Former TV exec Greg Dyke delivered his vision to the world of English football this week.
It’s difficult to not like the chap. Usually such a sensible thinker and outrageously, completely wrongly, hounded out of his job when running the BBC, his judgement tends to be sound.
Yet his first keynote speech as top English football administrator was alarming.
His aims were stated as to be a semi-finalist in the 2020 Euros, and then go on and win the 2022 World Cup.
He intends to seek opinions from around the game to formulate how to achieve those lofty goals.
What a waste of time.
I’m not alone in my view. Respected journalist Henry Winter gave this glimpse into alternate beliefs, “instead of stating England should win the 2022 World Cup, Greg Dyke should have focused on setting targets for 10,000 UEFA ‘A’ level coaches by 2017”.
It’s not that England shouldn’t expect to be challenging. It’s that I can’t help thinking how misplaced such goals are. What cycling supremo Dave Brailsford would make of them is pretty obvious.
Winning is a process. The Germans haven’t reached eleven major finals since England’s sole success way back in 66 because they set these style of goals.
Nor did the French or Spanish emerge from years of under-achievement to dominate back at the turn of the Millennium and today with such nonsensical prayers.
Being better. Being better consistently. Being better younger. It all goes into the mix.
If your sales are in a trough, you don’t set out to be top of the world beyond the horizon.
You set out to belong there, step by step, by exuding being a winner throughout.
How can you get better this period? Maintain that level of improvement? Know why you’re improving? Genuinely becoming “the best that you can be”?
You don’t come in contact with world class salesteams that set themselves this kind of target. To be market leader is better that saying we’ll be a billion dollar outfit, but the sharpist goals tend to be framed against growth.
England’s football returns have been woeful for twenty years.
Arbitrary ambitions like this will not change that.