Was Aaron Mooy too jet-lagged to play for Brighton at Aston Villa?

There must have been a discussion this week at Brighton as to whether Aaron Mooy should play at Aston Villa.

Saturday, 19th October 2019, 11:49 pm
Aaron Mooy was sent-off for Brighton against Aston Villa

Mooy was excellent last time out in the 3-0 win against Tottenham. It was his best performance in a Brighton shirt and ordinarily there would have been little debate about the midfielder keeping his spot for Villa - where he was sent-off for the first time in his professional career.

International breaks often throw up a few curve-balls but for Mooy and his Australian teammate Maty Ryan, it must have been particularly taxing.

Soon after the Tottenham win on October 5, the duo flew to the other side of the world and reported for duty with the Socceroos. Both played on Thursday, October 10 and enjoyed a comfortable 5-0 victory in the World Cup Qualifiers against Nepal in the Australian capital, Canberra.

They then promptly jetted to Taiwan and on Tuesday played against Chinese Taipei and ran-out easy 7-1 winners at the National Stadium Kaohsuing in a second World Cup Qualifier. They then had another 13 hour flight from Taiwan back to the UK.

While the matches themselves seemed fairly straight forward, the travel involved was considerable. Mooy and Ryan would have arrived back for work in Brighton and instantly started their preparations for Villa.

Ryan's role is less physically demanding and it would have been a surprise if he hadn't started at Villa Park. Mooy however - in midfield in the Premier League - is well and truly in the thick of it. Was he ready to play after so much flying?

Davy Propper returned to central midfield after missing the last two matches with a minor hamstring injury and the choice may well have been between Stephen Alzate, Solly March or Mooy for the role on the left side of midfield.

Alzate, 21, started the last three Premier League matches. He has certainly impressed and his absence from the start may have surprised a few today.

Mooy's first yellow card was careless and his second for a foul on Jack Grealish in the 35th minute was needless. It was the first time he has been dismissed as a professional player, for club or country.

Graham Potter said he had no complaints with the red and was proud of his players...but was there also a touch of regret in selecting a player who had clocked-up considerable air-miles in recent days?