Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has leapt to the defence of Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers, claiming the under-fire Ulsterman could be Real Madrid boss.
A failure to replicate the title challenge mounted by Liverpool in a thrilling 2013-14 campaign last term and a stumbling start to this season has seen pressure heaped on Rodgers' shoulders, with high-profile coaching duo Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp each linked with replacing him.
Rodgers welcomes Sherwood's Villa to Anfield on Saturday, having failed to beat the Birmingham club on home soil as Liverpool boss.
Although Sherwood is plotting Rodgers' downfall this weekend, the former Tottenham boss believes Liverpool's hierarchy would do well to keep the faith with their current manager.
Sherwood said: "After that season Liverpool finished second, could they have kept hold of Brendan Rodgers?
"They're a massive club and they would have tried everything. But we might have seen him at Real Madrid.
"He would have won the Premier League for Liverpool for the first time in God knows how many years. He would have been the hottest property in football.
"That's how quickly things can change. A week is a long time in football let alone a year. He doesn’t turn into a bad manager all of a sudden. Because they got so close, that intensifies the pressure. It’s the nature of the game.
"It really is fine margins. I saw them play Carlisle the other night, they had 45 shots at goal. The goalkeeper has had a month off, he’s exhausted. It could have easily been 10-0.
"Course he could manage elsewhere in the Premier League. Only in this country do you get stigma when a manager gets sacked. Look at every other country when they get sacked, it just part and parcel; sacked, next one, sacked, next one."
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