Liang Wenbo is a great talent and a fine prospect but he isn’t going to win tournaments playing the sort of kamikaze snooker he exhibited in losing 5-1 to John Higgins at the Northern Ireland Trophy in Belfast today.

I’ll say right off that I regard Liang as a breath of fresh air for the game. He is fearless and has an endearing way about him which earned him many fans on the way to the World Championship quarter-finals last season.

But surely he must realise that his policy of going for absolutely everything, whatever the situation in the match, is asking for trouble.

Most young players like to attack but they all come to accept the fact that a strong safety game is also needed to rise to the top.

There are some extraordinary good potters around but they don’t win titles or rise that far up the rankings without tightening up at times and playing the percentages.

In Liang’s case, he does not need to completely change his game, just approach matches with a little more care.

He gives his opponents far too many chances – which shows you how badly Peter Ebdon must have played against him if, despite this, he couldn’t win a single frame.


Anonymous said...

Big breaks win frames
Little bits win games !

Anonymous said...

Great poet!!

CUPC said...

I half agree in that Liang needs a B game if he ever wants to make the top 16, purely to help him grind out results against lesser players, but there's something to be said for playing aggressively. When it's working it unsettles the opponent and it's tough to contain. Murphy won the world title playing (almost) that way and Hendry won a couple. Commentators often say that you can't keep potting difficult balls but frankly, when these young guys are on a good week, they can, and they know it.

Toning his game down will help his consistency and therefore his ranking, but will it make him more likely to win tournaments?

Most players on the tour just aren't good enough to win events playing conservative snooker against everyone. The likes of Higgins don't get beaten at their own game without having an off day. IMO Liang's best chance to beat top players and win events is to play his natural game and hope everything clicks into place. Unfortunately for him, today it just didn't.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Ebdon threw the match 5-0... although I find it very hard to believe having met Peter several times, I think that he is great pro. The 5-0 loss doesnt add up here though, did you hear any rumors David?

Monique said...

There is a difference between playing a natural agressive game and taking stupid shots. In this match Liang took a few really stupid shots in my opinion.
Shots that got him snookered, shots that landed him nowhere, very low percentage shots that had evry chance to handle the game wide open to his opponent.
Maybe he had a bad day, but frankly he showed little brains in this match. After having played both Liang and Liu, ROS said he rated Liu higher as a long term prospect because "he's more of a thinker". Today's match very much supports this assesment IMO.

kimball said...

He probably had a bad day all around. You dont,t beat Davis &
Hendry by being reckless without
getting paid.
It is strange though, Wenbo,s total
I spoke to Alex Borg after his match against Wenbo 2003 in China.
It was Wenbo,s debut in IBSF world-
This is what Borg thought -
He is a great potter but so are most new guys, but, his safety is
incredible! He is really smart, it
makes all the difference in the end.
Borg was the better all around and
won 4-2 but Wenbo made two centuries!
Why he is overheated some days is
the mystery.