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17 Dec 17 12:19
Date Joined: 30 Aug 04
| Topic/replies: 607 | Blogger: gobelins's blog
J.Trump won his 1st ranking event in 2011, and reached The World final a few weeks later. Now, 6 and a half years later, he's added 'only' 6 more ranking titles. A few seasons ago he looked to be the natural successor to a waning R.O'Sullivan, and a host of big titles looked his for the taking, but it hasn't happened. He's turned 27 now and maybe he, himself, is starting to wonder why he isn't winning more tournaments, particularly triple crown events, isn't world number 1, and why he has never won The World Championship.

In part, he probably wasn't anticipating R.O'Sullivan continuing to play to such a high level, (so much so that he's won 2 of the last 3 majors, and reached the QF of the other). In part, the fact that players are producing levels of scoring in their late 30s and 40s that were considered unthinkable a few years ago means that if you're not mentally prepared you can be beaten by any of them. And, of all the incredible stories of the past couple of seasons, including M.King and A.Hamilton winning ranking events - to me A.McManus reaching the World Championship SF was the most significant of them all. He did so by being more positive, and attacking when his chances came. This is not a natural way for McManus to play, but he realised that on today's tables, which are designed to promote attacking, break-building snooker, that it is primarily about scoring. That didn't mean that he abandoned playing hard match-play snooker when he had to in beating A.Carter in R2 or in parts of his QF win against J.Higgins, but when he got a chance he looked to win the frame rather than accumulate a lead.

Maybe, Trump has never really recovered from his Crucible SF defeat to S.Bingham. All the talk beforehand was of how well Trump was playing and how it looked like it was "his time". He was expected to play, and probably beat R.O'Sullivan in the SF, which would see the (invisible) crown pass from one to the other en-route to him hammering whoever reached the final. But, then Bingham beat O'Sullivan, and maybe Trump lost his edge. The big showdown wasn't going to happen and all of a sudden he now had everything to lose. He started the match very flat and could never quite recover.

But, whatever the reasons, for J.Trump not to consider changing his style means that he is willing to accept that his successes will be less regular, but generally more spectacular, when they happen. It something S.Murphy has accepted and he's playing better snooker for it, although in Murphy's case it helps when you are possibly the most inept tactical player, for a top 16 player, in the history of the game.

J.Trump could still win the World Championship, and many other titles on the way, but you feel he'll have to be close to his best to do it (unlike M.Selby for instance). He's currently best-priced 6/1 to win at Sheffield this year, but that price looks based more on reputation than current form and mind-set.
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Pause Switch to Standard View The enigma that is Judd Trump
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Report BornToWin December 17, 2017 8:39 PM GMT
Maybe he should try the 9 ball tour in the USA, 6/1 mega LOL. He will beat himself as he nearly always does.
Report davyb December 17, 2017 11:42 PM GMT
I have never held trump in the highest regard, he is to over rated and should never ever be mentioned in the same  league as your Williams hendry Higgins and Sullivan, he is just a crash bang wallop sort of player and with a game approach like that I will be amazed if he ever becomes a world champion.
Report gobelins December 18, 2017 7:32 PM GMT
A few years ago Trump was consistently playing to a very high standard, but his cueball control wasn't as tight as O'Sullivan, Higgins, Ding or Robertson. Because of this he invariably left himself more balls at mid-range, and although he usually potted them, the expectation was that once his cueball control improved, and his safety tightened up a notch, he would go to the top of the game and would be THE man to beat. I'm not sure why this hasn't happened, as it looked the one weakness in his game. His defeat to R.McLeod in R1 at The Crucible, last year, must have been a massive jolt to his confidence. He'd been talking himself up pre-tournament, and was given a kind draw which saw him odds-on to win his quarter.

I certainly wouldn't be confident enough to say that I'd be amazed if he ever won a World Championship (he has reached the final and a SF there) but a few years ago I thought it would be when not if - but as we speak I'd say there are at least 6 other players with a better chance, or at least the same chance, of winning it this year as him.
Report Latalomne December 18, 2017 7:43 PM GMT
Per the Scottish Open thread, he was interviewed in the week on Eurosport and essentially said he wasn't enjoying trying to play properly and would therefore revert to the snooker he was synonymous with earlier in his career.
Report gobelins December 18, 2017 8:32 PM GMT
Latalomne - that's why I started the thread. It makes you wonder if he will improve for making that decision (if he means it). On first impression it seems doubtful, as you would think he would have to be potting a really high percentage of long balls, and the top players will punish him severely when he's slightly off. But, on the other hand, it will be easier for him to play with a clear mind and it might free him of the shackles he clearly perceives he has with his current game (it's why I mentioned S.Murphy on the opening post). At his best, Trump will go very close at Sheffield.
Report BornToWin December 18, 2017 9:15 PM GMT
I thought he would win a few world titles, I have not completely written him off but he looks rudderless.

Hopefully he matures, screws the nut or whatever but I see that as more long term possible.
Report Latalomne December 18, 2017 10:05 PM GMT
I thought there was enough evidence in his semi v Cao on Saturday to suggest that he just isn't close to playing well enough to be able to pull it off.  TBH, having watched quite a lot of him recently, I think he settled on this ethos a while ago (despite only publicly stating it last week), and it doesn't seem to be helping his game at all.  His go to response to pressure is just to try to hit the cover off everything.  Even on these tables, that just exacerbates the problem.... 

He is clearly a very frustrated young (still) man.
Report thegiggilo December 19, 2017 2:18 AM GMT
You have to love the game and be passionate about winning and hate losing,thats the problem he strikes me as he doesn't even joy it,another snowflake.I don't think he needs to change his game much,if he plays his best as he was 3 years ago he'd be winning tournaments now the tables just play so easy should be a cakewalk for him.Thing I find strange is how he doesn't bury these very poor players,he's certainly ubackable pre tournament prices in the worlds but I definitely wouldn't want to back against him in a world semi whoever he plays.The likelihood is he will win a worlds and if he does then will amost certainly win another,a lot of the players dominating the game at the moment won't be around in 5-6 years and he could be playing at his peak..I definitely won't be backing him,but if he did win one I would be on in the foreseeable future
Report trebor December 19, 2017 10:36 AM GMT
You have to love the game and be passionate about winning and hate losing, that's the problem he strikes me as he doesn't even enjoy it, another snowflake. I don't think he needs to change his game much, if he plays his best as he was 3 years ago he'd be winning tournaments now the tables just play so easy should be a cakewalk for him. Thing I find strange is how he doesn't bury these very poor players,

I think that sums the situation up perfectly, also think it shows why he does lose to some poorer players as well, times in an individual sport when you have to dig deep to get a result, or while you are sat in your seat you can rationalise that it don't matter too much as there is always another tournament around the corner.  Can you ever imagine Davis, Hendry or Selby thinking like that?

Jimmy to coach him? and practicing with Ronnie and Jack don't seem the right recipe too success to me, enjoyable I am sure, but for me he needs Hendry to mentor him and give him a good kick up the ass!!
Report Blackrock December 19, 2017 11:29 AM GMT
I don't know why Judd hasn't 'trained on'. I do know he is very much a confidence player [as most players are]. I think losing to Rory McLeod [a player Judd should beat with a blindfold on] hurt him badly.

Doesn't help to explain his indifferent form prior to that though. Think Ding is in the same boat, A big under-performer for me, considering the talent he has.
Report gobelins December 19, 2017 8:19 PM GMT
I suppose it also depends on exactly what he wants from the game. If he wants to dominate for any length of time then he needs to change his mind-set (surely someone like T.Griffiths could help him in some way), but if he wants to entertain and simply win his share - then he probably will at some point given that his talent should guarantee him plenty of chances.

You wonder if he has so much self-imposed pressure and expectation to deal with, and is struggling with it, and maybe this has affected his enjoyment and love of the game. He was a phenomenal junior and it seemed, to lots of shrewd judges, only a matter of time before he rose to the very top. Once he got close to the top, the natural progression should have seen far more 'triple crown' wins (he has just 1 UK title to his name) and far more ranking event titles than the 7 he currently has, especially given the number of tournaments there are now.

If Latalomne is right, and he has chosen to play his natural game (he was definitely expecting to take over O'Sullivan's mantle a few years ago) then he must also accept that he'll lose more games than he should do. And, despite that possibly allowing him more clarity of mind, it's difficult to see how he will enjoy the game more if he keeps losing to lower ranked players.

He really is at the cross-roads, and his choices now could determine how much he ends up achieving in the game. So much of this game really is all in the mind.
Report gobelins December 20, 2017 7:15 PM GMT
Having taken a closer look at Trump's career I appear to have done him a dis-service. He has actually won 8 ranking titles not 7, and I don't know if it's significant or not - but I was surprised to see that 6 of them have been won abroad (3 in China, 1 in Australia, 1 in Romania, and the most recent in Belgium). And, continuing this odd trend, he has been beaten in 9 ranking finals of which 5 have been outside UK (3 in China, 1 in Germany and 1 in Gibraltar). On this admittedly flimsy evidence maybe Trump would have a better chance of winning the World Championship if it was held in China!
Report thegiggilo January 21, 2018 2:43 AM GMT
Another bottle job yesterday,the strange thing was he looked very good till the point he had to win very strange performance and yet still the books will be pricing him up 6/1 for these tournaments and the worlds.O'sullivan says he's not playing in the worlds,very bitter and twisted after he lost you'd still go 1.02 he will turn up hopefully he won't..
Report Blackrock January 21, 2018 11:03 AM GMT
Don't think Judd's bottle went. What he did was usual Trump failings, going for ridiculous shots and the plant in the decider was a stupid shot selection.

Afraid JT just doesn't have the neccessary between the ears.
Report gobelins January 21, 2018 12:32 PM GMT
I can't make my mind up regarding Trump's temperament. I'm not sure I'd say he bottled it yesterday, he made some poor shot choices and he gave further evidence of why he is unlikely ever to fulfill his massive earlier promise. It's a worry though that he has won less deciders during his career than he's won. And, there have been definite signs at Sheffield of him buckling under pressure. You can excuse his 2011 final defeat to J.Higgins when he lost from in front, given his inexperience at that level at the time, but he has also caved in from winning positions against A.Carter and N.Robertson at The Crucible. If you add to that, the Crucible defeats to R.McLeod last year and to S.Bingham in the 2015 SF, where he unforgivably under-estimated the level of opposition, then there are undoubtedly serious questions to ask of the 6/1 3rd favourite for the title in April.
Report thegiggilo January 21, 2018 1:17 PM GMT
It's pure bottle,that's what determines shot selection complete and utter panic,something he never had 3/4 seasons ago now its very predictable
Report BornToWin January 21, 2018 6:03 PM GMT
A basic lack of composure and patience.

Judd wants the match over now, what he needs to do is realise the job is on until the job is done and stop trying for idiotic short cuts.

One thing I will agree with from the BBC gravy trainers is that the balls don't forgive you, and Wilson got plenty run after Judd's rash attempts.
Report Murgutpura January 22, 2018 10:29 AM GMT
Wilson did get plenty of running at the right moments but
I would sum judd up in one word
he is simply not a finisher
if your leading 5-2 best of 11 it don't matter what the other
bloke does you get the job done
Report Latalomne February 2, 2018 9:36 PM GMT
He's gone ultra negative against Ding.  To his detriment, it has to be said.
Report dr . atkins February 4, 2018 1:14 PM GMT
he's just a flash wanke r with a fast car and a nice bird the biggest underachiever in snooker who has ever picked up a cue shame got the perfect run into the worlds but how can you bet this wannabe playboy
Report gobelins February 5, 2018 9:23 PM GMT
Trump was also quite negative in a few of his shot choices mid-match during his SF defeat against K.Wilson in The Masters, so much so that Wilson commented on it afterwards. That doesn't seem to tally with his interview when he said he was going back to his earlier care-free style of play. If he is struggling inwardly with what style of play he should adopt, this will obviously affect his decision making regarding shot selection. Both S.Murphy and N.Robertson have had similar demons in the past few years. It does not bode well with Sheffield just over 10 weeks away.
Report Latalomne February 6, 2018 10:27 AM GMT
There's no two ways about it, he is REALLY struggling with how he should be playing.  That frame where he ultimately beat Ding, you could see that he was utterly desperate for it to be over, but he didn't appear to have the first idea about how he could make that happen.  Had Ding not been a bit crap himself (it felt like he potted about 5 single balls in that frame where he failed to get close to getting position on the next shot), he would have been punished.  I don't ever recall seeing Judd's head quite that messed up, even when he smashed up the balls against Dotty the other week. 

I still think the biggest epiphany he could had is to continue to be positive but without trying to hit the ball quite so hard.  These pockets are very forgiving, so long as you don't try to absolutely welly everything in.  That's when they become tough.
Report gobelins February 6, 2018 8:59 PM GMT
He's definitely struggling, and he must be questioning why he hasn't won more, and why he has massively under-performed in the 'triple crown' events. There are a few small things which he can improve, and as you say hitting the ball too hard is an obvious example - but that tends to be a sign of pressure or a lack of confidence. First of all I think he needs to be clear in his own mind what he wants from the game. If it is to be the best in the world and a regular winner then he needs to forget wanting to be the next people's champion after R.O'Sullivan and concentrate on improving his all-round game. That will at least give him a way to win more matches without playing at his best, as when he is on form he is as good as anyone. He should also cut out the ridiculously titled 'naughty snooker' which basically means wild exhibition shots at the end of a frame, and remember he is playing to win first and to entertain second. His use of social media was of great benefit to him when he broke through winning in China and then reaching the World final in 2011, but tweeting during intervals is something that should be well and truly behind him given his standing in the game.

Time is still on his side, although he is now 27, particularly as there doesn't appear a great deal coming through (Yan Bingtao being the one exception) but the longer he fails to turn his undoubted class into silverware the harder it will become for him. If nothing else it will be an interesting watch to see what happens, although I suspect there's more pain in store for him in the short-term given his current mindset.
Report jed.davison February 7, 2018 4:56 PM GMT
There are so many examples in professional sport of people being blessed with unnatural talent who are quite incapable of realising their full potential because their mentality does not allow it. I have the impression - despite my admiration for and envy of his ability - that we will be talking about Trump on these terms until the day he retires.
Report thegiggilo February 7, 2018 9:32 PM GMT
He's very fortunate he's playing in such a weak era with plenty of tournaments and players as weak mentally as himself so the likelyhood is at some stage a world title will be gifted him and take Selby out of the equation and there's nothing out there.
Report BornToWin February 8, 2018 10:23 PM GMT
He has everything he needs, there is a tournament every other week to pick up some scatter cash quarters, semis that will do for the pocket money.

If that sort left him for Mr considerably richer than yow, then just maybe.
Report jed.davison February 9, 2018 8:59 AM GMT
It does tell you all you need to know about the modern players that Mark and Dottie contested a ranking final the other day.
Report The Bhoys February 9, 2018 1:57 PM GMT
Osullivan was on europsport talking the other day after wiliiams won his semi, he says that the reason him, williams and higgins are playing longer is the fact that there is no amature game, he says the like of himself and williams cud pay to there 60 because players are not ready to compete at the level asked because they turn pro to soon because  of hearn
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