THERE are ways to introduce yourself to a living legend. Waking them from their slumber on a holiday late at night is not one of them.

Alan Kennedy is somewhat discombobulated. “I'm in me bed,” he says, the traces of his Sunderland accent still apparent despite the best part of a lifetime on Merseyside. “I'm on me holiday and I'm not sure what this is costing both of us. Is this over the internet?” he asks.

Humble apologies issued . . . and accepted, we decide to reconvene on another day.

When we speak next, Kennedy is much more sprightly. He is visiting a friend in Thailand. “Make sure you make it clear it's a he,” he jokes. The 65-year-old has just come off a football pitch having finished a match against local lads at the end of which the former Liverpool full-back scored the final goal. “We won,” he says, adding mischievously: “I think it was 47-46. Did we run? I think it was somewhere in between running and walking.”

There remains such a boyish enthusiasm about Kennedy's verve for the game that you sense he just might add this most recent strike to a list of career goals that included the two he scored to win the 1981 and 1984 European Cup finals against Real Madrid and AS Roma respectively.

You also get the impression the fire has been kept kindled in recent years by the emotional rush of watching what Kennedy calls “the finest Liverpool team since the one he played in”. That is not to damn with faint praise. Kennedy, did, after all play in Liverpool's all-conquering team of the 1970s and 80s.

Asked if he misses the game, his answer comes as something of a surprise for someone who has just hit the age when one normally receives a state pension.

“I've never given football up,” he says. “I've just played tonight, I do walking football with the foundation at Liverpool Football Club. I really, really enjoy my football. I play on Monday night, I play Tuesday, I play on a Friday. I would encourage anyone to keep on playing their sport. Some can't, some can but I'm living in another world and I'm hoping Jurgen Klopp might just be looking at his left-back position and thinking 'Oh God, I've got a problem there, I'll maybe give Alan Kennedy a ring'.”

Should Klopp need reminding, Kennedy was the Andy Robertson of his day. There was one crucial difference, however. The marauding left-back won five league titles, two European Cups and four League Cups. Where the current side, who travel to Tottenham Hotspur this evening aiming to take another step to a first English domestic title since 1990, have thus far failed to match their predecessors, Kennedy expects them to follow suit soon enough.

“I want to give them praise but I think there is a lot more to come when they get experience and they might need to add one or two other players but I think the football I've seen is the best since I played back in the 70s and 80s,” he says. “This team that Liverpool have now is probably the best since that era of invincibility. We were all out attack from the first minute of the game.

“I sometimes wonder if Jurgen Klopp watched Liverpool play in the 70s and 80s and copied what we did. The quality is so good that even when someone gives the ball away, just once, you think 'what is he doing giving the ball away, what will we do?' Well, they just get it back. I really do enjoy watching this team. All credit to Manchester City who have been at the top for the last five or six years – and they are still there because they are still chasing with others – but Liverpool, if they can get their act together, can be dominant for the next five or six years.”

Kennedy says fans who watched the team that he played in recalled sometimes being bored by Liverpool's relentless grip on matches, often against fellow title rivals, but he is adamant that the same cannot be said of this vintage.

“I am never bored with this team because they just produce football that is sometimes beyond belief how they actually do it, but they've worked hard at their game. It is every credit that whenever they go out on the pitch they go out to win and that's how we approached every game.

“My job, Phil Neal's job and Alan Hansen's job was to stop them playing, stop them scoring and that's exactly what I see in Virgil Van Dijk and whoever plays alongside him and, of course, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold as well. I have been very, very impressed by both full backs. They play as myself and Phil Neal played with a high line. Okay they might take a little bit of a risk at the back sometimes but no team has exploited Liverpool's weakness. If they do have a weakness I'm not sure where it is and that was exactly the same as 35 years ago.”

In his role as a matchday host at Anfield, Kennedy watches Klopp's side in the flesh once a fortnight and sometimes more if the notion takes him to go to an away game. He is, therefore, something of an expert on the current team and more so on what is required to play left-back for Liverpool. It is no surprise that Kennedy, who arrived on Merseyside for £330,000 from Newcastle United and was named one of the best 100 Liverpool players of all time, is circumspect about making comparisons between his team and today's one. Nevertheless, he loves the level-headed Robertson's body of work thus far and can't help but notice similarities between his game and the Scotland captain's.

“Yes, I see them. Liverpool broke the record for a full-back at the particular time I signed. [But] I was never assured of first-team football at Liverpool and you had to earn the right to be No.1 and that's exactly what Andy Robertson has done. I just think that Andy is a player who is the best in his position [in England]. There may be one or two others who I haven't really looked at in the Premier League and people will say 'what about this one?' but I watch Andy every week and I'm always impressed with his ability to defend – because that's what his job is – and then to get forward to support the attack. He knows exactly what he has to do and I think he carries out the instructions perfectly.

“The timing of the run is important and Andy times his runs very well. He sees the situation, he knows what is going to happen, he knows and trusts the players in front of him and then he makes the run. I really do think he is a top-class full-back and is doing everything that the manager wants. If I go back 35 or 40 years ago that's what I did when Bob Paisley, the manager said to me 'I want you to be yourself out there, I want you to get out there, show them that we haven't spent all that money needlessly on a full-back that doesn't get forward or whatever – that's what we want you to do.' You know, I had specific instructions from Bob Paisley to keep wide rather than go anywhere down the middle and the rest is history.”

That history is littered with treasured memories and, above all, the rewards of being on the right side of it. Thus Kennedy believes winning is what distinguishes the great from the very good. Last summer's Champions League win over this evening's opponents notwithstanding, ending the long wait for a domestic league title has assumed near-mythical status for all at Liverpool. Kennedy is no different.

“When I first watched Andy Robertson playing for Hull, I thought 'that lad has got something' but I go back to the days of [Graeme] Souness, [Kenny] Dalglish and [Alan] Hansen, three of the greatest ever Liverpool players. Andy has been outstanding but, again, nothing has been won yet. When they pick up their Premier League trophy or their medal, that's when I will be saying 'great player'.”

Robertson, forever seeking the marginal gains to elevate his game to the status of the world's elite players, would surely agree.