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John Higgins... my views

Postby Tubberlad

A little bit concerned that I may have come across as anti-Higgins or a 'Higgins Hater' to loosely borrow a term from a notable Ronnie fan on another form, I thought I'd set things straight.

I am not an avid fan of John Higgins. True. But I never have been, even prior to recent allegations. I was very disappointed to see him win the UK Championship last Sunday, but I think I wanted Williams to win more than I wanted Higgins to lose, if you catch my drift. I wasn't willing Higgins to miss potts or mess up out of contempt, I just wanted Williams to win. And for Williams to lose in the manner that he did was not nice to watch.

Seeing that News of the World video last May was like being punched in the gut. Higgins was the very first player I saw at the table back in 1999, when I became transfixed by this beautiful game. I've knocked hours of enjoyment out of watching him play, and as mentioned above, the name John Higgins will always be connected to my falling in love with snooker. He has been cleared, a matter of which I am largely indifferent. I watch Higgins, and I remember the toasting of glasses, and many more comment besides. Even after being cleared, I'm not entirely convinced this guy was an innocent lamb to the slaughter.

Seeing a few sickly sweet comments after his win the last night turned me right off. Not comments placing him above Ronnie O'Sullivan, but comments elevating him to hero status and pushing him forward for a potential Nobel Prize. Higgins was, at the very least, stupid. He is not a hero, not a martyr, or anything of the like. Enough said.

That said, he's not a war criminal either. He is not a vile person, that kind of comment can be set aside for the likes of Hitler, Fritzl, Bin Laden, Stalin, Pol Pot... not a Scotsman who was alleged to have agreed to fix snooker matches. I also disagreed with people having a go at him for breaking down a little when speaking of his father last Sunday night. Whatever he may or may not have done, he is a human being and something like that is going to be tough on him. His father has been an instrumental part of his career, and I can only imagine this is a tough time for Higgins. Enough on that.

This guy is such a good player, and has been for much longer than I've been watching. When at his best, he can be a little intimidating to watch, he is that good. Very few players achieve that... Hendry, Davis, Williams, O'Sullivan, White, Alex Higgins. The name John Higgins fits in without problem amongst the greats, he is among the very best. A master tactician, Higgins possesses arguably the greatest all-round game of any player past or present. In terms of bottle, he is right up there.

As you all know, Ronnie O'Sullivan is amongst my very favourite players. Ronnie was without doubt the best player of the noughties, but bringing the 90's and 10's into question and it's a much tighter affair between both men. I'll admit that. O'Sullivan is the best player I've seen at his peak, and second only to Hendry overall.

Watching him at Telford against Bingham was the worst I've felt watching a snooker game since Matthew Stevens blew a 12-7 lead against Shaun Murphy in 2007. On that day, my favourite player's career effectively lost it's way entirely, and I felt the same was happening as I watched Ronnie last week. Yes, I've seen it before, but I have felt he's been in terminal decline for about a year now. I still place him as one of the favourites for The Masters, but that's in his own back yard. I think Ronnie's best has come and gone.

Which will probably be my excuse for acting so peeved at people claiming Higgins is the second best of all-time. Of course, there's a case for Higgins. Absolutely. I think people are getting ahead of themselves claiming he has already surpassed Ronnie as Ronnie still leads him in virtually every category. However, I'll accept it: Higgins can overtake him in many of these categories, and probably will over the next year or two. He looks to be in better shape to carve out a few more wins than O'Sullivan, absolutely.

O'Sullivan should have put himself out of sight, but didn't. So be it. That's nobody's fault but his own. I felt he used up less energy and commitment than Higgins, but again, that matters not a jot really.

I probably came across as a little bitter towards Higgins, for which I am sorry. I am not a fan of his at all, as I've made very clear. I won't be wishing him to win any titles, but I never did anyway (with the exception of his 2007 and 2009 World Finals).

But, and this is a big but. Although I don't like him, I am honoured to have seen John Higgins play the game of snooker with such expertise. Whether he goes on to overtake Ronnie is immaterial. I may not like him, ore even trust him, by my God I respect him as a snooker player.

Re: John Higgins... my views

Postby Smart

I think there are so many top top pros out there who can play the game to a level that makes me sit up and think "yep this is the bees knees, top drawer snooker" ..

Higgins has always seemed methodical, plodding and without any real flair. For these reasons and the fact that I did not believe his mission (world series) was for anything other than personal gain, I have never and will never be a Higgins fan.

Having seen the video he pretty much committed suicide right in front of me.

There was no mafia in that hotel, I was not born yesterday, and santa is not real.


Re: John Higgins... my views

Postby SnookerFan

Wait a minute.... Was Higgins in some kind of match-fixing claim? Well, why the buck didn't somebody say something about it? <laugh>

Re: John Higgins... my views

Postby Wildey

i share most of what you said but i live by the verdict as it was and if the verdict had come back guilty id back that as well and would call for him to be pelted with rotten eggs while out shopping because he would have been a rotten egg.

but we got to move on now and enjoy the game and his game <ok>

Re: John Higgins... my views

Postby Smart

wildJONESEYE wrote:i share most of what you said but i live by the verdict as it was and if the verdict had come back guilty id back that as well and would call for him to be pelted with rotten eggs while out shopping because he would have been a rotten egg.

but we got to move on now and enjoy the game and his game <ok>

I still love snooker, just feel its a tainted and tarnished sport. :|