across the board – at U18, U20 and U21 level – has only heightened the call for changes to be made and, thankfully, the appointment of Dyke may just be a turning point.
Finally, someone in charge has been tough enough to admit the clear failings but, crucially, appears to have a plan in place to solve them and is now working on a publicly-known target of achieving something substantial in the next decade.
Sceptics and critics will no doubt say Dyke’s statement means the upcoming World Cups in 2014 and 2018, not to mention the Euros in between, will now be rendered virtually meaningless as our chances of success appear to have already been written off.
But Dyke has cleverly given everyone – from the coaching staff, players and even fans – time to take stock and build up slowly so an eventual path to glory can be carefully plotted. England are currently 22/1 with Paddy Power to win the World Cup next year.
He has also vowed to invest heavily in coaching in order to get the best young players, who are now probably only just teenagers, to develop over the next nine years in the best environment in order to ensure there is a squad capable of taking the world by storm come Qatar in 2022.
Everyone needs attainable targets to work towards and now at least England know theirs, even if they are some way off in the future.