Are the freefalling Saints making plans for Nigel?

ENGLISH FOOTBALL

ROY PILOTT
Last updated 08:34 09/11/2012

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Southampton are tipped to become the first premier club to sack their manager this season.

Nigel Adkins is on borrowed time after watching his side lose eight matches out of 10 - and put in some pretty average shifts between the odd highlight.

Southampton fans have a lot of time for Adkins, particularly as he has taken the club from League One to the top flight in just two years. But the business is cut- throat and the book is open on his successor. Swindon's Paulo di Canio is favourite. A loss at home to Swansea this weekend may prove fatal.

Scotland are also looking for a new boss after Craig Levein was sacked this week. Gordon Strachan is a good bet to be his replacement and Levein is taking legal advice. Scotland's World Cup campaign is on shaky ground after Levein's side picked up two points from the first 12 on offer.

Strachan, out of football management since 2010, says he would be honoured to do the job. Owen Coyle would also welcome an approach.

Former Welsh international Ivor Powell MBE, who played for Blackpool, QPR and Aston Villa has died at 96. Powell, who was Sir Stanley Matthews' best man, coached until he was 93.

Crystal Palace named Blackpool's Ian Holloway as their new manager last weekend and he watched his side thump Mick McCarthy's Ipswich, 5-0. Michael Appleton, of hardup Portsmouth, was yesterday named as the new boss of the Tangerines.

Manchester United will unveil a stature of Sir Alex Ferguson on November 23 to mark his remarkable 26-year reign.

Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen may look for greener fields in January after losing his place to Asmir Begovic . . . Andre Santos has apologised for making Arsenal fans cringe last weekend by asking for Robin van Persie's shirt - at halftime . . . Ali Al Habsi has responded to reports linking him to Liverpool by saying he's happy at Wigan.

We all know the reason Fifa demand opposing teams play in different colours (even sock colours can't be the same) is to boost sales for the likes of Nike and Adidas. But you would think they wouldn't make it so obvious. Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone wore the same colours as the referee and linesmen at Old Trafford. How come that's OK?

Standard Liege midfielder William Vainqueur could join the growing ranks of Premier League imports from Belgium . . . Shakhtar Donetsk's Fernandinho, (I presume he's a cross between Les Ferdinand and Ronaldinho) also fancies a stint in England . . . Newcastle could yet snare Lille fullback Mathieu Debuchy, after the club failed to strike a deal before the start of the season.

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Millwall are arranging counselling for a 13-year-old racist who abused a Bolton player last month. I wonder what will become of the fool who schooled a three- year-old boy to sing a foul song about Robin van Persie then had his effort plastered all over the internet? It's interesting that when these morons, such as Chelsea follower Gavin Kirkham, are exposed, their friends and family want to tell the world what wonderful caring people they are.

Speaking of which, The Society of Black Lawyers say if Tottenham don't take action against their own fans who use the term Yid in chants, they will. Some people obviously have too much time on their hands.

On the move:

Lauri Dalla Valle Fulham-Crewe. Loan, Jesse Lingard Man Utd-Leicester, Lee Nicholls Wigan-Northampton, Michael Keane Man Utd- Leicester, Robbie Brady Man Utd-Hull, Sean McGinty Man Utd-Carlisle, John Egan Sunderland-Bradford C, Jordan Archer Spurs- Wycombe Wanderers.

Weekend fixtures:

England, Arsenal v Fulham, Everton v Sunderland, Reading v Norwich, Southampton v Swansea, Stoke v QPR, Wigan v West Brom, Aston Villa v Man Utd. Sunday, Man City v Spurs, Newcastle v West Ham, Chelsea v Liverpool. Scotland Inverness v Hearts, Kilmarnock v Ross County, Motherwell v Dundee, St Mirren v Aberdeen. Sunday, Hibernian v Dundee Utd, Celtic v St Johnstone.

roy.pilott@dailynews.co.nz

- © Fairfax NZ News

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