After years of uncertainty and a lack of clear long-term direction, the arrival of Jurgen Klopp flipped Liverpool on its head and returned the club back to its rightful place.
It is October 8, 2015, and Jurgen Klopp is officially being unveiled at Anfield as Liverpool Football Club’s new manager.
Disbelief, euphoria and hysteria meet his every move from the time the news broke of his impending arrival to when he addressed the media and the fans for the very first time.
He arrived at a time when the club was clouded in doom and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed out of reach as any silverware landing at Anfield did not appear to be in the pipeline.
After a heartbreaking end to the 2013/14 Premier League title charge, which was admittedly built on quicksand, Brendan Rodgers had failed to oversee the necessary rebuild to see title challenges become the norm.
And with the Reds languishing in 10th position and labouring to a 1-1 draw at Everton on October 4, 2015, the time was called on Rodgers’ tenure before the night was out.
Footage of Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry and a spontaneous leg squeeze then became synonymous of his sacking when the news was released after the game.
Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp were the two names thrown into the ring as the search and debate surrounding who would be best man for the job kickstarted – but fate would have it that would both reside on Merseyside four years later.
But FSG had already secured the signature of a manager, who would transform Liverpool from the first opportune moment, over 3,000 miles away in New York.
“I think his credentials as one of the best managers, if not the best, were apparent for all” and “from a football sense it was a relatively easy and straightforward decision,” FSG president Mike Gordon would later explain.
And merely days later, Klopp was unveiled to the masses having been officially handed the reigns at Anfield where he would famously declare himself as the “normal one” and the need “to change from doubters to believers.”
From the off, he was calm, philosophical and, of course, charismatic as he addressed the key concerns and areas which needed immediate attention.
“They [the fans] seem to be a little bit nervous. The atmosphere in the stadium is good but nobody is really enjoying themselves.
“We need to be closer with all the staff, the fans. It is important they don’t think: ‘These are the good-paid guys, we are the fans.’”
It was a mesmeric first outing from the boss and it was a sign of things to come as he first looked to unload the weight of the past be aiming to secure a title within four years.
“History is the base for us. It’s not allowed to take the history in the backpack.”
And from that day forth, Liverpool experienced an exponential rise as Klopp turned the tide, re-connected the players and the wider club to the fans and set the standards which would pave the path to success.
It was not all smooth sailing as the Reds fell to three successive final defeats before they would taste the greatest of triumphs.
From the rebuilding process on the field to the transformation in the stands, it was all done as a collective – with Klopp particularly eager to stress that Liverpool’s future achievements would come to fruition “by being the most completely together group anywhere in the world.”
Klopp’s eagerness to embrace the transfer committee, sporting director Michael Edwards, the data-driven approach and the knowledge that he is not an expert in all areas of a football club ensure the Reds consistently leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of sustained success.
Since arriving at Anfield in 2015, Klopp has created a team of mentality monsters, where his insatiable desire for constant improvements has been adopted by the team he sends out each and every matchday.
A team who are now reigning world and European champions, and soon to be the first Liverpool team to win the league title in 30 years.
In over four short years since FSG made the all-important decision to lure him to Anfield, he was offloaded the weight of the past, turned doubters into believers and returned the club the pinnacle of club football once more.
In Klopp, Liverpool have a manager who epitomises and appreciates all that the football club stands for and with a contract until 2024, there is still plenty of memorable nights and triumphs to celebrate together.
* This is part of a new series aimed at filling the void without football, looking at the greatest moments in the history of the Reds. We’ll be publishing new stories from Liverpool’s glorious past each day at 7am and 7pm (UK).