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moondan
30 Apr 15 09:38
Joined:
Date Joined: 18 Nov 10
| Topic/replies: 3,361 | Blogger: moondan's blog
I am assured that it wasn't just the birds that consisted of the dawn chorus in Sheffield this morning, friends of mine swear that a few drinks and much relief followed the demise of Ronnie and Robbo who had threatened Stephens 2 most treasured records.
Robbo would surely have broken his 16 tons that he made in 2002 and Ronnie could have taken a step nearer his 9 finals and 7 victories.
Robbo or indeed  Tom, Dick or Harry will overtake him  sooner rather than later on these "made for the job" tables of recent years but his record of 7 victories will probably never be beaten.
Nobody applied or rode pressure like Hendry and that is the essential difference between the 2 players.
No that is the difference between all players and Hendry.

I must say recent years have produced  many many matches that needed to be forgotten but yesterday was almost a blast from the past and I have a feeling this year will go down as a new era with perhaps more shocks in store.
I know Judd is a big favourite and no complaints from me if he takes it but lets hope the commentary does not pander to the tiny playground crowd and stick to the adults who are the games largest audience because there are no GOATS in the field you have to earn that title after years of success.
Lets hope we hear little from Davis and his Parrot and Virgo and Hendry apply their unmistakable class to what should be 2 great matches.
Pause Switch to Standard View Hendry must feel he has won an Eighth.
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Report Angel Gabrial April 30, 2015 8:23 PM BST
He was on TV today PM blaming others for messing around with his cue action. Poor form if you cant revert back.
Report Pokermonster April 30, 2015 8:24 PM BST
Off the top of my head, there were the two semi-finals against Ronnie (17-4 and 17-6); the quarter-final against Maguire (13-2); a defeat to Selby in the 2nd round (13-4) and another against Stevens I think, but the exact result escapes me.
Report Pokermonster April 30, 2015 8:26 PM BST
Actually, if memory serves, I think Selby done him twice by big margins (13-4 or 13-5)
Report Angel Gabrial April 30, 2015 8:29 PM BST
No one could get near him though PM, he was invincible.
Report gentlemanjohn April 30, 2015 9:20 PM BST
Wow....i said this would get interesting!

Going back to the original point made, seems to me it's one thing to pose awkward questions about the quality of opposition Hendry faced, but then to use that as a stick to beat a former era when the fact is some of the softest titles in crucible history have been won in the last handful of years is just a little bit rich for my liking!
Report Angel Gabrial April 30, 2015 11:25 PM BST
John we are not saying the last handful of years has been a great era. Strategy of break building has moved on however since 1990-1994 lets say. The top 16 today are more prolific when in the balls that the top 16 back then. In depth this has improved.

This is why we are seeing such an increase in century breaks.
Report gentlemanjohn May 1, 2015 12:12 AM BST
Angel, not arguing with that in the slightest. That can be proven as fact. But if you read back, that was the original thesis put forward - Hendry winning soft world titles that he wouldn't have won in this apparently stronger era. I think this whole argument is based on a fallacy. Isn't it logical to assume that with the benefits you've spoken about - thinner cloths, more attacking mentality - Hendry would be an even greater player in the modern era? Correct me if i'm wrong, but he wasn't blessed with the greatest cue power, so to have the benefit of faster tables in his prime would surely be a godsend for him. Would he still win 7 titles? Don't have a clue, can never be answered one way or the other.

I do think it's easy, even for diehard snooker fans, to forget just how great Hendry was. I recall moondan posting details of his century compiling exploits in big matches against Ronnie and others and they were mind-bogglingly insane. I think there's always a danger of being weighted towards the more recent achievments in the game, because they are fresher in the memory.
Report trebor May 1, 2015 12:24 AM BST
If we have faster cloths, lighter balls, more attacking mentality in a stronger era with bigger pockets, how would you think that has affected the average points being scored per frame since the first world championship at the crucible?
Report gentlemanjohn May 1, 2015 12:34 AM BST
It is obviously a non sequitur trebor, the average points per frame average has decreased.
Report trebor May 1, 2015 12:44 AM BST
Heck I had to google the meaning of what you typed Laugh yes it has shown a steady decline from 112 points in 1977 to 102 last year. because players make more breaks and may win a frame to nil. In the last 205 frames in 1977 ( quarter finals onwards ) only two frames where won to nil.
Report gentlemanjohn May 1, 2015 12:52 AM BST
My apologies...i find i have to use my pitiful stock of latin phrases at least once a month on average or else i forget what they mean ;)
Does make sense. Maybe more players played on for snookers back in the day as well, that thorburn fella never knew when to give up.
Report Platini May 1, 2015 3:49 PM BST
there's more strength in depth now I'll give you that - the game is more popular and more accessible now than previously, so obviously a lot more players. but the game is also so much easier - faster tables, bigger pockets, lighter balls. The likes of ROS would have struggled on the old tables.

Hendry GOAT
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Davis
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O'Sullivan
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Reardon
Higgins
White
Report Angel Gabrial May 1, 2015 4:17 PM BST
The likes of ROS would have struggled on the old tables.

And Messi and Ronaldo would have struggled on the old grass with the old balls.
Report pandora1963 May 1, 2015 4:19 PM BST
HOW THE HELL DID THAT BLACK STAY OUT
Report Platini May 1, 2015 9:36 PM BST
Messi wouldn't have lasted 5 mins in the 60s or 70s.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:24 AM BST
And Ronnie wouldn`t have been able to control the cue ball on a 1970`s snooker table ay Platini?

nurse!
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 9:39 AM BST
there's more strength in depth now I'll give you that

Ricky Walden No.7, Joe Perry No.9, couple of tin pot ranking tournaments between them Cry

Give them nothing platini!
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 9:50 AM BST
John

Doug Mountjoy was ranked 5th in the world in 1990
Terry Griffiths 6th

Terry didn`t get his first century break in practice until he was 27. Whatever you think of Walden and Perry they are a level above this.

The only argument you guys have is the `conditions` have changed as though it was SO different. 1 cue, 22 balls and 6 pockets John.....it`s always been that way.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 9:52 AM BST
Just to add John......

Griffiths actually agrees with me.Wink
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 9:57 AM BST
I remember for a short period in the early 80's I think when Mountjoy hit a golden spell in his career and played some brilliant snooker. His upsurge in form came out of nowhere and was remarkable.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 9:57 AM BST
Angel i cant physically focus on your arguments cos i am literally rolling round the floor laughing at your Terry Griffiths obsession Laugh

Proves nothing whatsoever mind, but it is most amusing I have to say Wink
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 9:58 AM BST
Doug Mountjoy damn fine player
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 10:03 AM BST
Doug was 48 in 1990 John..come on man, lets talk some sense now.

He turned professional aged 34, and i am not knocking these guys John, but the standard has sky rocketed. You just haven`t noticed. Terry has noticed it however, but he is only a coach of the modern game, he knows nothing.Laugh
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 10:08 AM BST
The standard of play has obviously improved miles but any game or sport is ultimately about entertainment and the players from the late 70's/early 80's had more panache about them, probably because they had more maturity and life experiences.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 10:14 AM BST
Spot on Paddy, the atmosphere still had that working mans club feel about it back then. Reardon with his vamp comedy smirk about him as Alex turned around in his seat for a shot of brandy. Boys became men much earlier back the paddy, and it definitely made for better entertainment.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 10:21 AM BST
Going into your first snooker hall in the late 70's as a lad when you were too young to have been there was something special when the green baize hit your eyesight all litten up in a dark room with clouds of smoke coming from the men smoking woodbine cigarettes.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 10:24 AM BST
That would be a sublime opening to any snooker novel paddy.
Report dlarssonf May 2, 2015 10:26 AM BST
Ricky Walden a better player than Doug MountjoyScared
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 10:28 AM BST
Afraid so dlarssonf...

Sad
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 11:26 AM BST
At the age of 46 he was meeting the young pretender Stephen Hendry in the final. He won 16–12, knocking in three consecutive centuries at one stage, giving him his first major ranking tournament victory, and after the match he praised Hendry as a future talent.

1988 Uk Champs, beat good players and was leading centuries scorer in tournament with 6. Why the need to knock that? I dont need to give you a history lesson Angel, but with so few ranking tournies back then, one good tournament could catapult you in the rankings and give you up to 2 good years there. Also won another ranking event so of course he'd be up there in 1990. I think it's in Clive Everton's book, a good account of Doug's late renaissance, might be worth a reread.

But here's the thing:
In the 80s there were journeymen players in the top 10
In the 90s there were journeymen players in the top 10
In the 2000s there were journeymen players in the top 10
In the 2010s..yep still journeymen players in the top 10
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 11:44 AM BST
Well said gentlemanjohn. I have no idea of the stats, as I have no interest in them, but some people will make a case for saying R.Walden/M.Fu/J.Perry were better than S.Davis because they may have scored more centuries than him, or may have averaged more centuries per frame played than him. Whereas, I ask - what did you win?

For the record, D.Mountjoy won 2 UKs (although only 1 was an open event), he won The Masters and played in a World Final. For me, the D.Mountjoy of 1988/89, under the wing of Frank Callan, would have buried R.Walden, although it appears to be relevant to some that T.Griffiths didn't make a century break until he was 27 in order to disprove this.
Report Platini May 2, 2015 11:54 AM BST
If you think O'Sullivan would have been able to play the shots Alex Higgins was playing back in the late 70s with those heavy balls and tight pockets, you're deluding yourself.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 11:58 AM BST
How many 47 year olds are there in the top 5 now lads?
Or even the top 16
Ok lets look at the top 32

Steve Davis was a far better player than Mountjoy, yet he never peaked at the age of 47??? why is that? yes Davis had his foot in the top 16 at that age but come on number 5 in the world age 47?

Even Terry disagree with you gobelins. You seem in denial.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 12:13 PM BST
I'm not in denial of anything Angel. My point has consistently been that the number of century breaks made today compared against other decades/eras should not the definitive measurement of a players ability, or an increase in the standard of snooker overall. If people want to say one player (in this instance R.Walden) was better than (in this instance D.Mountjoy) then that's fair enough. My point is that the fact R.Walden made more centuries should not be the determining factor. There is so much more to consider including what they actually won.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 12:47 PM BST
There is so much more to consider including what they actually won.

Doug won 2 ranking events, at the age of 45 which is excellent, he beat a 16 year old boy in one of those however.

Ricky so far, has won 3 ranking events. Beating Ronnie in one of those finals.
Report dlarssonf May 2, 2015 12:55 PM BST
How many ranking events has Ricky Walden played in though
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:00 PM BST
My apologies gobelin, of course Hendry was 19, so fair play to him. It very nearly didn`t happen though, in the quarter finals he was taken to 8-8 against John Virgo but got through 9-8.

I wonder what price Hendry was for that match?
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:04 PM BST
dlarssonf

You could negate that with the question, how many professional level snooker players was there during his career.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 1:05 PM BST
AG, worth pointing out that one statistical anomaly does never a swallow make. But why the disrespect for Doug? Ok Hendry wasn't yet the sheer force of will he became in December, 1988, but he wasn't far off the real deal - won the Masters a month later - and yet Mountjoy outclassed him. Why not recognise that achievement for what it was?

There's a thesis to be written about snooker and age, when players can peak, when they decline etc. I remember Rex Williams beating Alex Higgins in a ranking event once, I remember Fred Davis reaching a world q/f once at an advanced age. How old was Davis when he beat Higgins in 2010?

You should really have stuck to your Griffiths obsession. At least that one made me chuckle Wink
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:13 PM BST
John that thesis would have to include how poor they where aged 27. If they only reach century break building standard by 27 then you are not going to be as good as the modern day pro who has a more advance break building  ability at the age of 13Grin
Report dlarssonf May 2, 2015 1:20 PM BST
so you are not going to answer the question
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 1:29 PM BST
Its robbing peter to pay paul. These modern day whizz kids - Luca Brecel lol - can whizz their way round the table all they want, rack up a 1000 centuries by the age of 21, but how many of them are mastering the tactical nuances and table craft needed to become great players? The elders learned the ropes in the clubs where the amateur scene was vibrant and, in some cases, not far off the pro standard.

Today's amateur scene is in the doldrums, i know a lot of knowledgable snooker guys, who say the blackpool experiment in '92 knocked the stuffing out of it and it's still recovering from that blow. Guys are coming cold into the pro ranks these days and struggling because they can't handle the pressure. The strength in depth mantra about the modern game is an illusion, it's not stronger now than it was in the 80s or 90s.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:38 PM BST
Except all those players from the 80/90`s disagree with you John.
Many of them have experienced the 80/90/00/10`s the level in depth is far stronger.
The illusion is held by those who disagree with those who have been there and done it.
Even Terry would disagree with you John.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 1:46 PM BST
Not easy to knock in centuries every day when you had to get up at the crack of dawn and deliver a big stack of letters.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 1:52 PM BST
Except all those players from the 80/90`s disagree with you John.


But have you talked to them all Angel or seen interviews where they ALL say that? As much respect as I have for them, I can also respectfully disagree. These are some of the players who are being scotched on this forum day in day out for some of the things they say in commentary. Being there and having done it is not always a golden ticket to an illuminating world view on the game.

But great to see El Tel back in the conversation, I missed him over the last few posts Wink
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 1:58 PM BST
I have yet to hear one of them contradict my view John, and only endorse it.
The likes of Ebdon can`t even get out of qualifiers because the standard is so high.
There are no Mike Halletts in the top 6 anymore John.
All the ex pros agree with me, even Hallet....and of course Terry.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:01 PM BST
Cliff Wilson made a century break when he was 14 and give up snooker for 15 to work in a steel factory before turning professional at the tender age of 45!
He played a 16 year rookie pro in the uk championships in 1992 when he was 58 years old and suffering from ill health ( he died two years later ). He beat that young rookie pro 9-8.

That young pup of a lad he beat was called Ronnie O'Sullivan who the following year won the tournament.

How do you like those bananas AG.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 2:12 PM BST
Cliff made 3 breaks of 54 in that match paddy, get a 20 break and touch up behind the green and beat the kid.
Ronnie actually outscored Cliff in that match 1041 - 809

Men against boys paddy.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:16 PM BST
Pretty is as pretty does. Ronnie was always big for his age and he won something like 40 odd straight matches in the qualifiers in his rookie year.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 2:16 PM BST
Fantastic story padd. Cliff's was a truly great story and of course a welcome addition to the age thesis I mentioned earlier. If memory serves, wasn't it the case he had to win his national championship to earn a pro ticket, or maybe it was for a time at least. So you had Cliff, Reardon, Griffiths, Mountjoy, Darren Morgan just for starters, and that's just to win the Welsh title. And still people talk about a lack of strength in depth Confused
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 2:17 PM BST
Ronnie won 74 out of 76 in blackpool
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:18 PM BST
Remember one day coming home from school and watching Cliff Wilson play Tony Drago on a match shown live on itv. That was a quick match.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:23 PM BST
Perrie Mans, another old timer but well past his best beat Steve Davis in the 1981 Masters with a high break of 36. It might not have been fancy snooker but these old boys were great match players and could find a way to win.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 2:24 PM BST
Oh come on Paddy, how many 9-8 matches have you ever seen where the winner only compiles 3 x 50 breaks.

You can spoil the game against anyone, is that the sort of sport we want to see?
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 2:25 PM BST
Ronnie wouldn`t have had the head for a match like that, he must have wondered what was going on.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:27 PM BST
They simply could not comepete with the scoring of the new generation of snooker players but they were match players and they could only play to their strengths and many of these players also had experience in billiards so when they snookered you really were snookered.
I am not saying they were better. But its not as clear cut an argument as your making in my opinion.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:29 PM BST
Ronnie is a great player but he is snooker royalty compared to these past greats and he was born with a silver cue in his hand.
Report winsamsoon May 2, 2015 2:33 PM BST
Terry could have made any amount of tons before he was 27 but why pot the ball when there's a good safety on? I'd sat that year he tried to coach Ronnie was some fun
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 2:35 PM BST
Btw Ronnie did lose one match in Blackpool 5-0 to Dave Finbow. But that was the time, insane strength in depth on tour Wink
Report trebor May 2, 2015 2:37 PM BST
I think the Cliff Wilson example endorses AG's point as he broke into the top 16 at 55 years of age. He used to play for the Forest of Dean in inter town matches, I had never heard of him and remember thinking " oh he 's good for a old guy" Laugh

The thing about comparing players from now and in the 70's or 80's is that  back then a snooker player probably reached his prime around 40 - 45 years old, not that surprising seeing that most did not start to play snooker until old enough to go into working men's clubs, those that started at a early age like Jimmy 8 and Alex 11 years old had 10years start on many, and imo appeared to be better than they really where.
Report trebor May 2, 2015 2:39 PM BST
Interviews online with Terry Griffiths state he made his first ton at 24, he started laying at 13 years of age.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 2:41 PM BST
he started laying at 13 years of age.

The saucy devil, no wonder he'd so little time for snooker Devil
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 2:42 PM BST
Terry`s memory is fading fast he got his first 50 break at 24.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:42 PM BST
Some people are just late bloomers!
Report trebor May 2, 2015 2:46 PM BST
he started laying at 13 years of age.

The saucy devil, no wonder he'd so little time for snooker Devil


I can't think what you are thinking John, there was no Betfair then surly.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 2:50 PM BST
I wonder if a 46 year old Stephen Hendry would beat a 55 year old Cliff Wilson.

I think we all know the answer to that.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 2:59 PM BST
In relative terms a 55 year old Cliff Wilson who had a very hard paper round in Wales and smoked like a chimney would be about the equaivalent of a 70 year old today. Take a look at pictures of both players in their middle age and tell me different.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 3:03 PM BST
I would not go as far as to say Cliff Wilson was a better player Stephen Hendy. I was simply exaggerating a point in the interests of a more balanced discussion.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 3:30 PM BST
Born in the wrong era was Cliff, would he have made it as a top 16 player today if born in 1990? If he wanted it then i am sure that he could have had it. It`s the same with most of them from that day and age. Composure in competition sets the top 16 apart. If they had that in back then, they would have it today.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 5:34 PM BST
AG, a little quiz for you while we wait in anticipation of a great final session. Who issued the following quote and would you pay much heed to him when evaluating the worth of snooker players?

"I listen to people talking about talented and gifted snooker players - it was said for years that Jimmy White was the most talented player ever to pick up a snooker cue but, in my mind, talent is all about winning. Graeme Dott is a winner, and I can't tell you how delighted I was when he won the World Championship."
Report thegiggilo May 2, 2015 5:42 PM BST
My wild guess would be Hendry..
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 5:50 PM BST
No gigg, way off. Though it is a former world champion. I addressed it to Angel, cos he would know instantly, a certain ex-pro he is harbouring a very strange obsession about at the moment.

To be honest hendry woudl have to be taking the total p!ss to have Dott ahead of White on any talent list and we know the bonny scot doesn't have a sense of humour.
Report Pokermonster May 2, 2015 5:59 PM BST
Was it Graeme Dott?
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 6:04 PM BST
No not Dottie, but a good guess nonetheless!
Report Pokermonster May 2, 2015 6:06 PM BST
Terry Griffiths?
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 6:14 PM BST
Yes PM, twas indeed he. Terry, shrewd judge that he is, reckons Dottie is a more talented snooker player than Jimmy.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 6:36 PM BST
Jimmy's six runners up medals is a far greater achievement than any single win and whats more his story of coming so close so many times and his style of play makes him one of the greatest ever players no matter what some people might say. At least in my opinion.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 6:39 PM BST
Angel - comparing the players of now against players of the 1980s/90s/2000s is fraught with danger. I have made a defence of the standards in previous eras/decades as I felt the attack on the merit of S.Hendry's 7 World titles needed challenging.

Today, snooker is almost a completely different game to the one of the 80s. Not just completely different playing conditions, but totally different mind-sets exist for today's players following S.Hendry totally re-writing the rule book on break building. Hendry took on the best of the prevailing guard (S.Davis) playing their differing styles and won decisively, and as a result his attacking mode of snooker allied to more conducive playing conditions for attacking snooker was adopted as the way to play the game.

Snooker has evolved, as all sports do, and the point made above about C.Wilson beating R.O'Sullivan with just 3 half centuries is essentially the point I've been making. Making century breaks or winning frames in a single visit in that (the pre-Hendry) era were far rarer as that was not the mentality at the time, particularly ouside the top players. And, OK taking the loose reds then snookering behind a baulk colour could not succeed today, but it was generally the accepted model of the time, and that was probably why Wilson won - 15 years later the same 2 players playing at the same stage of their career probably would have seen O'Sullivan win 9-3 or 9-4.

It needed somebody as exceptional as Hendry to change this. And that is why I stated that achievement on the table is a more valid criteria than how many frames are/were won with a century if you are going to attempt comparison.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 6:42 PM BST
I think it`s Terry`s way of calling Jimmy a bottler, and if your talent can get you into a position to succeed but you fail then you don`t deserve it to be lauded.

A bit harsh of Terry to be fair, or is it?
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 6:51 PM BST
If you are just motivated by winning its a very selfish pursuit. There is a lot more to sport than winning. Sport is more than just celebrating triumph. Its also about evoking emotions of joy and tears for not only by the participants but just as importantly to the people who watch because as Bill Shankly once said you can play the greatest game of football ever but if no one is watching who was it for.
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 7:04 PM BST
Lionel Messi will never be loved by the people of Argentina as much as Maradonna no matter how many goals he ends up scoring because Maradonna cried for his country in triumph as well as adversity and the people cried with him. Jimmy White is not in that bracket but there is a small degree of comparison.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 7:05 PM BST
paddletoe - that sounds like something T.Griffiths might have said, at around midnight next to Clive watching a late night Crucible finish...obviously after a lengthy pause, which had allowed the viewers to actually watch the action unfold without constantly being told what we can already see!
Report paddletoe May 2, 2015 7:07 PM BST
Anyway I am off for the night. Enjoy the snooker everyone.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 7:08 PM BST
Gobe

In the first round Bingham was playing Robbie Williams, i`m not sure if you watched any of this match. It was clear to me Williams was playing a 1970`s style, almost Griffiths like. Conservative approach, he did little wrong but he was break building in that 70`s style, not going into clusters due to the unknown, picking off loose reds until he only had one chance to find an angle etc. He was the closest to a 70`s player i have seen in a long time and it was a deliberate approach. He played solid snooker but it was not enough even though Bingham was all over the place but playing the modern way.

Making frame winning breaks from one single chance trumps the conservative approach to break building. Willie Thorne was commentating on the match and he was aware of the approach. He said it may work in the qualifiers but in the tournament proper another level of approach in needed.

So, it`s not the century count, it`s the one visit count as it trumps the two/three/four visit account in the long run unless you spoil the game.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 7:12 PM BST
Gobelins, I agree with almost everything yo've posted on this thread and you deliver it with far more insight than I could hope to offer. The game is about finding ways to win. Even moderate break builders in todays game can outwit the noted century compilers with superior craft and mentality.

Angel, the point about Terry is he coaches or coached Dott and relies on the modern players he loves to eulogise for his bread and butter. He has an agenda. So it's a case of well he would say that wouldn't he.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 7:18 PM BST
John, That was one quote about an interpretation of talent. Yes it sounds based on bias but regarding what all the pros say about the standard in depth being better than before, well it`s close to unanimous. Hendry has stated going through the qualifiers is a nightmare for those that drop out of the 16 because the standard is so  strong in depth.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 7:20 PM BST
MJW has said he doesn`t fancy his chances of hacking it as well, he had the attitude that this year could be his last.
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 7:25 PM BST
When was it ever easy coming through the qualifiers, though, Angel? Bingham said he once won 5 world champs qualifiers, best of 19, before losing and still had 3 rounds left to go. MJW never actually qualified for the tv stages until he breached the top 16, those bad memories obviously still haunting him. Nothing has changed there, it seems to be, for at least the past 25 years.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 7:41 PM BST
Nothing stays the same John and deep down you know that, especially when you have millions more playing the game.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 7:51 PM BST
Angel - I did see the 2nd session of R.Williams v S.Bingham, and I know he plays an old fashioned percentage game. He played it very well against M.Holt in the final qualifier, and really froze Holt out. But, as you say it wasn't good enough against an out-of-form S.Bingham here. I watched him play S.Murphy in a qualifier for the German open in Wigan, and he turned down a 50-50 frame ball red along the baulk cushion at 3-3, when he was on top in the match. He then lost the safety exchange and ended up losing 5-3. He may have won both matches in the 1980s but not now. That said, it's still interesting to see a player play like that.

gentlemanjohn - it's all about opinions, and even if I disagree with someone, it's nice to read the arguments they put forward. A few of the posters on here do make me think about snooker in a way I wouldn't usually - with yourself and Angel being 2 of them.
Report Platini May 2, 2015 8:16 PM BST
Jimmy was the second most talented player to ever lift a cue, behind the Hurricane obviously.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 8:18 PM BST
Out of curiosity gobelins and i ask with full respect of your knowledgeable input. What has your involvement been in the game, are you purely a lover of the game or have you been further involved in it?
Report gentlemanjohn May 2, 2015 8:38 PM BST
Nothing stays the same John and deep down you know that, especially when you have millions more playing the game.

I agree this is a reasonable supposition, time moves on, technology advances and games develop. But we're dealing here with the fundamental question of strength in depth and I would still argue this has not fundamentally changed in 30-40 years of the game, with the exception of one mini-era I previously mentioned.

The millions playing the game means China, of course. But what exactly are they doing over there? Does anybody really know? There was some Chinese journalist badgering Hearn the other day about the world champs moving to China. Hearn gave him short shrift, naturally, but the sense of entitlement coming from the guy was breathtaking. Let's see them prodce something better than Liang Wenbo and Liu Chang before they start talking about taking over the snooker world!
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 8:47 PM BST
I don`t think gobelins wants to give away his identity, he could be JV.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 8:56 PM BST
Angel - I'm just a lover of the game, and I've never played it to any standard at all. I know how to play all the shots theoretically but can't actually play any of them! I actually enjoy reading some of the technical debates on here, but don't contribute as I couldn't add anything.

gentlemanjohn - the Chinese are coming. Zhou Yuelong looks a prospect, although his 1st year on the tour has been no better than OK, and Zhao Xintong will really be worth watching when he turns professional. There are no guarantees, of course, given that they need to move to the UK at such an early age, but they could lead the charge of the next Chinese generation.
Report gobelins May 2, 2015 8:58 PM BST
Haha Angel - I do actually like JV, which is a bit of a rarity among BBC commentators.
Report Angel Gabrial May 2, 2015 11:06 PM BST
You certainly have a thorough and sensible insight into the game and the players gobelins.

Only a matter of time before the Chinese flood the rankings, no doubt in my mind out this.
Report gentlemanjohn May 3, 2015 1:51 PM BST
gob,
Steve Davis has been banging on about Zhao Xintong for what seems like years, i don't think he'll ever live up to the hype thats growing around him, but we'll have to wait and see.

Yes, the chinese are coming, but i doubt as fast and in the quantity people assume. Like when Pele used to say an African team would be world champions before 2020 or some date like that, I'd ask the question when will we see the first Chinese world snooker champion. Definitely not within the next 10 years imo.
Report gobelins May 3, 2015 6:37 PM BST
gentlemanjohn - the first shoots of the generation that have grown up following Ding are starting to come through. Zhao Xintong is entered in Q school later this month, so he will obviously turn professional should he qualify. He has had visa problems 2 years ago and played in the IBSF Under 21 World Championship last year so has not entered previously. He is hyped-up, but his results as a wild card look very impressive. These are middle/lower ranking professionals he's beating, not juniors.

I think we will see a Chinese world champion in the next 10 years, and if so it will hopefully be at The Crucible and not in Beijing or Shanghai - but that's for another topic! The facilities for the kids over there are unrivalled, and the cream of the crop have professional coaching every day. And, that's why the Chinese will not give up their wild cards at home events - it's a way of blooding them at a very early age (some wild cards are 13).

It's possible that 25 years from now we may be asking when we'll see the next non-Chinese winner, and arguing about whether any of them would have dominated in this era!!
Report gentlemanjohn May 3, 2015 11:12 PM BST
Gob, i still hope to be around to take part in that argument but this betting game may see to it otherwise ;)
The only thing i'd ask is what is the standard of coaching like over there? Can former pros go over and make a living there? I've heard stuff like snooker being actually part of the school curriculum over there, so unless there is an upsurge in numbers taking up the game this side of the globe, eventually the balance of power will swing. But i think it will be gradual, definitely not an explosion and no Chinese world champion before 2030 and, like i said, i hope to be around to reflect on the wisdom of that prediction!
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