Earlier this year, Greg Dyke stated that he wanted England to win the World Cup by 2022. With this in mind, is World Cup success a realistic aim, or just a pipe dream?
The leaders of the squad that could be playing in that 2022 squad have already broken onto the scene. Players like Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and Calum Chambers will all be in their prime by the time 2022 comes around, with Shaw being 26, and Sterling and Chambers 27. Add to this players such as Theo Walcott, and Daniel Sturridge who will both be 33, and even Joe Hart, who at 35 may still be an integral part of the England squad, and the prospect of a successful England side in the future is not such a distant prospect.
Despite a lack of English players in the Premier League, there is still a depth of promising young talent. Players such as Will Hughes and James Ward-Prowse are playing well, and are surely destined for England caps in the not-too-distant future.
Even players such as Ryan Ledson (it’s worth noting that on Football Manager, this kid becomes world-class) and George Green, both at Everton, have the potential to break into the England squad, as well as creative talent Dele Alli, whose form for MK Dons has been fantastic, despite being only 18.
Whisper it quietly, but a certain Wayne Rooney could still be playing by 2022. He would be 36, but if he adapts his game to counter the lack of pace, he could be a key part of the England side, the same way in which Andrea Pirlo appears to improve with age, playing as a regista for Italy, dictating the play.
With all this in mind, maybe Greg Dyke had a point. England winning the 2022 World Cup? It’s not as strange as you think!