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Joe Strange - Five predictions for 2011

Published: 03 Jan 2011 - 10:33:41

We're now firmly stuck in 2011 and in keeping with my fellow Football.co.uk bloggers, I've decided to stick with the review/preview vibe that seems to be so common around this time of year.

A new year is supposed to be a chance for a fresh start but will anything really change in the football world? Here are my five predictions for what the beautiful game will bring us over the next 12 months.

1. England will still be rubbish

Depressing as it is, nothing seems to be changing in the national set-up. The players are still under-performing, the manager still hasn't got a clue and the tactics are still consistently inconsistent. We've got a terribly easy Euro 2012 qualifying group and will get to Poland and Ukraine with no trouble but expect us to do it in the most boring, unspectacular fashion.

2. Manchester City will win the Premier League

Despite Roberto Mancini publicly stating that achieving a top four place was Manchester City's goal for the season, he and everyone associated with the club must be changing their ambitions with every passing week. Owner Sheik Mansour knows that the title is up for grabs and he looks certain to invest more cash in January. If City get Edin Dzeko and a commanding centre-back then don't be surprised if they end up on top of the pile come mid-May.

3. Roy Hodgson will get the sack

One of the most hotly debated topics of recent months will come to end this year when poor old Roy finally leaves Anfield. The former Fulham man has endured a torrid time so far and things look unlikely to change anytime soon. Who John W Henry will appoint as his successor is anyone's guess.

4. Arsene Wenger will spend some serious cash

Arsenal are still in with a shout of the title this season but will more than likely come up short yet again. That's bound to bring pressure from disgruntled fans and with Cesc Fabregas potentially off to Barcelona, Arsene Wenger could have a huge war chest to spend come the summer. Expect at least a couple of big-name players to be on their way to the Emirates this year.

5. Wayne Rooney will find his form of 2009-10

The Premier League's player of the season for 2009-10 endured an abysmal second half of last year. An awful World Cup was swiftly followed by a string of lurid allegations about his private life, contract controversy, injuries and a dramatic loss of form. But an eye-catching performance against West Brom on Saturday proved that Wazza is getting back to his best, as the old saying goes - form is temporary, class is permanent.

FOLLOW JOE ON TWITTER @joe_strange


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:joe strange
A product of Brighton University's prolific youth system, Joe Strange has boundless energy and the enviable ability to cover every blade of grass in his Monday blog. Joe has written for a variety of football websites and fanzines and is also a regular contributor to golf.co.uk. Despite being born and raised in Kent, 'Stranger' is a diehard Everton fan and counts his team's penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester United last season as his most memorable football moment. Follow Joe on Twitter @joe_strange.

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