21.11.08

STICKS AND STONES...

If Neil Robertson made one mistake last season it was reading what other people thought of him.

Natural human curiosity of course leads public figures to venture on to the internet to see what is being said about them.

Neil read a couple of snooker forums where he was being roundly insulted.

He told me: “People said some things that don’t have anything to do with sport. They don’t understand what it takes to compete at the highest level.

“I shouldn’t have let it affect me but it did because I was struggling a lot last season.

“They were saying that my career was over and that they’d never see me again and I’d never win a tournament again.

“They said I was lucky to win the tournaments I had. I took it to heart when I shouldn’t have done.”

On the web it is easy to insult people behind the cloak of anonymity. In my experience, the people who do this are usually the last to repeat it in person.

If anyone wants to say anything to Neil's face they can do so in Telford tomorrow.

While it is perfectly acceptable to hold strong opinions, it is also worth remembering that not everyone has a thick skin and can shrug off unpleasant comments, especially when they are struggling for confidence, as Neil was last season.

Neil was also described this week as a ‘cocky Aussie’ by one newspaper – ironically owned by an Australian – because he made some comments about the great champions in sport not failing at the last. He wasn’t comparing himself to Roger Federer and co but this was how his remarks were interpreted.

My advice to him is to unplug his computer.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I, like many other snooker fans read a number of forums, including of course your great blog. I can not remember instances where Neil has been criticised in the way that he has said, although I am in no way calling him a liar as I am sure I have not read them all.

There are some excellent sites out there that give the public the voice to share their opinions on a sport they enjoy, and Neil doesn't have to search them out, let alone read them. However, IMO, he is very happy to take the congratulations and plaudits when he was practicing and playing well, and to that there is always a flip side. Hopefully he will learn not to search for them, possibly!

RichP said...

If you're in the public eye there's always a chance you're going to receive bad press or criticism although likewise I have never read anything bad about him not like certain other snooker players who are constant targets.

CueSport TV said...

I have met Neil now on two different occasions this year. Once whilst we covering the Belgium Open snooker in September and the other in August when he went to a 10-ball pool challenge match at Mickey Flynn's in Cambridge.

It was in Cambridge, where he was supporting Aussie compatriat, Vinnie Calabrese, that we first spoke and despite his celebrity I found him very pleasant and seriously down to earth. Good to see.

He is a player of immense talent and whilst in Belgium we caught covergae of him compiling a 142 break in his first group match. I also managed to speak to him a few times during the course of the weekend. I have to say I didn't find him arrogant at all, quite the opposite, he was very professional in his manner and spoke very politely about a number of different topics.

Forget those that berate you (everyone has them) and do what you do best - play snooker to the highest level.

Monique said...

I can only back what CueSport says. I was in Duffel also.
But just look at this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A44062797 . As you see it's very recent.
This is typical of what Neil complains about and totally uncalled for.
Now chin up Neil... in my opinion this more intended at winding up people than anything else (some love to have Internet arguments it seems especially when it goes down to flames and insults ).