April 22, 2010

They Can't Stop Talking about Bazza – More Player Soundbites

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:57 am

We're Just Wild About Barry

Yesterday saw the conclusions of games involving winners Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott and losers Fergal O’Brien and the spent force Peter Ebdon.

Despite both winning their opening matches in the worlds biggest event all they really wanted to do was talk about Barry Hearn, of course, it is no coincidence whatsoever that they were interviewed by World Snooker. I mean that would just be blatant propaganda.

Neil Robertson:

Fergal is such a tough player, he just would not go away. It was like trying to get some chewing gum out of your carpet. I’ve won 10-5, but three of them were won on the black, so it could have been a different story out there.

Indeed, if he had trodden in the gum he might still be standing there now.

I’m obviously relieved to get through and also pleased to be having a day off tomorrow, because after that 70 minute frame I need to.Some of the safety in that frame was quality, it seemed like we were on the yellow forever. I looked over to the other table, and it was like they were zipping through their frames quicker than us trying to pot one ball.

Neil’s memory clearly failing there or worrying signs for fellow Aussie backers as he appears to be going colourblind, they spent nearly 40 minutes on the green.

Robbo's Choc of Choice

I needed that breakaway in the match to go 8-5, and from then on my tempo was good, I probably should have played a little more like I did at the end, at the start of the match.

I didn’t see him eat a chocolate biscuit but I think I know what he means. Each to their own, the Nugget prefers bananas.

Fergal has got endless amounts of experience, and he is not really slow but measured in his approach and rarely plays the wrong shot, so he is tough to beat. He never gifted me chances, I had to work for everything out there.

Last year was a great stepping stone for my career, if I could get to the semi-final this year I feel I would be more at ease. It was a good year for me and I carried that form with me in winning the Grand Prix. So I do feel that I can do well here this time.

I’ve never played Martin Gould, but he played well against Marco Fu to come through, so he will have my  full concentration.

Robbo has wished Australia was nearer Britain since he was a nipper.

The interest has been good back home, after my good run here last year plus my other good reults. The Herald Sun, which is a big newspaper, gave me an excellent double spread. It’s just a pity Australia is so far away,because snooker is popular out there. I suppose at the moment its just not a viable option to stage events out there.

Listen Neil, Barry can do anything, if you want Australia moved closer to the UK, he’ll sort it. He then moved on, totally unprompted to talk about Bazza’s big plans for the sport.

I’m 100% behind the plans put forward from Barry Hearn, I feel there is a lot of players who cannot see the bigger picture. I think it’s fantastic what he is offering. Barry is a clever guy, and knows what he is doing.

The old tanned hand with a Rolex on the wrist handing over a wad of £50 notes as he spoke.

A lot of players are maybe scared that Barry will increase the prize money for the top players, and not at the bottom of the rankings.

No Neil, I think they are just scared of him.

What a lot of players cannot see is that sport needs top players to promote the sport, and thus generate interest. Some players think they can practice for about a couple of hours a day and deserve around £20-£30k, for just being a top 64 player.They need to realise there is money to be won, but it needs hard work which I feel some players don’t put in.

The defeated Fergal O’Brien said:

I am disappointed to lose, I didn’t really get to top form. I lost one or two close frames yesterday, but I dig in well to go from 5-1 to 5-3. He made a good clearance to go 7-5 today, and his reaction showed he was under a bit of pressure.  The next was a bit of a battle as we played for about an hour on the yellow I think! We played both some good safety.

If I had won the re-spot to go 7-6 I would have been in thick of it, but at 8-5 his tail was obviously up again. It was a frustrating season, I would like to have done a bit better.

Then totally unprompted the chirpy Irishman said

But hopefully, Barry unveils his plans and they pass and we get more tournaments. Whether you have a good season or a bad season you don’t want to be a part-time snooker player. Being in the top 32 and playing only six tournaments a year is not on.

Barry’s arch-nemesis and lone voice in wind when it comes to top players Peter Ebdon was also highly critical of the table after his match.

I lost it yesterday, Graeme played very well and even though we both struggled with the inconsistent bounces off the cushions, he applied himself the better of the two of us.

Even if I’d have won 10-0, I would still be saying the same, (Oh Aye yeah) because it was just so tough to adjust to the reaction of the cushions.The main disappointment for me is that all year, the tables have been playing brilliant and a pleasure to play on.Obviously with this event being an exeption.

Peter isn't getting much support from the other boys

But like I said every credit to Graeme, because his all round game is brilliant, his long potting was fantastic and is safety and tactical play was spot on. To be fair I dont think he got the respect he deserved when winning the world title,because he is one of the best match players about.

Missing the green when I had a chance to go only one behind at 7-6, was a big turning point but we will never know if it would have changed the result.

I’m bitterly disappointed to be out of the top 16, but also very proud of being in that elite bracket for so long.

He then turned his attention to all things Baz.

I would be the first person to congratulate Barry Hearn if he introduced new tournaments and revenue to the game, and then take a healthy commission, I dont think anyone would complain.

But to ask for 51% of the commercial rights is too much. There is going to be a meeting and I’ll be very surprised if the players give up their control of the association.

We all want to play in more tournaments.

Barry Hearn is a successful businessman,he is a very intelligent man and a very shrewd man and I would love him to do a fantastic job for snooker.

The players need to understand, that giving control to Barry is not for one year, this is not for two years, this is not for five years,this is not for ten years, it’s forever gone.

I’ve only got one vote, it’s up to the members at the end of the day.

His conqueror Graeme Dott said

I can't see any obvious problem with the table.

It’s good, it’s nice to be back. I didnt play well tonight. Maybe I had the wrong attitude.I played so well yesterday and basically at 7-2 the job is almost done and I probably relaxed a bit too much.

I played a really careless first frame tonight, and then before you know it I was twitching a bit.  I could not get any rhythmn tonight, I played pretty poor.  It wasn’t like I wasn’t getting any chances tonight, I just couldn’t control the white. The table wasn’t great and I am sure Peter will tell you the same.

Yep, he just has, good call Dotty.

The cushions were bouncing again which was a bit disappointing. Trying to play for snookers was impossible, the balls were coming off at all different angles.

I have changed my technique a little bit since China. I added a few little mannerisms and am playing a bit quicker and just trying to trust it more.  It clearly helped yesterday and I think I can put tonight’s performance down to attitude.

There’s nothing that can happen here that I haven’t seen before so I am obviously experienced enough to deal with
everything.  I need to try and win another couple of games here to get back into the top 16.  I am sure Peter has
got the right attitude and will bounce straight back into the top 16.

No disrespect to Stephen Lee, he continued disrespectfully, but I would rather play Stephen Maguire in the next round.  If we play each other and I don’t happen to beat him, I’d hope Stephen wins it.  Obviously he’s never won it before, Stephen Hendry has won it, John has won it and so have I.  So it would be nice to Stephen win it, but hopefully that won’t happen this year!

Clearly at least one player is rallying round the under pressure Scot and at least Dotty resisted the urge to big up the Baz.

More reactions as they come in, I am now going to call World Snooker and ask them if their reporter has a spell checker, so many mistakes…..

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