Toru Oniki’s dazzling run as Kawasaki Frontale manager continued in 2021 as his club won the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE yet again.
The championship for Oniki gives him two consecutive league titles and four in his five years as Frontale boss. Add the Emperor’s Cup crown in 2020, J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP in 2019 and two Super Cup wins and Oniki has won eight trophies in five years as manager with the chance to make it nine in this year’s Emperor’s Cup.
Oniki spent six years as a Frontale player before retiring in 2006 and joining the club’s youth coaching set up. Three years later, he moved up to first team assistant and in 2017 he took over as team boss. Ever since, Frontale have been a machine.
Oniki has instilled a high pressing team that overwhelms teams with their energy, aggression and structure. They are also a complex, interchanging and attractive attacking team, mixing blinding guile and skill to go with their well-drilled physicality and it shows both with and without the ball.
A year ago, Frontale had a league-record attack. This season, they excelled in defense, conceding just 28 goals in 38 matches to lead the lead. Their 81 goals scored were also second-best in J1, only one back of the top-scoring team, Yokohama F·Marinos.
Ever since Oniki took over at Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium, Frontale have been the class of the league and that did not change in 2021. That’s why he is a champion yet again.