English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has said the nation are not under pressure to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Clarke’s predecessor, Greg Dyke, said in 2013 that England should aim to reach the semifinals of Euro 2020 and then claim glory at the World Cup two years later.
But, after a disappointing round-of-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016, Clarke has played down the expectations on manager Roy Hodgson’s successor, Sam Allardyce.
“That clock’s daft,” Clarke said about a clock in the England team headquarters which is counting down to the 2022 finals in Qatar.
“I’m not going to put pressure on Sam and say we are going to win this tournament or that tournament. But I want to see a competitive team.”
Clarke also said he hopes Wayne Rooney changes his mind about his future after announcing last week that he will retire from international duty after the World Cup in Russia.
“I note that [Argentina captain Lionel] Messi retired and then decided to come back again,” Clarke said. “If you are good enough, Sam will pick you.
“So if [Rooney] changes his mind, if he has a good World Cup and Wayne thinks to himself ‘I fancy a bit more of that’ and Sam wants to pick him, why wouldn’t he continue playing?”