29.4.10

THE FAB FOUR

Unless Graeme Dott can spoil the party there will be a new winner of the Betfred.com World Championship this year.

That said, Dott has played superbly this year and displayed great heart in coming from 12-10 down to beat Mark Allen 13-12 yesterday.

The Scot is the only player who knows deep down that he is capable of winning the title, having done so in 2006.

He faces Mark Selby in the semi-finals after the world no.7 beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-11 last night.

O'Sullivan then launched into a predictable, downbeat diatribe against himself that everyone has heard before.

I'd prefer to focus on Selby and how he has proved himself to be a big match player. The Wembley champ doesn't crumble under pressure and his mastery of brinkmanship makes him hard to stop at the Crucible.

Neil Robertson would be a great world champion for snooker but can't take Ali Carter, who came from 8-4 down to beat Shaun Murphy 13-12, for granted.

They played an exciting match in the second round last year, in which Robertson made a series of killer clearances to clinch victory.

That may be fresh in Carter's mind but he knows that any of the four remaining players have a realistic chance of winning the title.

At this stage of the championship it becomes as much a test of nerve as a test of skill.

They can each play to a high standard but it's doing it under the unique Crucible pressure that counts.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The way Dott and Selby celebrated their victories is nothing short of disgraceful. This is a sport for gentlemen who should be far more dignified in victory. That is why we wear full evening dress, to keep the sense of sportsmanship. The way these two behaved is really lowering the tone of the game, perhaps this goes some way to explaining all the horrible football shirts that can be seen at the Crucible. Perhaps this is what people want, a yob football culture entering snooker with 'in your face' celebrations?

Anonymous said...

More ungracious rubbish from O'Sullivan - I'm just waiting for Jamie to come on and tell us how his beloved should have won, and not to take his comments too seriously etc. It may be time to jump ship now Jamie as your boy took one hell of a beating.

Ray said...

Dott/Allen match - What a fantastic advert for snooker and an example to all other sports. This was the match of the championship so far. The skill of both players was of the highest order as was the grit, determination and desire of both. It was played in a wonderful spirit,having a laugh and joke and congratulating each others century breaks. All kids and budding professionals should take note as this is what they should aspire to.
Now that Ronnie's gone I hope Dott wins with his new attacking style - nobody's hitting the ball better than him. Perhaps he has found the secret to his game by smiling and having a laugh and as GK Chesterton wrote " Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly"

Maisie said...

Message to 10.19 ....... these 2 players got stuck in and deserved to show some emotion at the end of very close matches. At least they care about the games they play unlike some other players. On this occasion your comments are unfounded.

Anonymous said...

For most of the last 25 years the winner in Sheffield has been under 30 years of age, most of the exceptions have been no more than 32 years old.

In the last year or two John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan have suggsted that they may tinker with the statistics just mentioned.

They both lost this year at an earlier stage than expected. At some point the standard has to pass from one generation to the next. That doesn't mean that like those who went before them like Davis and Hendry that they won't be able to win other ranking events and stay in the top 5-10 in the world for some time. It just means that the past suggstes that you have a window in which you can win the world title. Next year it may be that the then 35 year old O'Sullivan and Higgins who will be weeks away from turning 35 will be outside that period of time in which they can win the world title again.

O'Sullivan is never given enough credit for what he has achieved in the context that he was won 3 times when suffering from bi-polar depression. However when the time comes to place him in the ranking of all world champions last night shows him to be a weak multiple world champion.

Peter Ebdon and others have done this to him before- it is very clear how to beat him. A truely great champion should be able to win in different ways and it seems O'Sullivans ability to do this is not strong.

There was the odd moment when it was clear the way the match had gone in the last few frames didn't suit him and he started to turn into someone who didn't really think he could win and didn't really deserve to win. Over stretching and snatching at one or two shots.

Selby is 26 years old, Neil Robertson is 28, Carter is 30, Dott is 32 and a year or two younger than Higgins and O'Sullivan. Bit in light of the statistics is seems more likely than not that someone other than Dott will win it. As it really does seem to be the case that more often than not you are under 30.

Anonymous said...

All that aggravation over a touching ball could have been resolved quite easily. All referees should carry a packet of cigarette papers. Very heated arguments over the same problem have been resolved in my club over the years. Simple but true

KILDARE CUEMAN said...

Im disappointed to see Allen and O'Sullivan gone.

Most casual snooker fans that I spoke to say the tournament is over as far they're concerned, with the Rockets semi spot occupied by the big yawn that is Selby.

I like the new look Dott though.

I've always wanted him to slip away into obscurity, but Im rapidly becoming a fan, now that hes playing with a pace and attitude that is appropriate to pro snooker.

Hope Robertson wins now. It would be much better for the games profile than another nondescript brit, and might even open up new markets down under.

Anonymous said...

1212

ronnie was just being his usual complete idiotic self

the ref thought different to him and called it

if ron was sure the ref was wrong he should ask, politely, for him to check again and then accept the decision.

instead he went off his nut, again and acted like a child with no toys.

any other professional would have been polite, but firm, if they thought they were wrong, and i dont think any of them would have been as agressive in manner or as cheeky

but then, its ronnie, he plays very fast and the girlies love him, so we will let him off with it

AGAIN

same with giving the ball the finger the other day

the guy is completley classless!

Anonymous said...

i hope its a slow player that wins

i dont much rate being able to play quickly as a prerequisite for being a pro

i just like watching good play, be it fast or slow and can appreciate humans are different, without having a go at one style as its not the same as the player i loves style

Anonymous said...

KILDARE CUEMAN - "I like the new look Dott though.

I've always wanted him to slip away into obscurity, but Im rapidly becoming a fan, now that hes playing with a pace and attitude that is appropriate to pro snooker"

You've obviously not been watching him for the past 4 years - he's been playing like this since he won the World Championship, and was unfairly criticised for his style.

CHRISK5 said...

Anon 1.08pm - Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins got away with plenty in his career - especially while he was in his prime & 'useful' to the game.

In the late 80s/early 90s - when the authorities knew Higgins was past his peak & no longer as useful - They got stuck into him.

As soon as Ronnie is on a clear downward spiral in form (it's happening already maybe) then the WPBSA will be much less hesitant in dishing out appropriate fines or docking ranking points.

Also,I & many others really enjoyed the Davis/Taylor exhibition just now - it lived upto expectations for sure.

Of the four semi-finalists left in the Worlds 2010 - Robertson,Selby,
Carter & Dott are all mild mannered & all superb allrounders.

It's bizarre that the bloke who has won the title before (Dott) would be considered the biggest shockwinner of them all!

Robertson,Selby & Carter have done plenty of years & mileage in other events to be considered worthy
World Champions themselves.

Anonymous said...

Really getting fed up with o sullivans attitude and moaning .. You can tell he does not like selby. Mark is a brilliant player who has the measure of the rocket.. Ronnie should suck it up and admit he couldn't get the job done!! Selby And Robertson final.. 2010 will be the year of the jester...

KILDARE CUEMAN said...

Every time O'Sullivan farts theres an avalanche of whingers and moaners screaming for his head.

What is it with these wannabee prefects and their obsession with punishment?

He questioned the ref. He made a gesture to a ball, though the ball, to my knowledge shrugged it off. He done this. He done that.

Come on. Lets get things in perspective here. O'Sullivan, just like Alex Higgins is a flawed genius.

I wouldn't like him as a person and I know he can be a tosser, a child, arrogant, and disrespectful etc.

The thing is, he entertains with his cue like nobody else can and it is for this reason that his minor imperfections should be overlooked.

If O'Sullivan walks, his lynch mob will be left bemoaning the fact that theres no characters etc.

It is the responsibility of those pros who get large cheques for playing to empty seats to smile and be funny and wax lyrical afterwards.

Leave the rocket alone.

Even Hearn will struggle to sell snooker without him

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan was the one who got me into snooker in the first place (through his 2001 World title win) but I too am bored of O'Sullivan now. I will always have great respect for him as a snooker player, but not as a man.
Alpha

NewsBrain said...

sorry kildare im still in the 'please graeme go away' camp.

game needs a wider appeal - and doot is not the man to bring it!

with every shot he plays, there goes another percentage point in snooker's hopes of attracting sponsors beyond betting firms.

i know he has played well but we all know what another dott final will bring. please beat him selby for snooker's sake!!!!!!!!!!

Finn said...

Dave, do you know if O'Sullivan apologised after the touching ball incident?

Anonymous said...

chris

i know exactly what alex got away with i was involved back then, so i reckon i know a lot more than you would have heard...but he also got hammered as you say, but only cynical people say it was because he was past it.

no matter who got away with what, nobody these days would get away with what ronnie has done and got away with, except him.

hes like the little boy in class who is the teachers pet, and the only reason WS dont punish him is because hes now looked upon as being the one holding it together, but he is actually holding everyone else back by being the centre of attention, on AND OFF the table.

if they didnt hamper to him and treated him harshly when he buggers up, and even banned him for asking for oral sex of attendees at a press conference, then maybe he would toe the line, or bugger off and let the game progress and other very good players flourish, and everyone watching realise there is more to snooker than loving someone cos they can play fast or is good looking.

you are of course entitled to your opinion, as i am, but that doesnt mean that there isnt factually a list as long as go go gadget arms of things ronnie has done and got away with totally, or with the most lenient of punishments.

that was my point, and its not factually wrong!

jamie brannon said...

I think O'Sullivan could have handled could have handled the touching ball situation a lot better, I thought he was unfair on Leo Scullion.

As for Selby credit to him grinding out. However, I still don't think he is a great player to watch. He just doesn't flow in a beautiful way like others. It doesn't make him any less effective though and he was my tip to make the final, but hopefully the Melbourne Machine will leave him empty handed.

As for his celebrations at the end there is nothing wrong with them. What I didn't like from him was at the end of the second session when he directed a fist pump in Ronnie's direction when Ronnie was not watching. His eyes were clearly focused on O'Sullivan when he did it.

It was a predictable diatribe, but still more interesting than most players responses to defeat. I get the feeling Dave, you would like to say a bit more about Ronnie.

One thing that O'Sullivan needs to do though is start playing for snookers, I can't be having that lack of fight.

Anonymous said...

1:49PM I would'nt call Selby a 'brilliant' player, good player maybe, with only 1 ranking title in 11 years he has some way to go yet! Selby to me only wakes up when the big tournament's arrive where the big money is on offer and care's very little about the smaller ranking titles.

Anonymous said...

jamie, that was turning out to be a very good post by you, a rare occurence, and i was all set to respond saying well said you, a big ron fan, but then you go and spoil it all by "attacking" selbys fist pump, when you regulalry try to defend the most stupid things ronnie does with regularity...

Anonymous said...

Jamie how come you tipped Selby to beat your hero? But I suppose if Robertson wins it he'll be your new favourite player as your as fickle as they come.

Leo said...

I echo some of the comments above, why does O'Sullivan have to launch into a moody philosophical speech EVERYtime he finishes a match. Other players can simply win or lose and get on with it, but O'Sullivan has to go all 'there's more to life than snooker, it get's me down, but its a drug, maybe I'll play left-handed, maybe I'll become a monk and live in Mongolia'. We don't care Ronnie! Did Higgins contemplate retirement when he lost to Davis? No, he praised Davis and will be back to fight another day. O'sullivan should just get on with his game, or retire - but not keep moaning.

jamie brannon said...

It is called looking at things objectively. I didn't want Selby to win, but I felt he is getting into Ronnie's psyche a bit.

Where I have defended Ronnie's behaviour? I was critical of his conduct with the touching ball. I just felt Selby is okay to fist pump, but not in the way he did after the second session.

jamie brannon said...

What I can't be having is people saying that Selby is totally got a hold on Ronnie though. He still leads him 6-4 head to head and also has beaten in him in two major finals.

Have to say the pace of play has been a little slow in the semis so far.

Anonymous said...

Jamie your comments at 2.08PM show why you are considered a laughing stock on here.

Anonymous said...

Jamie you are so biased and unsporting towards everyone except Ronnie

regulars to this blog know you and comment on your comments knowing full well what you have posted in the past about your ron god

Anonymous said...

Yes - both semis have been slow pace - due to balls going akward but also i think the players want to win so bad they are not taking risky chances - i cant blame them.

I hope dott beats selby.1st reason is i'm starting to like dott more - something about his fighting quailites and getting on with it when in the balls.

For me selby doesn't market himself well. its been said he has this practised media speaches already. ok , but whats with brushing the table down every 2 seconds and pulling silly faces with his tounge - leave it out, the punters dont want to see that.

i'm a big fan of ronnies play,but dissappointed with him this year. no even aknowledgement of davis performance to rob walker and basically giving up on scrappy frames.

i know he has head problems - looks to me like he doesn't have anyone to guide him at the moment, he needs a good mentor/life coach all the time.

Anonymous said...

thank god, that's over!

selby you're alrite, but by god, am so gladyou're out. give the sport a real bad name. i've never known so many re-rakes created by one person.

should be a good final. delighted for robbo and dotty.

Anonymous said...

was a fascintating match in the end.

neither player would give an inch.
selby came back well and had dott twitching near the end but couldnt finish the job.

i would like to think this was to do with the rock steely play of dott.he's the only player i've seen keep selby out of it without playing snooker from gods(eg ronnie at full flight or hendry or higgins)

well done dotty,lookng forward to final

in fairness to mark though he was a graceous loser

i predict more flowing snooker now with selby/carter out.

Anonymous said...

Selby seems to think that beating Ronnie is the be all and end all in snooker. Look at me i'm Mark Selby i'm the only player who can get under Ronnie's skin and beat him, well Mark i can tell you, you also get under many snooker fans skin with your constant irritating ways. Unfortunatly for you Mark it takes more than beating Ronnie to become a champion!

Anonymous said...

well said 11.54

and what is it, like the other poster said, with the the wiping the cloth after every shot. selby does it a lot.

and if selby spent as much time NOT grinning and gurning at the crowd, manager, girlfriend, it might help him win a few games. notice he doesn't do it when it matters v ronnie.

its all a ruse. and he doesnt make frames tactical,makes them damm right boring. he shouldve played in the 1980s he'd be the 'greatest' by now. shame its never gonna happen now. go back to pool