England's defeat against Italy on Saturday had an unusual aftermath: there was no depressing hangover from fans, pundits or analysts but rather a new-found sense of optimism at an England team showing a flair for attacking, creative football.
Much of that encouragement came from the performance of Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, "Roy Hodgson’s main man in Manaus" as he shrugged off his international inexperience to show youth fearlessness against the intimidating Italians.
The FA's Greg Dyke said it was great to see Roy Hodgson giving youngsters like Sterling a chance in the England side, but he once again stressed the need for more English talent in the Premier League.
"You come out to try to win. You’ve got a fairly young side some of whom will still be around in eight years time," he said.
"But we’ve still got the problem that there aren’t many English players coming through the English system. It’s difficult. Particularly the Premier League and I think if you look at the figures for last season we were down to 30 percent (English-born players) and amongst the top clubs down to 22 percent I think. It’s difficult."
When Dyke became FA chairman last summer, he said that England should aim to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and win the World Cup in 2022, but that such an achievement would only be possible if the football system in England embraced major reform.
Dyke released a four-point plan to boost English football in May, with recommendations including the creation of a new tier within the Football League to allow Premier League B teams to participate, as well a ban on non-European Union players outside of the top flight and a reduction in non-home-grown players in Premier League teams.
Dyke also once more said that Fifa President Sepp Blatter should not remain in his post past 2015.
"We thought four years ago when he said he would stand for one more term, that should be it. And I think we still have that opinion," he said.Reuse content