Kevin Muscat: In Japan

Yesterday we looked at Philippe Clement’s time in Belgium and today we’re going to look at the other favourite for the job, Kevin Muscat, and his time in Japan. The current manager of Yokohama F. Marinos won the J-League title last season and is currently 2nd with four games remaining. They’re also competing in the AFC Champions League and won the first leg of their J-League Cup Semi-Final 1-0 yesterday.

Muscat famously replaced Ange Postecoglu for Yokohama, he’s carried on, and built on, the playstyle the ex-Celtic manager favours with the high press and relentless attacking play. That’s why there’s such a clamouring for Muscat to come to Rangers. The Rangers fans are sick of watching boring, patient football, as much as winning is everything, fans want to win with a bit of style for a change.

Could Kevin Muscat provide that? We all seen how well the high press, relentless attacking football worked for Ange Postecoglu in Scotland, is that reason enough to make Muscat the next Rangers manager?

Yokohama F. Marinos

Muscat took over from Ange Postecoglu in July 2021 and guided Yokohama to the title in his first season in charge. They won the title by 2 points, winning 20 and losing 6 of the 34 games over the J-League season. During the season they scored the most goals in the league (70) and conceded the joint fewest (35). These are incredible numbers, especially considering that Yokohama aren’t, financially at least, the biggest club in the league.

Muscat got those results through playing football the way most fans love to see. He likes his team to create overloads, using inverted wingbacks to drag defenders inside and create space for the wingers by the line. Over the course of the title winning season, they averaged 2.1 goals per game and average just under 16 shots per90. Yokohama also averaged a staggering 62.1% possession per90 with 83.8% pass accuracy over the whole 2022 season.

This is football that Rangers fans would LOVE to see, especially going forward. Fans have went through, minus the EL run, 2 years of boring and patient football, that’s definitely not Kevin Muscat’s style. Currently, they sit 2nd in the league, after losing their first choice goalkeeper and some other key players before and during the season. Big spending Vissel Kobe sit top by 4 points with 4 games remaining but it’s impressive that Yokohama are even that close, considering the financial disparity.

Via Sacha Pisani since taking over Yokohama in July 2021, Muscat’s side lead the J-League in;

  • Points: 155
  • Points per game: 1.91
  • Goals: 165
  • xG: 140.6
  • xG Differential: 24.4
  • Penalty-area entries per game: 33.9
  • Shots per game: 15.1
  • Possession: 62%

Impressive numbers, can the former Australian international translate this style to the current Rangers team?


The biggest question mark over his appointment is whether this current Rangers team has the ability to adopt Muscat’s philosophy and style. Maybe these players just need a strong figure with a plan to improve the performances though?

Kevin Muscat has won titles in Australia and Japan and plays a style that would excite fans. If it wasn’t for his spell in Belgium, which was complicated, I’m sure more fans would be onboard with his appointment. The Rangers dressing room needs a leader, a strong personality. That’s definitely what you get with Kevin Muscat.

The last two Rangers managers haven’t been able to fully impart their style on the squad. That would be the biggest challenge for Muscat. Do you think he’s up to the task?

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