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Energieball – a Football Manager 2020 Philosophy & Tactic


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The inspiration behind this tactic was I wanted to create a new brand of Total Football within Football Manager 2020, or the best I could possibly manage using the tools available. Those who have been following me on Twitter (shameless plug), will have seen me messing around with a new philosophy for my FC Energie Cottbus team which has already had a massive amount of success. You can also read this post on my website by clicking here.

The framework behind the tactic focused on the following attributes, which I have broken down into the three main areas.

Technical – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique
Mental – Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Off The Ball
Physical – Acceleration, Agility, Pace

My team at the moment have median ratings for each category of Technical (70), Mental (75), and Physical (78). The best way I’ve found is to add up each area, then divide by the amount and multiply by 5. So for example Mental stats would be divided by 4, and then multiplied by 5 to provide a uniform rating with Technical and so on.

In terms of overall rating, the rating which I have labelled Total Football Rating (TFR) you add up all 12 attributes, divide them by 12 and multiply by 5 to get the finalised TFR. The best player I have in my Cottbus outfit is Anis Belhadj who is rated at 85.

belhadj3.png?w=720

As you can see from the photo above he’s a pretty neat little player, but he came with a hefty purchase price of £121m in 2036/37 – he has already paid that back though as of writing he has 29 goals and 24 assists in his first 49 appearances for the club and looks sure to continue on that upward trajectory. We have also retrained him as an Inside Forward on the left side, a role in which is the main creative hub in the attacking phase.

The Philosophy – What is Energieball?

The idea behind my philosophy was that I wanted my players to be good with the ball at their feet, as we would be playing a short-passing game with a lot of pressure, and as such they would also need to be good at taking their chances when the opportunity presented itself.

The mental side of the philosophy focuses on their decisions and composure, and the ability to anticipate the opponents next move in order to use their off the ball movement to initiate counter attacking runs, in order to force turn-overs and put the opposition under intense pressure and creating goal-scoring opportunities for us.

The physical side focuses solely on speed and agility, this was to ensure my players can be best equipped to put the opponents under pressure with their speed, using their excellent agility and movement and using their technical ability to run with the ball (dribbling) and create overloads and as such create chances in the final third to score goals, and dominate our opponents.

This resulted in some brilliant football being played, and we managed to shortlist players and acquire those who fitted the tactical system I was looking to employ, ensuring maximum effectiveness of the philosophy within the game. The result was an entirely unbeaten season in the Bundesliga winning all 34 games and conceding just 3 goals all season – which I am sure you will agree was an outstanding season!

The Formation

The formation I decided on for this system was initially a 4-1-5 but was soon converted to a 4-2-2-2 after noticeable gaps began appearing in the middle of the park, so I fixed that and in doing so made a more balanced and tactically sound tactical framework.

formation.png?w=607&resize=359%2C487

Energieball

You get more of an idea from the screenshot above the layout which I described above, and you can see the roles which I have employed to make best use of my philosophy. I am still tweaking things and I’m not 100% happy with the midfield pairing of roles and they could face further adjustment in the future but for now that is what they are.

Tactical Style

As I’ve discussed earlier the idea behind the philosophy was that we wanted to play a positive, short passing game whilst looking to force openings and overload the opposition, converting opportunities into goals. With this in mind I opted to go for a Positive mentality.

In possession I wanted my side to engage with much shorter passing to make use of our advanced technical abilities, but in addition to that I wanted to have our approach play passing the ball into space for our players to run onto – so not only are we playing to our technical strengths, we are now drawing out our speed and agility and also anticipation and movement off the ball traits all of which form part of our philosophy. I also wanted the team to work the ball into the box once again using our strong technical skills to force openings rather than take pot-shots from range. Whilst doing all this I wanted the team to play at a Slightly Higher tempo, and using their dribbling skills to run at the opposition defence – but to do so with the discipline of the tactical philosophy in place.

In transition I wanted my side to regroup once we had lost possession, and to engage in counter-attacking play once we’ve won possession back. I instructed my goalkeeper to distribute the ball to my full backs to start out move forwards up the pitch, as they were some of the most skilled members of my team.

When our side was Out Of Possession I instructed them to keep a much higher line of engagement up the other end of the pitch, however our defensive line would maintain a Much Higher position (unless playing some big teams in Europe and we’d switch down to just Higher). We make use of the offside trap and defend narrowly and our instruction for tackles is to ‘get stuck in’.

Energieball – A Football Manager 2020 Philosophy!

Tweet

Energieball - The Chelsea Experiment
Energieball - The Eastleigh Experiment [Part 1]
Energieball - The Eastleigh Experiment [Part 2]

The Result

We won the German Supercup, Euro Supercup, Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League all in the same season going undefeated in all competitions. This was the first season of using the new tactic/philosophy you have read about above and hopefully it will enable you to have similar success to what I have managed with Cottbus.

cottbusbund.png?w=597&resize=443%2C461 The Invincibles

Downloads

Energieball Tactic [Download Link]
jtaylor1409 Player Search View Panel [Download Link]
jtaylor1409 DNA Squad View [Download Link]

Edited by jtaylor1409
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How does it perform in season 2019/20 if you take a random mid-table side with players more or less already suitable?

The results you've posted are from 2036, or some time far in the future when we can generally buy whatever players we want and have great sides?

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3 hours ago, pancake111 said:

How does it perform in season 2019/20 if you take a random mid-table side with players more or less already suitable?

The results you've posted are from 2036, or some time far in the future when we can generally buy whatever players we want and have great sides?

Valid point. I've been running an experiment with Chelsea last night, will be posting the results at some point today during breaks at work. Will then look to implement it into a lesser ability team and see how it goes. 

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40 minutes ago, offski said:

Looks really interesting. With Cottbus, did you start with them in the Bundesliga or in the lower leagues? Just interested how it would work in the lower leagues.

I started with them in the German lower-leagues but Energieball wasn't introduced until we were already an established winning team. I'm not sure how it would work further down the pyramid, although if you keep the same principles in theory it should work as you'd be up against lesser opposition anyway. I will give it an experiment in the future but I have already done one with Chelsea which you can read here.

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18 hours ago, Dicko1878 said:

Hope you don't mind but I inverted the tactic in case people have players that suit the roles the other way around 

Energieball - Inverted.fmf 43.75 kB · 4 downloads

Absolutely don't mind at all. Thank you! I am also working on a slight variation myself which will be going through the testing phase next week.

18 hours ago, Dicko1878 said:

Do you have a rough idea on what types of players we should look at? I guess screenshots of the Chelsea lineup would help etc

I covered the line-up I used for Chelsea in my Chelsea Experiment blog which I linked to in the first post. In terms of players to look for if you download the player search filter you will pull be able to see the players which do/don't fit the philosophy. You are essentially looking for total footballers or the closest thing to. 

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1 hour ago, lipebtavares said:

Is giving error jtaylor1409 Player Search View Panel when I put in the view folder

Can we just confirm you are trying to load the view from within the Scouting area of your FM save and not the Squad area?

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Hi there buddy,well done for your job.amazing results and i like your thinking,i will give it a try with my youthfull team :) i have a couple of questions.

well im confused about filters because i cant see nowhere,not in player search neither in squad view.

Also do you give any priorities in attributes?for example when you are searching for a player you set dribbling higher than other atts?and what about TFR?sorry dont get it and my english is bad :( u have a certain base of all atts min?

And lastly this set of atts to me is kinda only for attacking players (AM,ST and probably for MC-A)what about rest of the team? what are u looking for DC and IWB?

again  great job buddy keep it up i like this kind of posts and i cant wait for your responce

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Hi @bere23,

I will be doing an update post on this on my blog either tomorrow or Wednesday which covers what I look for, and more about my defensive line. I'll also talk through calculating the TFR (or ER (Energieball Rating) as it is now known)).

 

I'll post a link on here once it's done.

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Thank you very much for informing about this new tactic. The article is of very good quality. 
I am really looking forward to seeing the instructions. I already subscribe to the philosophy.
will give you information about the instructions soon.

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17 minutes ago, mastamash said:

Thank you very much for informing about this new tactic. The article is of very good quality. 
I am really looking forward to seeing the instructions. I already subscribe to the philosophy.
will give you information about the instructions soon.

Hi Mastamash. Yes I will be doing a follow-up to it on around a week time. Currently on my blog I'm using it to help the doomed Osnabruck fight for survival and hopefully steer them clear of relegation by the end of it. Providing that goes how I hope, then I will expand more.

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On 08/01/2021 at 14:08, mjcr3529 said:

Thanks for this, they are a great read and really looking forward to seeing how you do on FM21.

Have you got an updated tactic for this year?

Thanks for the kind words. Do you mean an updated Energieball tactic or tactic in general? I haven't released anything as yet but will be working around to it in the near future.

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On 10/01/2021 at 09:51, jtaylor1409 said:

Thanks for the kind words. Do you mean an updated Energieball tactic or tactic in general? I haven't released anything as yet but will be working around to it in the near future.

Apologies for not being clear, yes a new updated tactic for 2021 is what I meant.

 

I am glad to hear you are working on a new tactic

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Hi! Gonna  give this a go, sounds fun! 😁 i have just one question, when you do the Tnr rating, do use the same for centerbacks as for all Other positions? 😁 maybe a stupid question but i guess i wanna know how you think before i start 😁

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