The announcement by FA chairman Greg Dyke last week that he has targeted victory in the 2022 World Cup came as a shock to almost everyone who has followed the English football team over the last few decades and looked at the latest World Cup Unibet odds.
Time and time again, the Three Lions have failed to live up to their potential, leading to numerous committees being set-up, with each one finding the same problems of a lack of technical coaching and youngsters being forced out of the game as they are deemed too small when barely into their teens.
However, unlike before, Dyke’s actions seem to have some sort of planning behind them and he appears to be a man willing to finally put in place the infrastructure to challenge for major trophies.
Of course this isn’t a new concept with the likes of Germany, Spain and France all having previously sacrificed at least half a decade of results to bring through a generation of players who are both technically and tactically good enough to beat the best.
This is something England have needed to do for years and the opening of St George’s Park will only help accelerate this progress.
Dyke’s predication may look extremely ambitious but take a look at the youngsters coming through with the current top clubs and there is undoubtedly massive potential there.
At the forefront of this is Everton’s Ross Barkley who after a couple of years of injuries and loan spells, has finally got his chance in the Toffees’ first team, with his performances earning him a place in the international squad.
Unlike some of his contemporaries, namely Jack Wilshere, Barkley has genuine tournament experience having come through the age groups and taken part in a number of competitions.
Look down the England youth sides and there are a number of other prospects coming through and if they can get first team experience while also playing tournament football, England may well find themselves as major contenders in Qatar in 2022.