Neil Robertson again proved last night that he is, right now, the best player on the planet.

He blew Ding Junhui away 6-0 in the partycasino.com Premier League and was good value for that result.

His opponent did help him – Ding was all over the place – but Robertson announced his intent from the very start by banging in a 120 in the opening frame and never looked back.

He has now shed all of the rawness of his early years and plays instead in a controlled, measured way. He is much better at keeping hold of the cue ball and has allied his natural confidence to a game that is becoming increasingly difficult to beat.

Robertson is, in a number of ways, a perfect world champion for snooker. He’s young, engaging, has a certain exotic quality being Australian and comes across well in interviews. I’ve never found him to be anything other than friendly, honest and willing to talk to the media.

Earlier this week he weighed into the ongoing debate about whether the World Championship should be shortened, saying he could see a case for it.

I don’t particularly agree with him but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, he expresses his opinions articulately and without any underlying agenda.

Robertson should be used more to promote the game. He should be the one at launches and press conferences.

What better role model could there be than a young family man who has made considerable personal sacrifices to further his career and has now reached the top as a result?

Robertson has undertaken much media work in Australia but he needs to be pushed to the fore in the UK too.

If the game has a world champion it can be proud of it needs to constantly remind the wider world of who he is.


Betty Logan said...

Robbo has that elusive star quality — the last person to emerge as a star was Paul Hunter and the game has been badly in need of once since. If he bags the UK or Masters then that would truly see him push the older generation aside.

Anonymous said...

Good blog , could not agree more, I have known Neil for a number of years , not only is he a very nice down to earth lad , he is also a great ambassador for snooker which is more than could be said for some of the other top players in our game !

Sparky said...

Speaking of another World Championship, namely the Seniors WC: Sportingbet priced up the event weeks ago, and they have Dave Harold in it, but no Cliff Thorburn.

However, at worldsnooker.com, it is mentioned everywhere that Thorburn will in fact participate. Do you, by any chance, have the latest on this matter, Dave?

jamie brannon said...

He is yet to become an authentic number one, just yet anyway, but he is the form horse.

Ray said...

I agree with all you say Dave. I believe Robertson should be the flag-bearer for snooker.Any sport would be proud to have him.They say nice people don't win anything - I say nonsense!
Really heartwarming to see that he doesn't come "the big I am" just because he's world champion. Watching him last night playing the best he's ever played in the Premier League it was no coincidence to hear him say afterwards how he had turned up early to practice.Looks like he's searching for every way to improve (so a big up to him).

As for the World Championship it should always stay as it is - a true test of every attribute a player possesses. I don't want it to ever be devalued by having 1 frame less because I'm gripped every year for 17 days. The World Championship should be sacrosanct.

Dave H said...

Sparky - I think Dave Harold lost in the qualifiers. Cliff's deffo playing.

Anonymous said...

neil being the main man to promote wont happen until the nosh man gives up.

Anonymous said...

Yet more biased nonsense from brannon.
If for example Ali Carter was world number one then authenticity
would be a question.
Robertson is current world champion
and world number 1 he also despatched the Ronnster in his own
favoured format so that answers
brannons' feeble query.
WS are probably saving Robbo for
an Australian tournament press conference but as Dave said he should be used much more as he
is a perfect role model for the sport.

Anonymous said...

Selby is better than Robertson

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right, he's winning everything going, he's charming and personable and should be the game's one and only flag bearer.

Anonymous said...

yeah get rid of foot in mouth man ronnie

Matt said...

What more does Robertson have to do to become an authentic number one?

World champion, more points than anyone else at the moment, only man to have won a ranking title in each of the last what, five years? 100% record in finals...what more does he need to do?

Anonymous said...

Surprised Robbo wants a shorter world champs.
He would have been thankful for the longer format against Gould.

Anonymous said...

Robertson,Murphy and Selby should do the majority of PR as they are the present and future.

Anonymous said...

7.11, in your dreams.

Anonymous said...

You must realise by now Matt that even if Robertson won every tournament going that brannon would still be brannon.

Betty Logan said...

@Matt - I think what Jamie means is that you would probably still fancy O'Sullivan (and Higgins up until his hiatus) in the big events, since this has been the pattern over the last few years: everytime it looks like one of the younger players are building up a bit of steam Ronnie and Higgins counter-strike with another big win.

jamie brannon said...

Betty, you are right, but what I mean is, he is hardly authentic in the way that Mark Williams or Stephen Hendry was.

O'Sullivan is still going off favourite for every event and Selby was ahead him in the betting for the Crucible last I looked. Plus, I don't disagree with Dave's assertion he is the best in form.

Anonymous said...

he is now factually better than the nosh man currently is though Jamie. :)