- Premier League
Dyke to urge English football to unite
FA chairman Greg Dyke is today expected to call on English football to unite for the good of the national side.
Dyke will address not just the Premier League clubs but their players and his own colleagues, mapping out an overall strategy going forward for the FA to an invited audience at London's Millbank Tower, with specific plans designed to improve England's performance on the world stage.
While not seeking a direct confrontation with the Premier League, it is believed Dyke could demand an overhaul of the system by which players are released by their clubs for international fixtures as well as the implementation of a winter break.
Dyke could also call for the rescheduling of major games in the run-up to England internationals.
When the fixture list for the new Premier League season was released, Roy Hodgson was incensed that Manchester United faced a trip to Anfield and Arsenal hosted Tottenham right before England were due to meet up for their crucial World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and the Ukraine. Hodgson's fears proved well-founded with Glen Johnson and Phil Jones both brought off injured and dropping out of his squad, while Wayne Rooney suffered a deep cut to his head in training before the match against Liverpool.
Another issue on Dyke's agenda is improved work on player development and continuity between England age groups. Specific targets for all levels could be outlined, while the debate over a quota system for home-grown players could also be mooted again.
Dyke has sought opinion from all levels of the game as he looks to solve the problems that have blighted the national side in recent years. England have failed to make the semi-finals of a major competition since 1996, did not qualify for Euro 2008 and were knocked out in the last 16 at the World Cup in South Africa.
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