Martin O'Neill off to Liverpool? Not in this lifetime

This isn't meant to wind up the red half of Liverpool, but it needs to be said, just so there is a reference point to it in the future. Martin O'Neill will not leave Aston Villa to manage Liverpool, simply because it isn't the step up a manager like Martin O'Neill would need to take, at this stage in his career.

Martin O'Neill is 58 years old and while he doesn't need to work, is probably as addicted to football as the rest of us and wants to achieve things with a club, that he can truly call his own. At Aston Villa he isn't living in a shadow but if he went to Liverpool, rightly or wrongly, he would be and that shadow at Liverpool would never be his.

Don't get me wrong, it would be a step up for him, but it is not a huge step up. Martin O'Neill doesn't like to do things the easy way and that step would be too easy for him.

He has spoken in the past about the Manchester United job and described it as "the impossible job" but I really do think it would be the one job he would leave us for. It would be the challenge of a lifetime and while it would be hard, scrap that, almost impossible, for any manger to equal what Sir Alex Ferguson has at Manchester United, for that reason alone, it makes failing that much more difficult as no manager would be expected to achieve what Sir Alex has.

The manager that does finally take over at Manchester United will not be expected to do what Sir Alex Ferguson has done - he will just be expected to do his best and win things and with what they have to offer the next manager in terms of squad and buying power - it is almost as if O'Neill, or any manager, would do well. It would actually be harder to fail at United than to succeed.

So, Liverpool, you don't have that pull you once had and it isn't enough of a challenge for O'Neill, maybe the Ringmaster, but if United came knocking, I'm not so sure O'Neill could say no, it is one of the biggest jobs in football.