Duva’s XI: Ange Postecoglou’s J-League victory with Yokohama F. Marinos one of Australia’s greatest coaching triumphs
David Davutovic, Herald Sun
December 8, 2019 7:20pm
Ange Postecoglou sealed a historic title in Japan, Aaron Mooy ran rings around Arsenal and Manchester City fell further behind runaway EPL leader Liverpool during another huge week of football talking points.
ANGE’S AUSSIE GLORY
Ange Postecoglou’s J1 League title with Yokohama F. Marinos is one of the greatest international coaching achievements by an Australian.
Eddie Jones made the World Cup final with England but never claimed rugby union’s prize, Darren Cahill led Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Simona Halop to grand slams, while Trevor Bayliss won the one-day cricket World Cup with England.
Tony Popovic’s 2014 Asian Champions League triumph with Western Sydney Wanderers was extraordinary, but Postecoglou’s 2019 J1-League title is top of the football pops.
Japan is the No. 1 league in the rapidly growing Asian continent, in the world’s most competitive sport.
Postecoglou remains underrated in Australia, though perceptions will change if fans eventually get to hear his superb Socceroos speeches and meticulous planning in the documentary “The Hard Road”, which was scuppered by red tape in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup.
The film makers are hopeful it can still see the light of day.
SCRAP THE CAP
Yokohama F Marinos is the latest example that can be added to the pro scrapping the A-League salary cap argument.
F. Marinos operates on the 10th biggest budget in the J1 League.
Postecoglou’s team won the league in style, headlined by the 3-0 win over FC Tokyo with 10 men.
F. Marinos dominated its opponents for the most part, finishing six points clear of FC Tokyo with a superior goal difference of 13 and scoring a league high 68 goals.
Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has written another chapter in his decorated coaching career by guiding Yokohama F Marinos to the Japanese J-League championship.
Ange Postecoglou has become the first Australian to manage a club to a J-League title victory
Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos defeated FC Tokyo 3-0 in their final match to clinch the championship
The win adds to the Asian Cup, A-League and NSL titles Postecoglou has won as a coach
Postecoglou became the first Australian manager to achieve the feat, with his team breaking a 15-year J-League title drought by comfortably beating FC Tokyo 3-0 in their final-round match in Yokohama.
Yokohama F Marinos only needed to avoid a four-goal loss to clinch the championship and they sealed the deal with goals to Theerathon Bunmathan, Erika Lima and Keita Endo.
The victory, secured despite going down to 10 men in the second half, means Yokohama F Marinos finished six points clear at the top of the league.
"We played fantastic football, the players deserve this as they have played fantastic football all year," Postecoglou said after the match.
"I'm very proud of the players, the staff and we have fantastic supporters so I am very happy for everyone."
Postecoglou has been linked with a move to Europe and has also been touted as a possible candidate to coach the Japanese national team in the future.
Despite those rumours, Postecoglou is distancing himself from any move away from Yokohama.
"I'm definitely going to be around next year for sure," he said.
"There's still stuff that I want to do here. I still think we can be better."
Postecoglou joined Yokohama F Marinos in late 2017 in the wake of his decision to step down as Socceroos coach after they secured a 2018 World Cup berth.
He took the club to 12th position in the J-League in his first season in charge and transformed the club into champions with a typically attacking and expansive style.
The now 54-year-old enjoyed success with the Socceroos, having guided the national team to its first men's Asian Cup victory in 2015, the only one they have won so far.
He was also in charge of the Socceroos when they played at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Postecoglou's career as a club coach in Australia was highlighted by several triumphs, including back-to-back A-League titles with Brisbane Roar in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.
He also led South Melbourne to consecutive championships (1997/98 and 1998/99) in the now-defunct National Soccer League.