In truth, there are certain players that I do find boring. The most boring of these was Paul Davison. I watched him play Jimmy White at the World Open and found myself on the verge of tears with boredom. There was nothing for me to recommend in his game: we were talking really one dimensional stuff, no part of his game standing out, uninteresting shot selection, just your run of the mill trade mark game at a very slow pace.
Too often I feel players' box office appeal is judged rather simplistically on how fast or slow they are. Which I find ridiculous. I've seen super quick players that may have been really positive, but without an interesting shot selection or standout facets to their game. See Tony Drago & Robert Milkins. I don't dislike either player, I think Drago seems a very sound bloke and I don't mind seeing him win matches, but his relentless attacking play does not excite me.
Strangely though, I quite like watching Liang Wenbo. I wouldn't cancel a night out to see him play or anything, but his shot selection at times is so bizarre that I simply have to sit up and watch.
Peter Ebdon & Mark Selby on the other don't play at a particularly fast pace at all, sometimes snail paced, but I really enjoy watching both play. I find Ebdon to have a really exciting shot selection, and unlike boring players such as Bingham & Harold, he really has a go when the time is right. I like his game, to put it simply, and I believe his approach is why he has achieved success, while Bingham & Harold have not done much of note.
Selby I believe has the best shotmaking ability in the game, and that's why I enjoy watching him play. He's sometimes criticised for taking over a minute on shots, but it's only when it's backs to the wall. I ask you: have you ever seen Selby play anything less than an incredible shot after such a studious approach?
Graeme Dott does not possess that incredible shotmaking you see from Selby, but I do like this way he fights for his wins, and I also enjoy his safety game a lot. It's so negative that it just makes him stand out from other players. He also proved last April that he can be bloody attacking when he wants to be.
Of all the players I've watched, I suppose Ronnie O'Sullivan is my favourite. It's not because he's fast: it's how he executes his shots. O'Sullivan can flick the cue ball around to his heart's content when in amongst the reds, in a way that's almost hypotising to watch. You ask yourself what's the right shot to play, and then he just does it. Perfectly. In style. Not only that, but he also has a really beautiful safety game to watch. Judd Trump's ability may not be as high as O'Sullivan's, but his game is probably the closest in style, and though I don't particularly rate him as being an awesome prospect, I do love watching him play.
Hendry is the better player of the two, yet I watch clips of him, and though he's really positive and attacking, there's little to recommend box office wise. He was so good it was almost like watching a robot in action, and that for me is not entertaining. It's great snooker, I'd watch it in awe if someone was playing that way now, but it would be a respectful awe as I can appreciate good snooker when I see it.
I'm not a fan of John Higgins' game from a viewers' point of view. He's undoubtedly brilliant in what he does, but I can rarely sense flair when watching. Again, like Hendry, I watch in respect, though there have been a few examples where you can't take your eyes off him because he's playing so well.
I can't say I feel a thrill when watching Neil Robertson play. Neil's a great guy & a great player, I was delighted when he won a deserved World Title, he's a natural winner who really goes for the jugular when there's a title on the line. I enjoy his long potting, but there isn't a while lot else to excite, as much as I like and respect how good he is. In short, I'd much prefer to watch, say, Ding, who's game has that little bit more variety.
Contrast this with a man many compare Robbo to: Mark Williams. Williams' stance is a little quirky, his single ball potting is awesome, and he's got a really clever safety game that seems to go over many heads.
In a slightly sadistic way, watching the likes of Stevens, Day & Cope can be a really entertaining and sometimes nerve jangling experience, because you know that no matter how far ahead they go that they can still find a way of blowing it. In contrast, Hunter & Doherty could thrill with their ability to mount a comeback from the death.
So, have I summed things up, or does anybody here have a totally different criteria? I expect Wild to explain why Hendry is not boring, Frame to slam Ronnie & Witz to rubbish my thoughts on Drago, but I look forward to all that... we all see the game differently.
- Posts: 5009
- Joined: 02 October 2009
- Location: Ireland
- Snooker Idol: Ronnie OSullivan
- Highest Break: 49