“Aaron Mooy has silenced me and the rest of his critics,” Charlie Nicholas

Charlie Nicholas today holds his hands up and admitted that he got it totally wrong when putting the boot into Aaron Mooy with the former Celtic striker arguing that the Socceroos midfielder slowed Celtic down and was unsuited to the style of football that the Hoops were playing under Ange Postecoglou.

Of course Charlie wasn’t the only one who thought the exact same thing and it is true that Mooy hadn’t played much football for a considerable time before joining Celtic and was actually training on his own in public spaces in an attempt to maintain his fitness ahead of getting a new club sorted out.

Aaron Mooy celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park  on January 21, 2023  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

At the weekend Ange Postecoglou reminded all the critics that he knew exactly what he was getting bringing Mooy, a player he said as a ‘lucky man’ just fell into his lap, as he could easily have been playing at English Premier League level. Charlie has taken the hint and as a leading critic of Mooy in his first few months at the club has now admitted he got it wrong. One or two of our Celtic experts on twitter might now follow his lead.

“I have to hold my hands up and admit Aaron Mooy has silenced me and the rest of his critics by becoming a massive player for Celtic,” Nicholas writes this morning in his Scottish Daily Express column. “When he arrived last July, I was wondering what Ange Postecoglou had done. I knew the pair had worked together previously with the Australian national team but Mooy looked a yard off the pace in his first few weeks for the Hoops.

“He seemed to slow the play down and I didn’t see how he was going to fit into Postecoglou’s team, which loves to play with speed and moves the ball about constantly. At that point I wasn’t talking about the 32-year-old midfielder’s fitness, more his game management. I know Mooy hadn’t played for several months before he pitched up at Parkhead, but in a lot of his early games I just couldn’t see what he was going to bring.

France’s forward #09 Olivier Giroud (L) fights for the ball with Australia’s midfielder #13 Aaron Mooy during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group D football match between France and Australia at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

“He did get fitter and sharper but the real catalyst was the World Cup, where he performed really well for Australia. Mooy has looked a completely different player since coming back from Qatar. He is completely transformed. He’s been the best player in the country since the restart and has scored five times in the last seven games.

“He is now a vital cog in Celtic’s attacking play, a major goal threat and has forged a great partnership with captain Callum McGregor. That is testament to Mooy himself and Postecoglou for putting his trust in him.There is now real competition in the engine room, with Reo Hatate also in there.

 Reo hatate of Celtic celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Aaron Mooy during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at on December 24, 2022. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Matt O’Riley is a top player and until recently he was one of the first names on the teamsheet. But even he is no longer guaranteed to start in this Celtic side,” Nicholas added.

It will be interesting to see the midfield line-up in the match against Livingston tomorrow night. Will Ange stick with the McGregor, Mooy and Hatate trio that he has favoured recently or freshen the side up and give someone a rest? Perhaps Reo Hatate will sit this one out and Matt O’Riley will get the nod.

Invincible by Matt Corr. Now available on Amazon kindle…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Charlie you run a player down I don’t think you even cracked before you slandered player he’s a wonderful football player but just like your professional when playing for arsenal you think you can do things without putting the graft in like saying in at night champagne Charlie is a name no athlete named so put the graft if you want people to take your column seriously check the person’s history then you won’t be humiliated by apologising but there are so called sport writers more like shiters hiw do the same mistakes but never apologise. Its people your talking about so at least have the professional that’s what you call making money for doing something so please for your and people write about some respect by doing it write or if someone doing it and you put your name on it its up to you to tell them I’m not putting my name onto that don’t do it Charlie take back your life do be like ones on the TV talking before and after games puppets there so keeping within the party lines tell people what the think not what the vooce in ear price is telling them sportscene no that tv at its worse one white one black and one female what’s that about tv is full of it adverts mixed race families if its forced on you dint force on people whats wrong all elite families and all black families