What will (and won't) happen in 2011

Capello 'honey trap' fails, Mancini declares he's happy with his squad and Sir Alex decides to call it quits at 7

Steve Tongue@stevetongue
Sunday 02 January 2011 01:00

January Manchester City spend £50m in the transfer window but "club sources" say they are confident of meeting Uefa's financial fair-play regulations; without explaining how. Harry Redknapp is no longer the bookies' favourite to be the next England manager as a court case involving alleged tax evasion is put back again. Liverpool sack Roy Hodgson and put Kenny Dalglish in charge until the end of the season. Arsenal and Birmingham win the Carling Cup semi-finals.

What won't happen: Avram Grant gets a vote of confidence.

February Wayne Rooney has a poor game for England in a goalless draw with Denmark but scores a rare goal in open play as Manchester United win the derby with City to extend their lead at the top. Arsenal hold Barcelona in the Champions' League first leg and win the Carling Cup to give Arsène Wenger his first trophy in six years. Martin O'Neill is linked with Liverpool and Fulham but says he wants a shot at international management and becomes the bookies' favourite for England.

March Arsenal and Spurs bow out of the Champions' League on successive nights to Barcelona and Milan. The following week, United and Chelsea go through. England scrape a 1-1 draw in Wales with an Andy Carroll header. Fifa's International Board meeting on technology votes to extend trials with goalline officials in smaller European leagues.

What won't happen: "We must have cameras on the goalline right now" – Fifa president Joseph S Blatter.

April Chelsea lose to Real Madrid in the Champions' League quarter-finals after a spat on the touchline between Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho. United are left as the only British survivors but Rooney is sent off as they are held by Milan at Old Trafford in a bad-tempered first leg. QPR win the Championship title and are back at the top level for first time in 15 years, along with Leeds.

May A hectic month begins with Barcelona and Milan overcoming Real Madrid and United to reach the Champions' League final, where Barça enchant Wembley in a 3-0 win. Ancelotti saves his job as Chelsea win the FA Cup but FA chairman David Bernstein says the Cup final must never again be played on the same weekend as a full Premier League programme. United steal Chelsea's thunder by winning the title at Blackburn. Arsenal finish second, City third and Spurs lose out to Chelsea for fourth place. City win the Europa League in Dublin.

What won't happen: "I'll spend whatever it takes to make Leeds great again" – Ken Bates.

June West Ham sack Grant; Roy Keane resigns at Ipswich. Pictures emerge of Cesc Fabregas celebrating in a Barcelona shirt amid speculation about his future. England beat Switzerland 2-0 at Wembley but at the European Under-21 Championship in Denmark, Stuart Pearce's team fail to qualify. Wenger is furious with the FA as a weary Jack Wilshere tears his hamstring. Bookies lengthen the odds on Pearce as the next England manager and make Redknapp favourite again.

July Two attractive Daily Telegraph reporters secretly film Fabio Capello saying the FA are a difficult organisation to work for; nobody takes any notice. Martin Jol is the new manager of West Ham; Alan Curbishley takes over at Ipswich. QPR announce plans for a new stadium on the old White City site where they played 40 years ago but Neil Warnock threatens to resign over a lack of funds for signings. The World Cup qualifying draw pits England with Poland yet again.

What won't happen: Roberto Mancini says City have the squad he wants and won't sign anyone.

August Ten players are unavailable for England's friendly with Holland at Wembley three days before the Premier League season starts. Redknapp is no longer favourite for England after criticising the timing of the game. Bernstein calls for greater co-operation between the League and the FA. Chelsea stumble through the Champions' League qualifying round with Ancelotti's three new signings struggling to impress. After weeks of negotiation, Arsenal reluctantly allow Fabregas to join Barcelona for ¤55m.

September England win twice in a week against Bulgaria and Wales, who unwittingly help them out by beating Montenegro. The Champions' League begins with PL clubs winning six games out of eight but Chelsea draw both theirs and after a 1-0 defeat at QPR Ancelotti is sacked just before the international break. Roman Abramovich negotiates with the Turkish FA for the release of Guus Hiddink.

What won't happen: After United's disappointing start, Sir Alex Ferguson says he will retire on his 70th birthday in December.

October Turkey cannot qualify for Euro 2012 after defeat by Germany, so Hiddink returns to Stamford Bridge. England grind out a goalless draw in the 40-degree heat of Montenegro to win their group. With Leeds in the PL top six, bookies make Simon Grayson the new favourite to succeed Capello. Play-off winners Nottingham Forest sack Billy Davies.

November The Olympic Park Legacy Company announce West Ham will take over the stadium in time for the 2013-14 season, with temporary seating replacing the athletics track. Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn says the move will kill his club unless they leave east London after 130 years for an Essex new town.

What won't happen: Everton and Liverpool begin discussions on a new shared stadium.

December Alex McLeish is sacked as Birmingham drop into the bottom three. In the Euro 2012 draw England are given the short straw in Ukraine. Uefa send in a special taskforce to work with the government to ensure that stadiums, hotels and transport will be ready as promised. The FA say the next manager will be the best man for the job, regardless of nationality; Hiddink is the new favourite.

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