Wow you're deluded badsnookerplayer if you think people don't care if Ronnie enters. Definitely do not shut this thread!
He's still the most popular player by a long way and the more people try to disprove that the more you prove yourself wrong! I didn't like him saying he was thinking of giving 2018 a miss though, he still came but he got beaten early so maybe was better he didn't turn up was a poor end to that superb 2017-18 season of his, which he owned barring that unfortunate Masters defence... I dislike John Higgins about as much as Selby but even so it will be sad to see him go (Not Selby!) as the class of 1992 were a trio and won't be the same with any of them gone, they were the best trio the sport has produced, the trio of the 2000s don't compare at all (Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby). Actually while I wanted Selby to not defend his world title it was an anticlimax to see him lose first round even. You seriously need to revise your GOAT list, Selby is at best a top 10 candidate HAHA. Higgins definitely has no claim above Ronnie, Davis and Hendry I can accept but Higgins with all the best all round player that even Ronnie says he is if you compare their careers, with how out of control Ronnie has been past and inconsistent he's still somewhat more successful (Yes many think Higgins is a match fixer still, regardless if he is or not he just isn't as good as Ronnie he's unfortunate that class of 92 came cos after Hendry lost his edge John would have inherited the Scottish throne after him and dominated the modern era)
Also to Vodkadiet, apt name it's so narrow minded to just use more titles = better, that's all you can hang onto now Ronnie's broken most of Hendry's records he broke his century record in less frames, he's made more maximums, Hendry won his world titles in a weaker era no one can dispute that as well and if Hendry was the GOAT he'd not have fallen from grace so badly once he was past his 20s would he? With whatever excuses he had yips, broken magic cue etc if he were as indomitable as people like to think he was.... He'd have still won some tournaments but it exposed he was just not a complete player! He honed his attack to a new level against a more defence oriented era, most of his world finals were against Jimmy White who should have won at least 2 of them, okay 1994 was close but 1992 was unforgivable how White lost a 14-8 lead.... So throughout the 1990s his aggression was more often than not enough to win titles, the class of 1992 were there but let's face it they were kids then and even then Hendry while he usually beat them did lose too in his prime when they clearly were not there yet. After he was out of his prime what did he win? That's what he said about Jimmy White but brutal honesty with Hendry can be applied, past his last world title what did he achieve? So he had issues so his attack wasn't as formidable anymore, he still made finals somehow but if he were a complete player he'd have had other means to win or worst case grind it out like Selby has often. Proves my point Ronnie is the better player, certainly more complete but loses in the mentality. For sure post 90s there's be no dominant player the way we had with Reardon/Davis/Hendry and way before that the Davis Bros', the field became far more open, while some don't agree the standard improved for sure the scoring has and yes big part thanks to Hendry making the game more aggressive though Ronnie took it further.
Really people eulogise Hendry to disgusting levels, I didn't bother with basketball much past but suspect Michael Jordan too is not looked at objectively either. Really all people have for Hendry> Ronnie now is the 7world titles, yes we can say he won 5 of them and 5 masters in a row but then we can say the era was that much weaker then, even if it weren't then we need to look at why if Hendry was so strong in his prime why he collapsed and retired by 42. Clearly he wasn't GOAT then, at best for his youth he was but he went out in a pathetic whimper. I did find it sad he retired way he did though, great he made 1 last maximum... If that had been his final winning frame that would have been a sweet finish, not a thrashing by fellow scotsman Maguire.
Ronnie since his last world final has not done well in the Crucible, however he's done better than anyone else with the other majors since so he's found a way to win titles still despite age and his issues, last season he was the dominant player also so he definitely still is capable of another world title but that begs the question why he's not done it or came close. Does seem more self sabotage it's like he's a teenager again to early 20s when it took him 9seasons to finally lift that world title, despite having lifted his first 2 majors so early and making the records youngest winner of those, no surprise people expected the same for the big one... I am confident he will win at least one more world title, he's very sure too one interview he said about his tombstone (He'll live forever so it's a formality having one hehe
) that it says he won the world title 6 times... Well there you go he believes he'll end up with 6, I rather he has 8 at least to finally crush the Hendry advocates but 6 would generally close the case of Ronnie vs Hendry, the way Davis said Ronnie's 5 UK titles is stronger than Davis' 6 cos of the modern era being more difficult. Hendry well of course he's being humble always says Ronnie's the best player he's played and has said often he is worried Ronnie will break his world title record, he's taken everything else.... If Ronnie does play till 50 indeed he can win a few more, can't see him not winning 1 more in that time, think of it this way. He 'retired' after he won his 4th, then out of boredom he signed up to defend his title, a year out of the circuit he came back and defended his title comfortably. He also did the same with the 2016 Masters, after a big break he comes back and crushes the opposition... See a trend? DON'T ever doubt him! As he said in a documentary, when you doubt him etc he feels he needs to prove something then he proves you wrong... He will win at least 2 more world titles in the next 7yrs certainly if he keeps active and anyone who thinks it's impossible is stupid, don't ever put it past someone who took a year out and wins the world title! For those Selby fans, he said it himself Ronnie's always the one to beat. Even with Selby as much as I hate to say it has been the dominant player of the decade he still is wary of Ronnie, most players are they know he's capable of anything though same time Ronnie's notorious for playing badly too without warning, nevertheless...
While we look at patterns, if you look at Ronnie's Crucible history, 2001-4-8-12-3 He won 3 of them 4 years after each other, therefore I assumed 2017 he'd win it but didn't happen, was his closest effort since his last final but that lack of effort vs Ding in the second session really let him and the fans down... So yes from that I can get why people doubt his crucible prowess, well worse he lost to Ali Carter too, no disrespect to Ali he's a formidable player but Ronnie as we know has virtually never lost to him and it is a bad sign when you lose to people you shouldn't or never/rarely lose to. (Hendry's words about why he retired, when you start losing to people you shouldn't.... Wise man Hendry is) Ronnie should have won at least 10 titles as Derek Hill says, with his talent it's not an overstatement.
Anyhow yeah the years are ticking away with a RoS drought of Crucible titles, 5yrs now. If he had converted 2014 suspect he'd have at least matched Hendry's record by this year, he sailed through some of his matches in 2014 was really unexpected the result, I felt sorry for Selby first day... Regardless of who the person I don't want to win is I prefer respectable scorelines or it doesn't feel like a contest. Ronnie's finals often are 1 sided, while it's amazing to see him play the game to perfection... So my hope Ronnie wins 2019 and Mark Williams in the final.... The one man I would choose over Ronnie to win in the crucible is Jimmy White! Yeah I know how unlikely that is of Jimmy ever winning it but was such a heartache to see him lose so many finals still hope it happens, soon as he's old!