For a club so often accused of living in the past, Brendan Rodgers' move to invite a host of former players back to the club in a variety of roles might seem like a cliché--rather than turn the focus entirely forward, the manager decides to bring in those that were part of a past that squads in recent years have had difficulty living up to. That's sort of accurate, at least as far as the success part of it goes, but there's also an intentionality present in the club's actions, and it deserves to be met with praise rather than cynicism.
Ian Rush has had a role with the club for years now; he's primarily served as an ambassador for the club around the world, but he's also been active at times around Melwood, and as such has fostered a close relationship with Rodgers and his squad. And for him, the club's efforts to embrace former players is all about moving forward rather than trying to live in the past:
"We all love the club and we're like supporters now. We have played for the club and we're desperate to see them be successful. If we can give experience to players, it's great. One good thing about it is the manager, Brendan, invites us if we want to come to training. He wants to see ex-players and icons, which reminds the present day players of what these people won and they have got to try to achieve that with this team. It brings excitement to the club. We want to see ex-players come in and give their experience back to these present day players."
"Kenny is Liverpool through and through, he has got Liverpool at heart. It's great to see him back and I thought the owners did a great job bringing him back. Kenny loves football and he'll benefit the club because he'll give his advice and experience, both as a player and as a manager. I'm sure Brendan will be made up that he's back because if he needs any advice, Kenny will be the first to give it. It's for Liverpool Football Club, not for the individual - and Kenny puts Liverpool Football Club first on the list. There's no-one bigger than the club. Players come and go, the club will always be there. I'm sure Kenny would be the first to say that as well.
Liverpool are never going escape the critique that they're living off former glories until there's more recent glory to speak of, so in the meantime they might as well embrace those that had such a positive impact over the years. Rush and Dalglish have obviously been a significant part of that, and their presence can only be a good thing as Liverpool look to push forward.
And, obviously, recapture former glories and etc.