Socceroos great Harry Kewell has predicted a bright World Cup for Aaron Mooy after the playmaker was given a timely wake-up call by his Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.
Kewell, who is part of Postecoglou’s coaching staff at the Hoops, works daily with Mooy, and believes the former Melbourne City star is poised to shine on the world stage in Qatar.
“He’s looking fantastic, he’s looking powerful, he’s looking strong, he’s looking comfortable on the ball, and I know he will take this into the Australian squad,” Kewell said.
“You need someone like him to be able to calm everyone down, somebody in there that’s been at the highest level and be able to just relax you.
“It’s important for Australia to have someone like him in there, but don’t forget, he can actually shift as well.
“He can move and he can play the balls over the top, and we do have players with pace out wide, so the opportunity for us to be able to maybe utilise that is in our favour.”
Kewell said he had been delighted with Mooy’s response after he was dragged just 45 minutes into Celtic’s shock 2-0 Scottish Premiership loss to St Mirren on September 18.
“He had a moment where he didn’t play well, and then the manager (Postecoglou) took him off, but the manager knows him that well, that he knows what type of reaction he gets,” Kewell said.
“There were a lot of factors in that game, but like all professional players, if you get taken off, you feel it was (because) of you.
“It was part of the structure that the manager wants to play. but obviously (Mooy) felt hard done by so he went out there and he wanted to work even harder.
“That just goes to show the professionalism that he’s got. Aaron has gone from there and he’s just getting stronger and fitter.”
Kewell urged Mooy and the Socceroos to play without fear against World Cup Group D opponents France, Tunisia and Denmark.
“It’s going to be tough. Playing France in the first game (on November 23) is always going to be difficult. They’re a team of full-on stars, but you never know – it’s the World Cup,” he said.
“The one thing I hope is that whatever happens, we play our way.
“We don’t want to be humiliated, but the only way to sometimes avoid that is to get rid of all the fear, go out there and enjoy it.
“I hope we see some positive performances because I think we’ve got some good players.”
During the season break for the World Cup, Kewell, Postecoglou and Celtic will travel to Australia for the Sydney Super Cup.
“It’s always great to come home. I haven’t been there for such a long time,” Kewell said
“I’m really excited to be part of this. Celtic is one the most exciting teams in Europe at the moment.”
Celtic meet Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on November 17 before backing up on November 20 against English Premier League side Everton at Accor Stadium in a match that has a changed kick-off time of 2.45pm (AEDT).
The Cup concludes on November 23 when Western Sydney Wanderers host Everton at CommBank Stadium.