Ange Postecoglou’s start to life at Yokohama F Marinos, at least on the field, has been far from smooth, with results so far indifferent.
Across the J-League and the J-League Cup, Marinos have only won one match this year, a 1-0 cup win over FC Tokyo, and have drawn two and lost two.
That has Yokohama sitting in 16th on the J-League table, a position that warrants a place in the promotion/relegation play-off against the third-placed J2 team.
But despite their inconsistency on the scoreboard, where they have three goals to their name across the competitions, the hallmarks of a Postecoglou team are already there.
Marinos have dominated possession and passing in each of those matches, averaging 62.6% of the ball per game.
So the City Football Group part-owned (20%) club’s shift to Postecoglou’s style of football is abundantly clear.
Right from the beginning, Yokohama have disclosed their fandom of Postecoglou’s philosophy.
“Ange Postecoglou is an excellent coach, with an attractive and entertaining style of football which will suit our approach,” Yokohama president Koichiro Furukawa said when Postecoglou was appointed.
“At the Marinos, we are committed to developing players and Ange has a very strong record in doing this.
“We are confident that he is the perfect choice to take us forward.”
And given the club did enough to lure Postecoglou to Asia rather than his desired Europe, there are clearly shared objectives between the parties and thus a high degree of confidence.
But with results in the infancy of his Marinos tenure less than ideal, how much longer can that trend continue under the former Socceroos coach?
Asian football expert Scott McIntyre believes Marinos management will afford Postecoglou plenty of time to strike the right formula.
“Coaches generally up here (Japan) have a lot longer reign than most other coaches around the world do and the City Group knew what they were doing,” he told Wednesday’s Daily Football Show.
“They brought in Ange for this style, so they know it takes time to implement it and get it across.
“I think they have to give him that time, but the problem is fans.
“Fans are going to start getting on your back. There’s a big break here for the World Cup, an eight-week window is the ideal time to move.
“You’ve just got to hope that they can see what they’re doing and what they are doing is fantastic.
“They’re playing the right kind of football … it is going to take time.”
It took Postecoglou some time to reshape his squads and find consistency at Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory when he managed in the A-League.
Fans will be all too aware of Postecoglou’s squad rejuvenation at the Roar in the tail end of the 2009-10 season, allowing several players to leave in favour of a host of new ones.
The rest is history.
Postecoglou then reconstructed Victory’s squad – albeit twice in some instances – before making the dream move into the Australia hot seat.
McIntyre backed Postecoglou to find success in Japan once he brings in players suited to his mould.
“You’ve just got to hope that the club will give them the time that they need to get that across and, more importantly, a lot of his squad was signed prior to Ange coming in, the chance in that next transfer window for him to make a couple of moves and bring in the kind of players that will help his system.”
Marinos are next in action on Sunday for a visit to Urawa Red Diamonds.