Ian Doyle has said, in a piece commemorating Gerard Houllier, that the former Reds boss had laid the foundations for Liverpool’s future success.
The Frenchman, who led the club for six years, oversaw its modernisation, dragging the side “kicking and screaming into the 21st century”.
“It’s easy to forget how far Liverpool had fallen behind their rivals in the 1990s,” the journalist wrote in the Echo. “His influence was felt throughout the club, from transforming Melwood into a modern training facility to introducing greater discipline and a more professional mentality throughout the club.”
Gerard enjoyed a successful period with Liverpool, being most-remembered for the famous treble in the 2000/01 season, in which he helped secure the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
It might seem too grand a statement to make, but, with the benefit of hindsight, it becomes rapidly clear that we would still potentially be struggling in the shadows of our rivals had Houllier not made the move to Anfield.
Should Jurgen Klopp choose to leave the Reds at the end of his contract in 2024, he will be able to hold his head up high having further fortified the foundations.
Whoever takes on the reins after however, will have to look far beyond the German’s shoulder, back to that pivotal appointment in 1998, to thank the man who started it all.