Juergen Klopp is a great man, says Liverpool's throw-in guru
Coach, ex-player and voice of Anfield explain how Liverpool became EPL champs
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 Juergen Klopp's side became champions for a 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.
Juergen 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.
"Juergen 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.
He added: "It's just a perfect place to work. It's like a fairy tale for me so I'm just happy every time, not only (when) I come to the club, but every day I'm working for them also in Denmark."
THE FORMER PLAYER
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.
"The longer it went on, you did wonder, 'Is this ever going to happen again?'
"Obviously, there's been close calls but this team's different. The capability that they've got is far greater than any Liverpool squad that I've seen since 1990 and maybe even before."
The former defender also believes similarities exist between Anfield's current crop and Kenny Dalglish's class of 1987/88, which was hailed as being "better than the Brazilians".
"I think you can run comparisons with these two teams and it's about having match-winners," he adds.
"Liverpool at this moment in time have got match-winners, ably supported by an industrious midfield and a solid back four that can create and score goals as well.
"When you make the comparisons; (in 87/88) you had John Barnes on the left, Peter Beardsley floating about, maybe doing a Roberto Firmino kind of role, and Aldo (John Aldridge) who was banging in the goals a bit like Mohamed Salah.
"Any time that you've got quality players and talented players in the final third of the pitch, it gives you an outstanding chance to score goals and by scoring goals, you win games and become league champions - but you have to have the overall package.
"One key thing that a lot of people miss is camaraderie; the boys having a good understanding of each other. I think both teams have got that as well."
Music has become unrecognisable since Liverpool were last English champions.
George Sephton had the honour of soundtracking the club's previous title win in April 1990, when Madonna's "Vogue" was enjoying a four-week stint atop the British charts.
The DJ, 74, remains a fixture of Anfield's match-day experience and admits that the circumstances behind this latest domestic triumph has made for a surreal experience.
"It's hard to describe," he admits. "The whole year has been like living in a nightmare and all of a sudden, it's like living in the middle of a good dream.
"It started to sink in when I saw Kenny (Dalglish) being interviewed. I've just started to calm down now! This is the bee's knees: We're the champions of everything.
"I think it's 22nd August that we cease to be champions of Europe but between now and then, we're it. We've got the Premier League, the Champions League, the European Super Cup and we're champions of the world."
Fans returning to the famous stadium is still some way off due to Covid-19 restrictions but Sephton, known as the Voice of Anfield, is already formulating his set list for that first game back. "It won't be a game for playing new music," he says.
"It'll be a day for playing the traditional songs that everybody loves. Hopefully, the people get in early and start singing, which will be nice."