Tim Sherwood insists Liverpool are lucky to have under-fire manager Brendan Rodgers - and he could have managed Real Madrid.
The Aston Villa chief has defended Rodgers amid growing pressure on the Anfield boss following their poor start.
Villa go to Merseyside on Saturday looking to pile the misery on Rodgers who has seen his side earn just eight points from six games to sit seven points off the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Rodgers took Liverpool to second in the league in 2014 and has vowed to fight for his Anfield future with the club denying Carlo Ancelotti had been approached about the possibility of taking over while Jurgen Klopp has been linked with the job.
Sherwood, though, believes Rodgers remains a top manager.
He said: "After that season they finished second, if they'd won the league could they have kept hold of Brendan Rodgers?
"They would have tried everything - and they did, he signed a new contract after that.
"All of a sudden he doesn't turn into a bad manager, it's fine margins. We might have seen him at Real Madrid.
"Why wouldn't we have seen him there? He'd have won the English Premier League with a team who hasn't won it for God knows how many years. He would have been the hottest property in football. A week is a long time in this game, let alone a year. Because they got so close it intensifies the pressure. He's paying the price for overachieving a couple of seasons ago.
"It's harder to be a manager now than 20 years ago with social media and faceless people have their opinions. There's more pundits than players."
Christian Benteke has been denied a reunion with Villa for the first time since leaving in a £32.5million move in the summer with a hamstring injury and Sherwood, who has Idrissa Gueye (hamstring) available again, admitted Villa would not have let the Belgium striker go if he did not have a release clause.
He added: "There wouldn't have been a price the club would have taken if the clause wasn't there. The clause was in there from previously and everyone looked at it and thought it was good money. I always knew that call was going to come."