Mooy: How to handle midfield pressure

Socceroos and Western Sydney Wanderers star Aaron Mooy talks about how to handle pressure in midfield, make quick decisions and get past opponents

Plan before you receive

“When you’re playing as the number 10, it’s a hard position because there’s not a lot of space between defence and attack, so you need to be really switched on and plan where you’re going to get the ball before it arrives.

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“You have to try and know what you’re going to do before you get it, because you haven’t got much time on it.

“You need to know what’s behind you, get side on and get your first touch right to get the defenders out of the game.” 

Chop to create space

“One of my favourite ones is a fake shot before a pass, then you chop it. It usually creates a bit of space. It’s one of my favourite moves."

Playing the right ball?

“It comes down to knowing how fast you have to pass it to take the defenders out of the game, or how slow you’ve got to hit it, so you can get a good touch on it or if you’ve got to chip it. There’s so many different ways to pass a ball.”

Make a quick decision

“When you get the ball, you need to decide quickly. It’s all about quick decisions, half the time it is instinct, because you don’t have time to think ‘I’m going to do this, or do that’.

“Rarely you get lots of time on the ball. There’s so many different things you can do with the pass. You’ve got to try and not lose the ball, and you need to know whether to risk it or play the simple ball.”

Be in the situation as much as possible

“You’ve got to try and get on the ball in training as much as you can. You need to get yourself in that situation as many times as you can.

“If you’re hiding from the ball all the time, then when it comes to the game, you’re not going to have the confidence to try it.” 

Pre-game rituals?

“I like to get out, walk around. I don’t like to sit around and wait for the game. I treat it as a normal day, so I’m not over-thinking. I try to take it as it comes and then when I get to the ground start thinking about the game.”

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