Everyone has an opinion but you can’t argue with facts (although many people do) and the facts are this: in the last eight years, Graeme Dott has appeared in three world finals.
The first of these was in 2004. He was beaten 18-8 by Ronnie O’Sullivan but it’s perhaps forgotten that Dott actually led 5-0.
He had arrived in Sheffield with low expectations, bringing with him only two shirts and keeping a grateful nearby dry cleaning shop in business for the fortnight.
Dott had been on a rotten run prior to the championship and frustration finally got the better of him on the way back from another defeat at the Welsh Open, Stopping at a motorway service station, he snapped his cue.
Or at least tried to. It proved so tough that he had to eventually break it by putting his foot through it.
But Dott proved his steel with a gripping 17-15 defeat of Matthew Stevens in the semi-finals. It was the first of a series of epic Crucible victories which underlined the diminutive Scot’s ability to hold it together under pressure.
Another came in 2006 when he edged Neil Robertson 13-12 in the quarter-finals before his dramatic semi-final win over Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Dott managed to shut out what was happening around him, particularly an opponent apparently breaking down emotionally, and won all eight frames of the third session.
The final against Peter Ebdon was not pretty but it was gripping. Dott’s eventual victory was well earned and was a clear example that, in sport as in life, you only get out what you put in.
All throughout the championship Dott had used a sense of injustice at the way he was regarded in the media as a source of inspiration.
Some of this was real and some imagined, but it scarcely mattered. It fired Dotty up and he used it as a positive, not a negative.
He was in the final again in 2010 after more closely fought wins over Mark Allen and Mark Selby. Exhausted, he lost to Robertson but is one of those players nobody wants to play at the Crucible.
Again last year he proved his steel in the second round against Ali Carter, at one stage in the opening session winning three successive frames on the black.
Dott is often presented as a dour figure but I think it’s more that he’s so competitive. He has sometimes strayed into controversy, with a well publicised spat with Ian McCulloch and an unwise criticism of Steve Davis for taking toilet breaks in their first round match in 2000.
But I admire him for always speaking his mind and not hiding behind meaningless platitudes.
He’s a one-off but more importantly in a snooker sense, has the chops to stand up to the pressure at the Crucible, a place where so many have cracked.