A Modena Tale – Squad Building Part2


How do, Part 1 told how we started with nothing and somehow over the course of one season had managed to get player numbers into the door. Part 2 will discuss further how we evolved our transfer policy as the club improved its footing in the Italian pyramid.

I left part 1 a bit like a true Italian. Talking about family. So I will start this part from there.

I’m not talking about how me and missus went from being singletons, to dating with a distance, to live in lovers and then from nowhere being kicked out of our bed due to small people in our lives. (Not Midgets, Children).

We are family ….

Hernan Crespo was the Head Coach with Juan Sebastien Veron as Managing Director. The day to day of leading training at 1st team level and then scouting required an extra body/ set of eyes to help with the foundations of a scouting network.

We already had scouts in place scouring the length and breadth of the boot of Italy for kids that could kick a ball. However, Hernan needed more help to in dealing with the scouting reports.


Enter Pablo Longoria. Firstly he looks nothing like Eva. He came to Modena after being dismissed of his services by Juventus in 2018. He joined as the club’s Chief Scout.


Pablo was entrusted with leading the scouts and reporting all findings to Hernan. Most of the reports would be the usual showing well known players and their potential and actual ability in line with the squad Modena had at that time.

The first transfer window during Pablo’s time in the Modena house was a strange one. He had convinced Veron to bring in lower league Italian players that would end up sitting in the under 20’s. The small influx of players were nowhere near the standard that we were hoping to attract, even if Modena were in Serie B at the time.

After that window had closed. Hernan gave some strong instructions to Pablo over the type of player he was looking for Modena. This hint seemed to work.

In the January of 2020 Pablo got his senses swayed by the warmer climes of Valencia. When he left Juan pushed the idea of a DOF on to Hernan. He reluctantly recruited Walter Sabatini who took the responsibilities that Pablo left behind onboard.

Walter copied Pablo’s trail by signing young players that were not up to Hernan’s standards. This drove a wedge between the two and saw the saviour of Alberto Braglia take a gamble by taking over the head coach role at PSG.

With the story of Modena still turning we needed a new fall guy. That came in the guise of Franco Baresi. Franco came in with a one year contract. This brought about the painful two team save. Franco brought in Miguel Quaresma as his chief co-ordinator (Assistant) and Franco took up the role of solely picking the playing squad. This also saw a loss in power for Sabatini. As Baresi began to oversee the scouting reports and recruited Massimiliano Scaglia initially as a scout but then as a chief scout.

The Baresi appointment worked on the pitch, however emotionally as the game player I felt the story needed to be told with a more hands on approach. So Baresi left his post in May 2021 and I took up the job. I got it after Hernan was told he would not be seen as a suitable appointment. This meant Hernan was given early retirement to concentrate on media work.

So the Modena house is now (and has been for a season). Veron, Sabatini, Scaglia and me. The house is not completely in order and I think the Dof should be kept but I would like to see if there is better than Sabatini out there. Or I may go back to how Hernan had it before by utilising Veron’s skills of negotiation.

So that was the tale of two to four heads at the club.

So how did we suddenly explode with squad players?

Looking at the club history and the list of players over the last few seasons I can see the two waves of recruitment by Longoria and Sabatini and that as we’ve never sat down to rid the crap from the club these players have just sat in the under 20’s doing very little.

The youth intakes have also brought about a mass influx each season and again with little steer of who to keep and who to bin this has also been a failing of the system we have implemented during the Modena story.

Can we change the model?

In short yes. I believe I can push a number of the “crap” out of the club which should save a few percentage in the wage bill. More importantly it should allow the better young players at the club to play the right amount of youth team games. and hopefully in turn enhance their chances of development.

The first job is to work out whether we are to keep the DoF. If we do, do we keep Sabatini? If we don’t, do I push some sales and recruitment on to Veron? Or do I look to do it myself?

Hopefully all will be revealed in the next update.

Thank you for reading my waffle over the two parts. Yes I know it was all filler and no spiller but hopefully by sharing my quandary you can now look at your squad with new vigour and work out if you need to build or downsize to make things more manageable.