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Do England's current stars have a point to prove?

It might have come as something of a relief for England's players that the focus in the build up to their World Cup Qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine has been firmly on new FA chairman Greg Dyke.

Dyke this week outlined his vision for the future of the national side, calling it a 'tanker that needs turning' and setting his sights on World Cup glory in Qatar 2022. From Dyke's standpoint, it appears the current English side's chances of winning Brazil 2014 are 'unrealistic'.

He might have a point. England's very participation in the tournament next year is still in doubt, with games against Moldova tonight, and a crucial away trip to the Ukraine on Tuesday.

But England's stars might feel that they have something of a point to prove theselves going into these matches, with so much talk of the future, it sees people may be forgetting the here and now.

On paper an argument can easily be made that England should be competing with the best next year in Brazil, but that has been England's problem for a long time. Captain Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are the last remnants of the so called 'golden generation' that have promised so much for more than a decade, but delivered only a handful of quarter final appearances and a failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

But they are three stalwarts in a relatively raw England side. Of the 25 man squad chosen for these games, nearly half of the have 10 caps of less, with Fraser Forster, Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend yet to earn a cap between them at senior level.

Most of these players career's are just starting, but at 31, journeyman striker Ricky Lambert, who scored on his debut against Scotland last month, shows that quality will always persevere, regardless of age.

After watching Germany's young guns dismantle England 4-1 in South Africa in 2010, the cries for an emphasis on youth could not be ignored.

The FA responded by building St George's Park, a vital hub for all levels of the English team, and a platform for which to build the future of English football.

Dyke's appointment and his subsequent targets have given a renewed optimism that we are finally trying to emulate the likes of Germany and Spain, who nuture talent all they way up the national system.

Several of the players in this squad will still be around for Qatar 2022 and presumably in their primes. But the likes of Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley won't be worrying about Qatar, they'll be wanting to do their part to make sure England get to Brazil in the, not too distant, future.

 

 

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