Paul Taylor: There's one English tradition the Al Hasawi's would be wise not to follow
NIGEL Adkins may not yet have been sent tumbling over the edge, but he is a man stood on a precipice.
Such is his positive nature, the Southampton manager would probably insist he was enjoying the view, while quoting some highbrow concept from Sun Tzu's The Art of War, as he waits for the inevitable denouement.
When the axe finally falls; when the shove in the back comes, whether it is this weekend or not, Adkins will probably depart humming 'Always Look On the Bright Side of Life'.
But he shouldn't. No. Instead, Adkins should be bristling with a sense of injustice; he should be furious.
The common belief is that one more defeat will do it. One more bad result will seal his fate and the man who guided the Saints from the depths of League One into the top flight will receive the ultimate reward. The sack.
And English football will have another scalp to add to the litany of examples of injustice and impatience within the game.
Having been in charge for a little over two years, Adkins has at least survived longer than the 14 months that is now the average tenure of a manager, even if he does soon join the likes of Owen Coyle in the search for new employment.
Coyle, the man who showed dignity and poise as football was proven not to be more important than life and death last season, as Fabrice Muamba fought to survive a heart attack, was sacked by Bolton at the start of last month.
Nor will Coyle and, potentially, Adkins be the last men to seek the assistance of the LMA and their negotiating skills, when it comes to reaching financial settlements this season.
Mark Hughes is under pressure at QPR, as are Birmingham City's Lee Clark and Peterborough's Darren Ferguson in the Championship.
This is the way of English football and it's sack-it-and-see culture. Billy Davies referred to the phenomenon as the 'three game window'; his belief being that just three bad results could be enough to get a manager the sack.
In his case, it took far more than that to provoke Forest chairman Nigel Doughty into taking action. But that is a different story; a different era.
The club's new owners, the Al Hasawi family, are keen marksmen and are understood to enjoy many an afternoon shooting grouse and ducks.
But hopefully their trigger fingers will not be poised when it comes to their ownership of Nottingham Forest.
There is no suggestion Sean O'Driscoll's position is under threat, even if the manager does have a habit of frequently referring to his role as being to implement an ethos at the club, even if 'somebody else' ends up carrying it on in the future.
When the Al Hasawi family were unveiled as the new owners, Abdulaziz Al Hasawi said: "If we make it to the Premier League (this season) I'll be very happy. But I personally think we're on a long-term plan. It will be very nice to make the Premier League. But we have a three to five-year plan."
Whether that outlook remains the same or not, O'Driscoll has enough experience to probably have at least one wary eye cast over his shoulder.
Having beaten the odds to establish Doncaster as a Championship club, O'Driscoll himself was sacked, preposterously, last season, for failing to take them the next step on and sustain a push for the Premier League.
Now that is the challenge he faces at Forest, as the ambitious owners look to restore the club's former glories.
But, along with ambition, there must be patience. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Yes, 15 games in, with a third of the season almost gone, Forest have underachieved, at least in terms of results.
Having assembled a squad with genuine class, they should occupy a loftier position in the table than they do.
But, while there have been frustrating moments in the first three months of the campaign, it does now feel as though things are falling into place.
O'Driscoll has signed quality players and he has installed a brand of quality football. On Tuesday night, Forest should have beaten Middlesbrough, one of the promotion favourites, who were outclassed at the City Ground.
They have also drawn at leaders Crystal Palace, despite being reduced to ten men, and beaten third-placed Cardiff.
At their best, they have proved they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the division. The challenge, for O'Driscoll, is to get Forest producing their best more consistently.
And, while it seems Adkins won't get that chance at Saints, hopefully there is one English tradition Forest's Kuwaiti owners will not be inspired to follow.