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Greg Dyke sets England target of winning the 2022 World Cup

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Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has set the England team the target of winning the World Cup by 2022. At the same time he has acknowledged that the dearth of homegrown talent is a serious concern.

As England approach two vital qualifiers in serious danger of missing out on the Brazil 2014 tournament altogether, Dyke was attempting to take a longer view. "English football is a tanker that needs turning," he said. "I want to set the whole of English football two targets. The first is for the England team to at least reach the semi-finals of the Euro Championship in 2020 and the second is for us to win the World Cup in 2022."

He was less clear on how this would be achieved. When clubs like Newcastle and Sunderland, once breeding grounds for English talent, rely on substantially foreign squads, the future looks bleak. "Last weekend only 65 English players started in the Premier League with another 14 coming on as substitutes," Dyke said. "Taking into account that some of these players are not international standard, I think it's fair to say we already have a very small talent pool and it's getting smaller."

Dyke has formed a commission to look into the problem. "England is already short of players who regularly turn out at the top level for their clubs and are qualified to play for England but the real problem is that, year by year, the position is getting worse."

Dyke failed to admit that the money-spinning circus of the Premier League must bear a substantial share of the blame for the lack of fresh English talent, perhaps because he was involved in setting it up. The Premier League denies this analysis but it's apparent that teams desperate to stay aboard the gravy train prefer to trust foreign players than take a gamble on inexperienced English youngsters.

Unless that situation can be addressed, England will be lucky to qualify for Qatar 2022, let alone win it.

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