Third in J-League and with the accolades after an eye-catching display against Manchester City, Ange Postecoglou’s reputation continues to rise in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Despite Saturday’s surprise 1-0 loss to Shimizu S-Pulse, Postecoglou’s Yokohama Marinos are still in with a title chance.
Postecoglou men are equal second on points with Kawasaki and six off leaders FC Tokyo as the J-League enters its final frantic few months.
Japanese football expert Dan Orlowitz believes Postecoglou’s uncompromising approach to his daring, high-energy football has won over the locals after two seasons in Yokohama.
And with some squad strengthening, Postecoglou's side could easily give the Gas Men a run for their money in the title race.
“Ange Postecoglou has made the players in Yokohama believe in his system,” Orlowitz tells FTBL.
“And that’s the sort of thing that gets you a lot of respect as a foreign manager in Japan.”
That respect has ramped up even further after Yokohama bossed Manchester City everywhere but on the scoreboard last week.
The J-League side lost 3-1 in Tokyo against Pep Guardiola’s men in a City Football Group friendly.
But what impressed many was that the J-League side out-possessed the EPL champions, and had the same number of shots on target (13).
Ange's Japanese side pinned City back and made the English club look pretty ordinary, with only Kevin De Bruyne catching the eye for City.
Little wonder Guardiola liked what he saw from Ange's men.
"Yokohama played some incredible football and they were an incredible test for us. I knew how good they were and it was tough for us," City coach told the media after the game.
Now, if it wasn’t before, Postecoglou’s name has been marked as a potential future coach in Europe.
After conquering Australia and now Japan, there's little more he could achieve in this part of the world.
Could the Postecoglou Midas touch do it in Europe? Many would say yes.
At 53, with league titles, an Asian Cup trophy, and two World Cup campaigns, you’d think he’s ready.
An ambitious club challenging bigger EPL clubs could easily benefit from Postecoglou's vision and driven belief.
Before that, though, is the tough task of winning the J-League.
Orlowitz says it’ll be tough, but not impossible for the man who believes that anything is possible.
“Right now, Ange's side do have some depth issues at the back, and this could be why they may fall out of title contention,” he said.
“We’ll see, but if they can get that sorted and find a replacement for Edigar Junio as soon as possible, an ACL spot is still very much in the realms of possibility.”