Jurgen’s openness, ketchup debate and Liverpool’s ‘proficient dishes’ – Meet the Reds’ ‘transformer’ – Liverpool FC
We’ve all heard the adage ‘you are what you eat’, but just how fueled is a powerhouse like Liverpool Football Club? By a “transformer” called Mona Nemmer, that’s how.
Gone are the days when beer, full English breakfasts and fatty (bad) food fueled footballers; Now there are entire faculties dedicated to nutrition and a healthy diet.
Mona Nemmer has led the charge behind the scenes at Liverpool Football Club since 2016.
Jurgen Klopp appreciated her so much that he described Mona as “a changeable figure in professional football” and her “ability to influence and educate players and staff makes her a become one of the most valuable members at LFC.”
A resounding endorsement, to say the least.
Nemmer is the club’s head of nutrition and with Klopp and the club working to change every game in their pursuit of sustained success, Nemmer and her team have been fundamental.
Immediately, she had the players by her side and Jordan Henderson led the way in its early days, saying: “I’ve never seen anything like it since I got into football in terms of the food we’re having.”
We sat down with Mona to discuss her journey, life in Liverpool, the ketchup debate and whether there are any decent chefs in the current Reds squad…
Life in Liverpool
“When I first arrived, I was really surprised by how disciplined they were and how well knowledgeable they were,” says Nemmer. This is Anfield after the launch of her new book’Taste of the Liverpool way‘.
“It was easy to start from there, expand and bring in a lot of creativity, inspiration, and simply expand on what I’ve found.
“There was a lovely team of chefs and in-house people, Caroline and Carol, so we were off to a good start towards what we wanted to achieve and we started working on it from there. .”
Working first with the German Under-21 team and then with Bayern Munich, Monner has now been in “this beautiful city” and “this wonderful football club” for almost six years.
Nemmer says there are a few “masters” in the Liverpool squad – although she won’t name them: “I can’t name them, but there are a few good ones around. They enjoy it, having family dinners and entertaining friends. It’s great to see how they relate to nutrition.”
Cooking is even more of a bonding exercise at the training ground, with a baking challenge after a five-man tournament: “There are better players in the kitchen but doing it together is great, everyone Everyone has smiles and jokes too. “
So how does Liverpool’s approach come? Well, “it came from Jurgen,” Nemmer explained.
“It was interesting because we didn’t know each other and when he called me for the first time it was very exciting – ‘Oh my gosh what could he want?! Does he need some nutritional advice or where can I help? ‘.
“He actually asked me if I wanted a new challenge. It’s just the right time, the right time, and I’m so, so grateful for a great journey so far.
“For us, it was amazing that we had the trust of Jurgen and the owners to create a complete division.”
Klopp is a great manager at getting outside advice, bringing in experts like throw-in coach Thomas Groonnemark, working with Neuro11 on pieces, German surfer Sebastian Steudtner for advice on breathing techniques and even BBC adventurer Ben Fogle for some inspirational words.
“[It is] It’s great to see him being so open to a new, different approach and a very holistic and sustainable approach,” commented Nemmer. “It’s much easier when you have the ability to create from scratch.”
Ketchup debate, education and advice!
Usually, when new managers arrive at a club, they will issue headlines banning ketchup or other ‘off-limits’ items. But Nemmer insists it’s “all about balance,” and in the specific debate about ketchup, she says it’s not banned in the AXA Training Center.
“For us, it was very, very important to not only take away but replace, expand and also explain,” she said. “A little explanation maybe [make the difference]. We can call [ketchup] else and we will have an alternative for that.
“So in the event that there is a product where you would need to be a little bit nutritionally skeptical based on how it was made, we have the ability to manufacture our own and make sure there are ingredients fit in there and suitable for boys. ”
Inside Anfield on a game day, media coverage is sometimes referred to as ‘LFC Chicken’ – so perhaps there is some ‘LFC Ketchup’ inside the Kirkby training facility!
Nemmer’s influence is not only present but also on the sustainable future of the club as food selection in Kirkby aligns with an education on all nutritional options, not just the first team.
“About five years ago, we started a curriculum,” explains Nemmer. “It’s like an educational program about nutrition and is made specifically for different age groups.
“So, what knowledge do you need to gain in 12th, 14th, 15th grade? Surprised. Our lovely dietitian Tom has all of these seminars, creates newsletters and has stay-at-home parenting evenings.
“For us, it was unbelievable when we compared the age groups, from 5 years ago to now and how different it is and how they are educated.
“When we have players from the academy coming into the first team, they have good knowledge and it’s great to see that influence their decision-making. ”
Support everywhere and with “everything” [made] in the home,” the meal plan is unique to every player and, as such, they also have the knowledge to make autonomous decisions about their nutrition.
Finally, we asked Nemmer to give her some nutritional advice for supporters of… “the book,” she jokes!
“You can find a lot of lovely answers there, stories and lots of input that can energize you; Easy-to-understand images and infographics for all ages. “
It’s the book we look forward to Jurgen will definitely recommend this Christmas!
* You can buy Mona’s booksA taste of The Liverpool Way‘ are from Official LFC store, here.
https://www.thisisanfield.com/2021/12/jurgens-openness-the-ketchup-debate-and-liverpools-masterchefs-meet-the-reds-transformative-figure/ Jurgen’s openness, ketchup debate and Liverpool’s ‘proficient dishes’ – Meet the Reds’ ‘transformer’ – Liverpool FC