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Giovanni Sartori and his "method"

Corriere di Bologna by Alessandro Mossini

The manager of the rossoblù technical area at work: gradual choices and savings thanks to a studied scouting model that provides for the study of the players in presence.

Continuous journeys, hundreds of games seen live, cross information, a lot of work, the ability to identify talent and above all the margins for improvement: call it, if you like, the "Giovanni Sartori method". This is what Bologna will rely on to chase away the anonymity - or worse, sometimes - of the last seven years, relying on a manager of the technical area capable of bringing first Chievo and then Atalanta to the highest points of their respective stories.

The Sartori method for Bologna from salaries to talents

Almost thirty years with the Veronese "flying mussi", becoming their sporting director in 1992 (after a past as a forward, then assistant coach and later observer employed by Luigi Campedelli, Luca's father): he takes the team from C1 to Serie A - with seven days spent even as leaders - and in the Champions League preliminaries, with a skilful mix of unspoken players and players considered to be at the end of the line to be regenerated. In 2014 he moved to Atalanta - for a year hand in hand with the dg Pierpaolo Marino, then the sole manager of the technical area - and in Bergamo with the Percassi he built a sporting and managerial masterpiece: three qualifiers in the Champions League, two in the Europa League, two finals of Coppa Italia and the last six financial statements all closed with the plus sign, recording overall profits of 164.2 million euros while - roughly in the same period - Bologna recorded an overall loss of 112.9 million. Opposite results on and off the pitch, children for much of player-trading as well as of a more calm policy in the mount of salaries (in these parts Santander took as much as Malinovskyi or De Roon, Mbaye almost like Gosens). The theme of salaries to be moderated will be one of Sartori's Bolognese challenges, who will then rely on his eye and on the work of his team's observers to find the right profiles: generally, after the first skimming, they go to see the same player three different observers, at home and away.

Sartori: << I never watch videos, I have to see in person >>

Then, the last and decisive live look belongs to the 65-year-old manager from Lodi: "I don't like the video - Sartori told the Gazzetta dello Sport a short time ago - because I know that many things are not seen there. Walter Sabatini is a wizard of cassettes and DVDs, I am the exact opposite: for example, if you follow a defender live, you always watch him, even when not in possession, and all this is not visible on TV. Before Covid, I had never seen a single video ».

Those little purchases resold millions of euros

A classic approach - air, three days in a nation, five or six live races and we return - changed by force by the pandemic: the PC, for Sartori and his men, has become an ally. And so the algorithms, especially for the more distant championships, but now that we are returning to normal, the eye returns to dominate at least on the final judgment. After all, that Atalanta was born like this and, like Rome, it was not built in a day: one piece at a time, starting from Gomez (4 million, from Metalist Kharkiv) to its first market, continuing with various pins purchased under the two millions - De Roon, Gosens, Hateboer, Freuler, Djimsiti, Pessina - and with baby-purchases such as Kessie, Mancini, Diallo and Kulusevski bought for a few coins and sold for over 100 million in total. The recipe for a growth model that Bologna hopes to see replicated in these parts.