The incredible depth of staff helping to lead Liverpool to glory

The incredible depth of staff helping to lead Liverpool to glory

Jurgen Klopp is the man at the forefront of Liverpool's non-playing staff, but who else is driving the Reds push for titles?

Matt Addison

Liverpool's pre-season preparations are well underway, with 90 minutes against Chester, Tranmere Rovers and Bury already under the player’s belts.

At Melwood, Jurgen Klopp is overseeing another intense set of training sessions, with those back from the World Cup and holidays subjected to at least two sessions a day.

Just as he did at Borussia Dortmund, Klopp likes to get the team up to speed in this way to ensure they can carry out his instructions at breakneck speed right from day one in the Premier League.

Liverpool had played their first two friendlies before most other Premier League teams had even returned to training post-summer such is the intensity and intricacy of their preparations.

Klopp is far from the only one to manage the demands that the players must go through. Behind the scenes, assistant Peter Krawietz and goalkeeping coach John Achterberg are well-known, but the depth goes much further than that.

Klopp has previously said he is “nothing” without all those behind him; from nutrition to scouting and analysis, every base is covered as Liverpool look to give the best possible chance to their players of getting on-field success. The playing staff are only the tip of the iceberg.

Fitness coaches

Andreas Kornmayer is the fitness coach charged with making Liverpool's team physically able to keep up with Klopp's high-intensity demands. He is on the bench on matchdays, orchestrating the warm-up and cool-downs, and has been spotted on TV several times, being a doppelganger for Klopp.

Alongside Kornmayer, Conall Murtagh is also part of the fitness team. He is a former professional for Hearts and Wrexham, and featured in the Europa League during his playing career.

Scouts and analysts

Recruitment has been one of the most major successes since Klopp's arrival. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sadio Mané and Mo Salah are just three examples of players that have arrived with fairly substantial question marks lingering over their heads, before proving to be value for money.

The Reds’ transfer policy has been scrutinised for a long time, but the so-called transfer committee made up of sporting director Michael Edwards, scouts Barry Hunter and Dave Fallows and Klopp himself have got very little wrong in recent years.

Alex Inglethorpe as head of the Academy is involved, too, more with signing youth players to come into that half of the setup.  

In addition to analysing potential signings, Liverpool, just like any other Premier League team, scout upcoming opponents meticulously and go over previous recent performances.

Greg Mathiesen and James French are in charge of scouting the opposition. They spend their time working out strengths and weaknesses to feedback to Klopp and his coaches, perhaps predicting line-ups and formations.

Post-match analyst Mark Leyland shows the players where they need to improve both individually and collectively. The videos that are cut can highlight both positive and negative aspects, either to improve upon or to replicate again.

The analysts also put together short clips for half-time, collated while the first half is going on, to show the players inside the dressing room. At Anfield, there is a large interactive screen inside the home dressing room to present their findings on, and away from home, equipment can be transported.

Diet and nutrition

Significant developments in sports science and nutrition have come into professional football over the last decade or two.

Arsene Wenger was among the first to insist on certain foods to be banned, while now it is commonplace, with David Moyes infamously banning tomato ketchup during his time at Manchester United, which did not go down well with the players.

Mona Nemmer is the head of nutrition, having arrived from Bayern Munich in 2016. At the time, it was viewed as a huge coup for Liverpool, as she had worked with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich for three years. He wanted her to follow him to Manchester City, but Nemmer chose Merseyside instead.

She had previously been employed with the German national team.

Phillip Lahm and Daniel van Buyten were among her biggest fans in Bavaria, instantly recognising the value of eating the right things, and Klopp was effusive in his praise of her when she arrived at Melwood.

“Not one player is in doubt about her – that's outstanding”  Jurgen Klopp on Mona Nemmer

He encourages the players to work with her as much as possible. Nemmer provides individual player diet plans and advice, and players can ask for meal plans for when they are at home too.

One of the leading nutritionists in the world, at Bayern she worked with all age groups, but at Liverpool, the main focus is the first team.

Medical staff

Liverpool's medical team is headed up by Andrew Massey, who first worked with the Academy before being promoted to the first team. He has been a permanent member of the team since 2015 and is based at Melwood.

Philipp Jacobsen, the medical rehabilitation and performance manager, arrived at the beginning of June to begin his new role.

Paul Small performs soft tissue therapy, a new type of massage believed to be more beneficial to muscles, while David Rydings is the strength and rehabilitation assistant. Ridings has a sports science degree from the University of Exeter and has to come up with player-specific plans; he spends a lot of time in the gym with injured players.

Matt Konopinski is Liverpool's physiotherapist along with Ritchie Partridge, Christopher Rohrbeck, Joe Lewis, who has been at Melwood since 2016 having spent seven years working with the Academy, Ruben Pons and Scott McAuley, who focuses on injury prevention rather than recovery.

Kit man Graham Carter and kit management coordinator Lee Radcliffe ensure the players have the correct kit for training and matchdays, liaising with officials who decide which colour kit is necessary depending on the opposition.

As well as at Melwood, in the Academy there are almost as many capacities doing similar roles for Liverpool's under-23 players and below.

Barry Lewtas, who replaces Steven Gerrard as under-18s manager at the end of last season, and Neil Critchley, who remains under-23s boss, are the two more well-known names, but just like with the first team, there are a plethora of catering staff, cleaners, ground staff and many more who all have a role to play.

As Liverpool gear up for a season expected to yield more big matches and excitement, it is not just the players on the pitch who will have put the hard yards in to make it happen. 

'Behind every great team is great leadership and passionate, committed people' goes the saying: in this case, it certainly rings true.


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