13/10/2013 19:13 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Let's Get Real Greg

Win the World Cup in 2022?

Is that it? Really? One refereeing decision, a couple of injuries or a Qatari version of Delhi belly can put paid to that in mins!

Okay - there was a little bit more than that to it, but Greg Dyke's solution over simplified the matter at hand for me.


English football is struggling because...

A) We have fallen down the international football rankings at all levels for the best part of 50 years (yes - the FIFA official rankings did have us up there a couple of years ago but who really believed that was a true reflection of our standing?)

B) There are less and less English participants in the game from school football all the way up to Premier League football.

C) There is a conspicuous lack of a clear, joined up approach to the game that the majority of English football people (players/coaches/administrators) actively subscribe to.

D) People used to be proud of English football - now they feel apathetic at best towards it.

Okay, so my summary isn't full of specifics - but specifics, like Greg Dyke's objectives, are hard to identify and highly unlikely to be credible.


Okay - so what do we need to achieve?

1) English teams at all age groups should be able to live with the world's best. By 'live with', I mean have a reasonable chance of coming off the pitch with a result against any of the world's leading teams. Perhaps more important, we need our teams to be capable of dictating the pattern of those games and not have to simply contain the opposition.

2) More funding needs to go into grass roots football - don't care where that comes from as long as it's the very top of the game - and the creation of a free play football culture where skill and enjoyment take precedence over winning.

3) A transparent blueprint for English football is required. This should focus on technical development particularly until the age of 15, game intelligence from 15 onwards and developing a framework around the game (legal, administrative, scientific, financial and ethical) designed to enable the technical plan.

4) Points 1, 2 and 3 will ensure we can be proud of English football again.

So who can put this together?

Here's my commission;

Seb Coe - A leader who expects and get the very best out of people.

Gary Neville - the voice of the professional game; an outstanding representative for the elite game, someone who understands what it takes to achieve world class success and a proud Englishman with the intelligence to apply scientific, commercial and technical logic to the game we all love.

Gerard Houllier - another incredibly successful representative for the elite game, and former technical director at Clairefontaine in France. A guy who brings an understanding of a successful continental approach to football development along with an appreciation of what British football represents culturally.

Ritchie Humphreys - I think he is an outstanding pick by the FA (albeit the only one IMO). The current PFA chairman and a player who has played in all four divisions of the football league. He's an elected representative for all professional players, respected throughout the game and also an experienced coach with younger players.

Guus Hiddink - one of the greatest minds in world football, a product of Dutch football culture with extensive knowledge from some of the world's most developed, as well as developing football nations.

Hugh Mcauley - former Liverpool Academy coach, I heard the guy interviewed on Talksport ( and whilst words like "hunger" and "passion" are often frowned upon by modern coaches, this guy's experience with the successful Liverpool academy means for me, he is one of the best equipped people out there to identify what is still good about the English game and needs to be harnessed.

Okay, so that line up may cost a few bob, but we're talking about shaping the future of a multi-million pound industry here so for me the investment is entirely justified.

I'd even suggest we consider Dave Brailsford as the guy to implement the masterplan - his execution of the development plan and radical overhaul of British cycling was pretty impressive.

Mine's a large class of red please Greg.