Greg Clarke, the new chairman of the Football Association, has scrapped a goal for England to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup set by his predecessor Greg Dyke.
The statement was made by former chairman, Dyke, in 2013. He also suggested the Three Lions should make the semi-final at the 2020 UEFA European Championship as part of their development. However, Clarke has stated there are no longer such lofty ambitions.
“I’m not going to put pressure on and say we are going to win this tournament or that tournament,” he said, per BBC Sport.
Additionally, Clarke was critical of a clock at the team’s St George’s Park training base that counted down to the 2022 final in Qatar. The new chairman said the timer was “daft.”
“If you've seen that nuclear clock back in the Cold War, it's been one minute to midnight for the last 55 years,” he added, per Sam Cunningham of the Daily Mail. “These things are a joke. I like a few jokes, I like a good laugh, so I'll go up to St George's Park and have a good laugh at the clock.”
While Clarke has made some critical assessments, the Daily Telegraph’s Ben Rumsby was encouraged by the new chairman:
In the three years since Dyke made his bold claim, the England team have endured a steady decline.
At the 2014 World Cup England were eliminated in the group stages, picking up just one point from matches against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. More recently, Roy Hodgson’s side did make it into the knockout stage of Euro 2016, although they were embarrassingly knocked out by Iceland in the last 16.
It means expectations are as low as they have been in a generation when it comes to the national side, with new boss Sam Allardyce facing a huge challenge of leading the recovery.