Success has truly been a journey rather than the final destination for Liverpool.
The English Premier League title will belatedly be taking up residence in the Anfield trophy cabinet after Jürgen Klopp’s side became champions for the first time since 1990.
The New Paper has spoken exclusively to three people who were involved in the club’s emotional roller coaster over the previous three decades, both on and off the pitch.
Jürgen Klopp may be the perfect manager but he has never professed to being flawless.
In his inaugural address as Liverpool manager in 2015, he declared: “I don’t know everything, but I am a good listener.”
Thomas Gronnemark believes the German’s willingness to both seek and accept help is a sign of true greatness.
“Jürgen is a really good guy in creating relations, not only with himself and the players and the staff but also creating a culture where it’s okay and allowed to help each other,” the club’s throw-in coach told TNP.
“He called me and said, ‘We were really bad at throw-ins in the last season,’ when they were 18th out of 20 in the Premier League. And he said, ‘I’ve tried to do something but it didn’t work’.
“You have to be a really great man to do that because a lot of… people… they’re not willing to admit that they need help to get better.
“So, for me, it’s one of the really two big strong things about not only his leadership but also as a guy who’s really good at giving and getting knowledge, not only for himself, but the people around him.”
Gronnemark, 44, spends a full week per calendar month working with Klopp’s players at their Melwood base, as well as liaising with the club’s staff from his native Denmark.
Winning had become perfunctory for Liverpool when they won their last league title.
Gary Gillespie, now 59, had lifted three championships in five seasons before the club entered a previously inconceivable wilderness period that would straddle three decades.
“I think everyone, fans included, just took it for granted a little bit too much,” he said.
“When I left Liverpool in ’91, we finished second. There was no way I would expect Liverpool to not have won the league title in 30 years. It was just unthinkable.