The Last Word: From Pogba's return to a blow-up Rory McIlroy: what cannot possibly happen in 2013...

 

January

Sir Alex Ferguson finally accepts that his midfield requires rejuvenation, and scouts in Italy persuade him to break the transfer record for a teenager in order to bring Paul Pogba to Old Trafford.

February

Chris Robshaw, tired of that quizzical look from Owen Farrell, appoints himself England's goal-kicker for the Six Nations. Italy get on a roll, catching the French cold in Rome before putting away some plucky underdogs at Murrayfield.

The World Championship Ladies' Giant Slalom is suspended after the snow begins to melt as Anna Fenninger enters the starting hutch. All men under the age of 70 are removed from Schladming and the piste is quickly passed fit for racing.

March

In the middle of a game, substitute Mario Balotelli wanders on to the field, sits down in the centre circle and starts burning £50 notes, softly singing "hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny".

April

On His Own wins the Grand National. (You might want rather bigger odds against some of these predictions but, in this instance, 20-1 is a very fair price.)

May

Chelsea go top after beating Manchester United 6-5 at Old Trafford. David Luiz, who has replaced Torres up front for the run-in, scores a hat-trick. Chelsea proceed to clinch the title on goal difference. Fans scorch giant letters on to the pitch: "Rafa: Chelsea legend."

June

Frankie Dettori, having completed his drugs ban, promptly finds redemption by winning the Derby, only for his trademark flying dismount to backfire as he floats away altogether.

July

Roger Federer and Andy Murray contest another Wimbledon final, and this time Murray is determined to have the undivided loyalty of Middle England. He arrives on court in Brylcreem, blazer, cravat and cricket flannels, with a single wooden racket and a teddy bear. Federer, incensed by his disenfranchisement, responds with a fortnight's stubble and a crew cut. It all ends in tears again, however, when Murray places his monocle on the wrong eye at match point.

August

Ashley Cole, arriving in Paris to negotiate a transfer to Paris St-Germain, swerves off the road on learning the magnitude of his salary. But the deal falls through after the car plunges into the Seine and Cole suffers a shoulder injury. Divers dredge the riverbed seeking the crucial chips. Joey Barton leaves the French press in no doubt, remarking: "Weezout zeese, ow you say, cheeps – zees player… Bah!"

Captains Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook, having cancelled each other out in four draws, agree to sit out the last Test at the Oval. Joe Root and Monty Panesar convene for the last wicket with 17 required. "We'll get them in singles," murmurs Root. Monty wins it, trying to smear a six and nicking an inside edge past leg stump.

September

Serena Williams, recently impersonated by her opponent with towels stacked into her dress, beats Caroline Wozniacki in the US Open final with an inflatable doll of Rory McIlroy wrapped round her backside. In the process Williams completes the Grand Slam, but will nonetheless contrive to end the year at No 2 in the WTA rankings.

Qatar is the surprise choice to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Adviser Lord Coe clinches the deal by dovetailing it with construction of an artificial mountain resort to host the Winter Games of 2022.

October

Nonito Donaire's decision to submit to a voluntary drug-testing protocol eventually shames boxing's disparate governing bodies into doing something before someone gets killed. They will now give no more than six months' notice of each testing date, and add rooibos tea and uranium to the list of banned substances.

November

Arsène Wenger quits Arsenal to manufacture a car that runs on camomile tea. The club also decides on a change of direction, and promise Tony Pulis a budget of £100m for the transfer window.

December

Having failed to take to his new career in dressage, Kauto Star auditions for a place on Celebrity Big Brother. But producers feel uncomfortable with the idea of an excessive IQ disparity between a guest in the house and those watching at home.

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