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Energieball v2.0

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Energieball v2.0 – a Football Manager 2021 Tactic

Posted on April 4, 2021 by Jamie Taylor
energieball v2.0

Energieball v2.0 is based on a tactical philosophy I created for my Energie Cottbus save back on Football Manager 2020. With the first version of this philosophy, I had amazing success with Energie and turned them into the number one team in world football.

The consensus for this revamp is still very much the same in terms of how I want my team to play. There have been some changes that have been implemented to improve solidity and style of movement within the new version of the game.

This time round however Energieball v2.0 will be a tactic that will implement the Die Maschine philosophy I spoke about a few months back. Die Maschine is a reworked and more finely tuned version of the original Energieball and as such will be a better fit for this tactic as it progresses moving forward.

  • energieball v2.0

The Formation

As per the 2020 iteration of Energieball we will continue forth with the 4-2-2-2 style of play which served us so well. There have however been some tweaks from the original which I believe has made it a much more balanced playing system both defensively and from an attacking point of view.

energieball v2.0

Full Back (Support) I have instructed this position to get further forward when we have the ball. I am looking to overlap both flank areas with a view to crossing the ball towards the far post. With the two attacking wide threats cutting inward to force overloads this will create extra space out wide that I am looking for my full-backs to fill.

Central Defender (Cover) with this guy I wanted a more defensive-minded player, that would read the game well. Keeping his composure under pressure to help win back possession or maintain it when in possession of the ball and lay off simple passes to the more creative players within the unit. By using the cover duty, I am looking for him to drop a little deeper to act as an emergency sweeping option to nullify any through balls behind the defensive line.

Ball-Playing Defender (Stopper) is the more creative outlet of the back pair. Whilst his main aim will be to defend, he is encouraged to push ahead of the defensive line to put pressure on the opposition threat before they get to the danger zone. If they make it past him, then I am hopeful my other centre-half will sweep up. The ball-playing defender is also encouraged to play through balls up the field. This will provide a useful outlet of play to our Deep-lying Playmaker further up the field.

Deep-lying Playmaker (Support) will be the main creative outlet of the side. He will in chief operate in the space between defence and midfield and will be responsible for initiating attacking moves. As a result, he will look to bring the ball from the defence and will link up well with the BPD(s) above. Not only will he be responsible for our creative outlet he will also be responsible for contributing to our defensive phase also.

Central Midfielder (Support) an important piece in the centre of the park. This position will be our link between defence and attack and will be expected to perform a variety of different tasks across the centre of the pitch, contributing to each phase of the game. Therefore, it is essential he has the tactical awareness and technical ability to carry that out. He will also need to be physically fit as will be expected to get forward when possible and provide support to players in the final third of the pitch.

Inside Forward (Support) will cut diagonally into the space occupied by the defence and play through balls to the chief attacking threat or look to shoot if the chance is available. If possible, it is better to play a player here who is right-foot dominant as the role will look to cut in from the left flank and run directly towards the heart of the opposition defence.

Inverted Winger (Support) the aim of this guy is to cut diagonally across the defence and look to play through the middle and overload the opposition defenders, also to create space wide for the full-backs who will at times look to overlap when the opportunity presents.

Pressing Forward (Support) will be used to put pressure on the opposition defence when they have possession. Closing them down in particular in the wider areas to prevent the opposition from having much time on the ball. Playing with a much higher line of engagement I wanted the added pressure of the PF(s) to try and force mistakes from the opposition backline. Doing so would create overload opportunities in the half-space areas for our players to exploit and create goalscoring chances from.

Complete Forward (Support) whilst we have the pressing forward putting the pressure on up top. I also wanted another outlet where we can get goals from those opportunities. The complete forward is an all-rounder with the technical, physical, and mental attributes of all the other attacking positions rolled into one. He will look to drop into space, run at the defence when the opportunities arise and look to play in other teammates in goalscoring positions.

The idea behind the support duties for all was to create an interchangeable framework that would enhance our fluid style of play. With the positions outlined above, we have a total of 6 forward movement partnerships which will help us to maintain fluid movement between players. Helping us penetrate space quickly from deeper areas of the pitch.

As one player will look to stretch play the other will look to alternate that movement by providing attacking cover and so forth. Meaning the team will always have every angle covered in both phases of the game.

Tactical Style

As I have mentioned above, we want to play a positive, short-passing game whilst looking to force openings in the half-space areas and create overloads to pull the opposition out of position.

When my side was In Possession it was important that the side would play a much shorter passing game to make use of our technical abilities on the ball and to retain possession for as much as possible.

Every trainer talks about movement, about running a lot. I say don’t run so much. Football is a game you play with your brain. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, not too early, not too late.

– Johan Cruyff

In transition, the side was instructed to regroup when they had lost possession to keep their tactical shape, rather than engage in a press. With a more disciplined approach, I found the squad made fewer mistakes and were able to nullify a lot of attacks but not being stretched further into a counter-press. As we are playing with a Counter style the goalkeeper was instructed to distribute quickly to the defenders who would then move the ball along up the field.

When we were Out Of Possession, we made sure to keep a much higher line of engagement to ensure that we would try and win the ball back at the earliest opportunity. The pressing forward would initiate the press and those around him would look to block the passing lanes. Often resulting in a turnover of possession.

To complement this, we would play with a much higher defensive line to ensure our defence was compressing the space available for the opposition. Pushing our two midfielders further up the pitch to assist in the attacking phase and really pressure the opposition backline. As per the last variation, we are continuing with the use of the ‘Offside Trap’ and looking to ‘Get Stuck In’.

Energieball v2.0 – Individual Instructions

FB(s) – Cross Aim Far Post, Get Further Forward.
BPD(St) – Dribble Less.
CD(Co) – Pass It Shorter, Take Fewer Risks.
DLP(s) – Pass It Shorter, Dribble Less.
CM(s) – Pass It Shorter, Take Fewer Risks, Shoot Less Often, Get Further Forward, Roam From Position.
IF(s) – Pass It Shorter, Cross Aim Far Post, Shoot Less Often.
IW(s) – Pass It Shorter, Cross Aim Far Post, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks.
PF(s) – Pass It Shorter, Dribble Less, Roam From Position, Move Into Channels.

Training Schedules

For the last couple of months, I have been exclusively using Daljit’s training schedules and I have to say they have been fantastic in developing my players. I thoroughly recommend you head across to his YouTube channel as it is jam-packed full of useful information.

The Outcome

Below you can see the tactic has been tested three times with different setups. A base Feyenoord team, a base Burnley team and my current Pescara squad which has struggled to win the Serie A.

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