Mooy: Good, great or actually quite average?

A-League clubs currently face three problems. Playing in the heat, playing with fans boycotting games and playing against Aaron Mooy.

Aaron Mooy Melbourne City

Source: Getty Images

The Melbourne City midfielder has been the star of the show in season 11 and has earned the title ‘A-League’s hottest property’. In fact, I've even read the line ‘Socceroos saviour’.

Using the centre of the pitch as his platform for magic, a series of consistent performances complemented with match-winning finishes and breathtaking assists has given Mooy the attention he deserves.

But when gifted with enough space to turn a tank, and in games where the tempo is often unbearable to watch, how highly can we rate the 25 year-old?

The early years

For those who know little about Mooy, he started his professional career in England with Bolton Wanderers. He spent four years in Greater Manchester without bursting through the youth ranks and into the first team line-up, but you can’t label him a foreign flop.

By the very nature of the Premier League, where Bolton were a top-eight team, youngsters rarely get a shot at the big money. I mean English kids don’t get a look-in, let alone the Aussies - Harry Kewell excepted of course.

Mooy made the brave and wise decision to leave the Trotters in 2010 and join Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren. In hindsight, with Bolton now rock bottom of the Championship, they probably wish the deal never slid-by.

The transition

In Scotland, 20 year-old Mooy was more of an instant hit and there was a clear transformation from his playing days 200 miles south. No-longer kicking it about with the youth team, Mooy added the needed steel to play in a bruising and unforgiving division. He made 29 appearances for the Buddies, and will always be remembered for his match-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Rangers.

The big step in Mooy's career came two years later when he finalised a release from his contract and swapped snow and ewe for sun and roo, returning home to Oz.

As one of the inaugural signings for new A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers, Mooy’s potential turned into raw ability. A free-kick specialist, a box-to-box machine, a technically gifted artist and a player who looked far more mature on the ball than his age would suggest. Which leads us to the present.

The present

Mooy has been in electric form having scored three goals and supplied four assists in the current campaign. If I was to liken him to anybody, it would be Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. In attack, he drives forward with power and precision, arriving late into threatening positions on the edge of the box.

In possession, he is relaxed, calm and has the confidence to spring his side on the counter with one looping or drilled long-ball from deep positions.

However, he has little, if any pace. Jumping and heading looks peculiar and that wasn’t a weakness in Stevie G’s game.

With a few tweaks here and there, physically and technically, Mooy would be best suited to the Premier League or Serie A. But there are at least 20 more Mooy’s around the world right now, and Europe’s top division teams get the pick of the bunch.

Australia defender Curtis Good - remember he was only ruled out of the Socceroos' 2014 World Cup squad by injury - is still wandering around St James’ Park doing very little but pick-up injuries, and he joined the Toon branded an ‘Aussie wonderkid’.

Will anyone take the risk on Mooy?

The conclusion

Mooy has been an average player. He has been a good player. Give him one more year, and we will see if he is a great player. The time is now for him to maintain his high level of play and put the pressure on his representiative to get him a deal he deserves.

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4 min read
Published 3 December 2015 at 4:14pm
By Liam Curtis
Source: SBS