For me, the highlight of the second “No Crucible” day is the vodcast that Andy Goldstein did with Ronnie.
Ronnie exclusive: Trump can dominate snooker for the next 10 years
Speaking on Eurosport’s new snooker vodcast, Ronnie O’Sullivan says that Judd Trump has the potential to dominate snooker for the next decade.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Andy Goldstein about the icons and rivals who have played a part in O’Sullivan’s great career, the five-time World Championship winner said that Trump is now in a position to pick up the baton from the ‘Class of 92’ – O’Sullivan, Mark Williams and John Higgins – and forge his own era of dominance.
Ronnie on Judd Trump carrying the torch for the next generation
Without a doubt, he plays a different game, he plays a brilliant game, the power play. He plays shots that no one else can play. He’s got the killer instinct, he’s hungry. He’s proven that after winning the World Championships. We all knew it wasn’t a fluke but there’s people out there saying “can he back it up?” He’s come in this season and he’s won six ranking events which is more than any other player has had to do. I know there’s more ranking events now than ever but still to win six is a fantastic achievement. So, for me, he’s a complete player now. He’s just going to get stronger and stronger. It’s like when Hendry came along, and he was pretty much head and shoulders above the rest. I think that Judd is head and shoulders above everybody else at the moment.
A very interesting interview. Of course, the written article puts the subject that is more likely to catch eyes first, although it’s the last one they discuss in the vodcast, but, really all are interesting.
One thing I feel listening to Ronnie out there is that he doesn’t have the hunger anymore that he had as a younger player, which, of course, is normal. However, that being the case, he will probably not win that much anymore and we, as fans, will have to accept that. Of course, he still has the desire, and the hunger might come back stronger in spells, and probably will. But he’s going to turn 45 this year, and his longevity has already been remarkable as it is. I hope, and believe, that he has more titles in him, although probably not a World title. We should just try to enjoy every match, and every victory while he is still playing, without putting too many expectations on him, and be grateful for everything he gave us over the years. It’s easier said than done… I know that only too well.
Ronnie said that he hasn’t really pot a ball for weeks. He’s not the only one. Higgins said the same. It’s hard to practice when there is no definite purpose and it’s even harder when you have been doing the job for nearly 30 years. When snooker comes back, be it in July or later, nobody will be match sharp. It could be interesting because it could well come about “how good enough is your bad/rusty game” rather than about “how good is your best game”.
Then the “Crucible Gold” on the day was about Hendry’s maximums
Incredibly, I was at the Crucible when the last one happened and I missed it because I was taking pictures on the other table. The curtain was down of course. By the time, I realised that something unusual was happening, it was too late. The “snapper box” on Hendry’s table was packed of course. I was just able to witness Hendry’s celebration on the TV screens in the media room. He was quite animated which was uncharacteristic. Of course, we came to understand Hendry’s unusual display of emotions a few days later when, heavily beaten by Stephen Maguire, he announced his retirement. He just came to the media room, sat down and quietly said: “I have played my last professional match”. For a few seconds, the media room went completely quiet, everyone was stunned. Hendry then calmly explained that he had taken the decision months before and had only spoken about it to a few chosen ones. He had given himself a season to see if he could get back near his best, he hadn’t, he didn’t want to continue to play if he wasn’t able to be a winner.
Also, this interview with Hazel Irvine was shared on social media.
It’s a short, but great piece. It was made last year just after the World Championship. Hazel is the ultimate professional, and yet, remains just very simple, friendly and approachable.
The BBC also reran the piece about Alex Higgins, “The People’s Champion”. I gave that one a miss. I understand how important the man is in the context of snooker and how he changed the perception the general public had of the game and made it popular. I can see why his daring style and swag fascinated. But, quite honestly, I can’t stand the person he was, and, sorry, mental health issues can’t the excuse for everything and anything. Reading his autobiography didn’t change my opinion. There were far too many episodes of violence, nastiness, selfishness and sheer dishonesty for my liking. He never accepted responsibility for his own faults and shortcomings, and too often spat in the face of those trying to help him.
Related to the last sentence above, there is an article by Jason Francis in the first issue of the Chalk, a new cuesports magazine, about his experience with Alex when he started the “Snooker Legends”.