Crucible 2019 – Last 16 pre-preview

As the first round isn’t over yet, I don’t want to do a full preview of the last 16 just yet. That will be coming tomorrow (hopefully). However two matches will start today and, because I don’t want to be biased by how the first session goes, here is how I see those two going.

Neil Robertson v Shaun Murphy

Although Shaun Murphy whitewashed young Luo HongHao and played superbly in the process, I remain unconvinced about his form. His young opponent never settled, Shaun was never under any sort of pressure out there. He’s not been tested at all. That won’t be the case against Neil who is now in my eyes a massive favourite for the title. I expect Neil to win this one very comfortably.

Mark Selby v Gary Wilson

Mark Selby is yet to convince me about his return to form. Gary Wilson played brilliantly and was extremely solid against Luca Brecel. This one will be close I think, but it’s Gary Wilson to win for me – 13-11.


13 thoughts on “Crucible 2019 – Last 16 pre-preview

  1. I had similar thoughts, interestingly. I accept he didn’t feel well during his match, and in the interview he indeed looked like death warmed all over, but I think it must be moire than just picking up a virus. I think he is stressing himself over it and insomnia is really crap and stress does not help it. There is really no point in putting himself (an us) through it and in a way end an otherwise good season on a bitter note.

    Of course, when it comes to that next season, we’ll all hope he’ll play and that this is the year: we should all come back to these posts then… 🙂

    • the problem is, he really doesn’t care. honestly. he even says it all the time. he just doesn’t want to win it, while all the others do

      • Adam he DOES care, only too much actually. You shouldn’t take what he says at face value. That’s part of his attempt to lower the expectations on himself and to downplay the disappointment when he loses.

    • I totally do believe that he cares and all this “I don’t care, happy to lose soon” is an act only, but I don’t think it helps a bit. I think he was stressed and overwhelmed and that added to the effect of whatever bug he might have picked up. Neither do I think that it achieved any result and that Ronnie would not feel just as disappointed as his fans – most likely more. Except we (especially my partner, who is convinced the only important thing is the WSC an he has to play it no matter what), don’t think these antics help him at all, they take energy and don’t carry the appropriate impression, except that he ended up believing his own propaganda.

      • I could not agree more. he should quit this fuckery asap and get himself sorted, like all the other players. no “doesn’t matter if I win or lose” nonsense…ridiculous

      • Now I have a question for you Adam. Why does it make you so angry? Does it impact your life? I hope not. Why can’t you let him be the way he is? If you don’t like it, go and support someone else. If you chose to support someone who has never been stable for the last 27 years at least, then accept the lows and enjoy the highs. It’s that simple. Everyone has their own strategy to try to cope with stress and expectations. And very few have as much of both expectations and stress than Ronnie.

      • oh that’s rather straightforward you see. great talent is a gift that nature or god or whoever gave you. now while you will enjoy the benefits of your talent in your life, being uniquely good at something, especially if you have followers, comes with an element of responsibility. this is not my opinion, literally every snooker expert says this about Ronnie. that he could have won a lot more, had he had a sensible attitude. and he still could. as Barry Hearn said, it’s not just a sport, it’s show business. and whenever he fails to deliver, he fails to do his job. this may sound tough, but again, he is unbelievably privileged

      • I not only think it’s tough, I think it’s extremely unfair. Talent, especially exceptional talent, often comes at a price. You only have to look at the number of “geniuses” in art, music, sport, science who have been struggling with life, with mental and emotional balance, with the weight of expectations put on them. Shall I name only a few? Glenn Gould (musician), Vincent Van Gogh (painter), Evariste Gallois (mathematician), George Best footballer), Nobuyoshi Araki (Photographer), Victoria Pendleton (cyclist) … the list could go on and on … and of course Alex Higgins. WE are privileged to have someone like him in our sport. Ronnie over the years has gone through incredibly dark moments. His family circumstances have been very hard on the very young person he was when his father, and mother, were taken inside. And he wasn’t even allowed to deal with it privately. He’s overall happier and more balanced nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that he is able to maintain that balance all the time. He’s only human and everything he does is magnified because he’s under the spotlights all the time. Those who judge him often only see the talent, they don’t see the person.

      • You see, what I don’t accept is that every time Ronnie fails to perform, according to you (and others) it’s because he didn’t try. That’s not how it is. He was very unwell in his first round match. He wasn’t thinking clearly and, yes, in the first session he probably wanted to get out of it as quickly as possible, maybe in the hope to get rested and be fitter the next day. He didn’t play the right shots. But that doen’t mean he didn’t care. And he really tried his hardest in the second session. I’m certain that he was terribly disappointed after this match. Had he shown it, he would have been branded a “moaner”, does he put up a brave face on, “he doesn’t care”. He can’t win.

  2. I thought the same Adam. The stress of it all clearly takes it toll on him, even if he just skips it next year to get the hunger back for it I don’t think it would do him harm. It worked for him with the Masters and UK

  3. I just thought about this: I don’t think Ronnie should do Sheffield anymore. Seriously. No point. Too difficult. He clearly hates it. why fuss around

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