The comparisons should not be taken literally but spiritually.
As Brendan Rodgers will walk out through the re-installed Bill Shankly sign stating ‘This is Anfield’ to the cheer of the fans who Bill said was the third part of the Trinity, morally the Liverpool fans would be in the same place as when they were in 1959 – the Second Division.
There are a lot of similarities that can be drawn. Dead wood players, a stadium expansion plans in complete tatters, and a team finishing lower and lower as the years pass by. Maybe for the first time, even though not verbally stated, inside our heads, the valiant un-extinguished ember of hope has been put out and we know Liverpool will not win the league. And the counter that displays the years gone by without a win will be incremented at the end of the season.
This is Brendan Rodgers’ greatest opportunity. To be part of a legend. To be not only engrained into football history but to be a part of a folklore of a city, because football in Liverpool is truly a religion. Asking a Liverpudlian if they follow football is a wasted question. The only relevant question is ‘The Reds or the Toffees?’. The decline has been so sudden but painfully long, interspersed with few cup victories that always aims to tease. When? When will that parade go around in Liverpool, has almost turned to will it ever.
And truly, if it does, the man behind will have his bust somewhere. Will Brendan Rdogers be the man? Shankly came in, and made virtually unknown players a piece of football history. And the new manager has his chance, though due to circumstances. There is no money to buy a Zlatan or a Tevez. There is no attraction for a Hazard or even a Gylfi. So this is also the opportunity for unknown or underperforming players to shift a gear. To prove their worth.
The pass and move on that Bill adopted will come back in brute force under Brendan. The wings will stretch out its span under him. And if he delivers, the ashes of Bill sprinkled at the Kop end will scream out in pure joy. And Brendan will become the new Bill.