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Ah, but you've not addressed my post at all. If the standard now far outshines 20 years ago why are a clearly much poorer Hendry and Davis still competitive with the best players of today?

Its a very good point, thats probably why he didn't address it ;)

No, not suggesting that at all. Just asking why it is snooker has gone in 20 years from being just about the biggest non-team sport in British terms and probably the biggest outside football and maybe cricket to a fringe sport ignored by most and barely meriting a mention on Sports Review of the Year?

At a guess, I'd say its because snooker has hardly changed in the last 15 years or so. Football has grown even more popular in the last 10 years thanks to the success of the EPL, the Champions League, big european leagues easily accesible via sky, etc. Sports like darts have almost reinvented themselves and are now much more "spectator friendly". In short, other sports have marketed themselves much better to modern audiences. Snooker, on the other hand, still features two guys hitting balls around whilst two ex-players tell you how many more reds they need to win.

Throw into the mix the distinct lack of "characters" (O'sullivan apart, and as many people hate him as love him) and its no wonder that snooker is struggling.

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Ah, but you've not addressed my post at all. If the standard now far outshines 20 years ago why are a clearly much poorer Hendry and Davis still competitive with the best players of today?

For a start, I don't believe Hendry is 'much poorer' than what he was. He's clearly not as consistent, down to a number of factors, one of which is the amount of practice time he puts in.

However, he's still one of the top players of the sport. At his peak, he was head and shoulders above everyone else, his consistency was frightening. But you don't just lose talent like that, well not until your eyesight starts to fade when you're a lot older. He's only just recently turned 40, so he's not that old. Still a top class player though, which is why he's still a top 10 regular.

Same to a lesser extent with Davis. He was another player miles clear of the rest when he was younger. It's no real surprise that both of these players are still competitive...no other players from either player's peak years are anywhere close to the top guys now.

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For a start, I don't believe Hendry is 'much poorer' than what he was. He's clearly not as consistent, down to a number of factors, one of which is the amount of practice time he puts in.

I agree with you to be honest.

Jesper Parnevik was asked in golf why he was shite compared to 10 years ago and he says if you look at his game it's actually a lot better, it's just that so many others have got better still.

Tennis players say the same by and large.

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Maguire and Higgins are serving up a mistake fest at the moment. I've seen better snooker in my local club.

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For a start, I don't believe Hendry is 'much poorer' than what he was. He's clearly not as consistent, down to a number of factors, one of which is the amount of practice time he puts in.

However, he's still one of the top players of the sport. At his peak, he was head and shoulders above everyone else, his consistency was frightening. But you don't just lose talent like that, well not until your eyesight starts to fade when you're a lot older. He's only just recently turned 40, so he's not that old. Still a top class player though, which is why he's still a top 10 regular.

Same to a lesser extent with Davis. He was another player miles clear of the rest when he was younger. It's no real surprise that both of these players are still competitive...no other players from either player's peak years are anywhere close to the top guys now.

I agree with you to be honest.

Jesper Parnevik was asked in golf why he was shite compared to 10 years ago and he says if you look at his game it's actually a lot better, it's just that so many others have got better still.

Tennis players say the same by and large.

I don't. And I don't think either tennis (certainly) and golf (probably) are terribly relevant as they ARE physical sports where age is bound to diminish the abilities. Jesper Parnevik can say what he likes but he isn't scoring like he did a decade ago and if he was he'd be winning tournaments.

I accept that the reason Hendry isn't the player he once was is most likely partly lack of practice, probably more lack of appetite. But given that he isn't, the fact he's still right up there certainly doesn't imply there's been massive improvement from all the others.

I take your point and it's undoubtedly relevant but I just don't think it's the only reason. I don't think Graeme Dott is any different from a Joe Johnson. And I don't think, O'Sullivan apart, that the players of tdoay are significantly all that much better than the ones of yesteryear. Those guys have faded away because they got old and lost their own edges and weren't as good as Davis and Hendry to begin with.

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In a game devoid of characters hes always entertaining to watch. That said hes not the type of guy I'd buy a pint.

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And I don't think, O'Sullivan apart, that the players of tdoay are significantly all that much better than the ones of yesteryear.

Look at the names of some of the players who have to qualify for the World Championships this season. Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty.

These three alone would easily be in the top 8 fifteen years ago on current form.

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I don't think Graeme Dott is any different from a Joe Johnson.

Dott reached four ranking finals, including a runners up spot in the World's before winning the big one. He was also provisionally World Number 1 for a while after winning the China Open the following season. A far, far better player than Joe Johnson ever was.

And he's nowhere close to being the best player at the moment.

If further proof that today's players are of a higher standard, even 10 years ago, the likes of Alain Robidoux and Tony Drago were in the top 16.

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Look at the names of some of the players who have to qualify for the World Championships this season. Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty.

These three alone would easily be in the top 8 fifteen years ago on current form.

'On current form'? I don't think any of the three of them are playing anywhere near as well as they once did and that's the reason they have to qualify for the World Championships, not that 16 players have all gone past the playing level they were at.

I also don't think, playing as they are now, they'd have been top 8 any more 15 years ago than they are now.

Dott reached four ranking finals, including a runners up spot in the World's before winning the big one. He was also provisionally World Number 1 for a while after winning the China Open the following season. A far, far better player than Joe Johnson ever was.

And he's nowhere close to being the best player at the moment.

If further proof that today's players are of a higher standard, even 10 years ago, the likes of Alain Robidoux and Tony Drago were in the top 16.

He was provisionally No 1 because there are far less tournaments now and a brief patch of stellar form shoots you up the rankings much quicker than it did 20 years ago. Joe Johnson won the world and was runner up in the worlds. In Crucible terms his record is pretty similar to Dott's.

And I never said Dott was anywhere near the best player. Indeed that was precisely my point. You said that a player like Johnson would never have reached two world finals and won one of them these days. I'd contend that a player not that dissimilar from Johnson HAS, Dott.

If further proof were needed that today's players are of no higher standard than a couple of decades ago, the likes of Mark Allen, Mark King and Joe Perry are currently in the top 16. ;)

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Impossible for me to take sides in a StewartyMac v Skyline Drifter debate, but a couple of observations...

Mmm, not sure about that. I accept you are presumably correct (I haven't looked) about players now buildings bigger breaks etc which is a fairly good indicator although that could be partly attributable to wider pockets (not saying it is, just saying it could be?) or differing styles.

The pockets are tighter now than they used to be. The cloth, however, is much faster and this aids break-building as clustered reds split more easily.

Joe Johnson - I really don't think he was as bad as he's being presented here. Yes, he was an outsider when he won the World Championship, but he'd been a finalist in the Amateur World Championship before he turned pro so he hadn't exactly come from nowhere. And he was no more an outsider than Shaun Murphy was when he won the world championship a few years ago. Anyway, an outsider winning doesn't mean the standard is or was weak, it just means an outsider has won.

Anyone trying to argue that the standard now isn't far higher than it was 20 years ago is on a hiding to nothing.

... and is there really less snooker on the tv now than there was 20 years ago? I'm not at all convinced.

Edited by Hebridean

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Joe Johnson - I really don't think he was as bad as he's being presented here. Yes, he was an outsider when he won the World Championship, but he'd been a finalist in the Amateur World Championship before he turned pro so he hadn't exactly come from nowhere. And he was no more an outsider than Shaun Murphy was when he won the world championship a few years ago. Anyway, an outsider winning doesn't mean the standard is or was weak, it just means an outsider has won.

Yes, but Shaun Murphy's win was no fluke, as he's proved himself subsequently to be a solid top 10 player, and probably will be for many years, despite his poor start to this season. Johnson only had two seasons in the top 10, aided by his World Championship win.

Anyone trying to argue that the standard now isn't far higher than it was 20 years ago is on a hiding to nothing.

A genuinely new experience. Agreeing with you :lol:

... and is there really less snooker on the tv now than there was 20 years ago? I'm not at all convinced.

It's debatable. There's less tournaments these days, however there's live coverage throughout them all now. The smaller ones are covered by Eurosport, whilst the 'gala' tournaments are still covered by the Beeb. (Actually, Eurosport also gets pretty much them all now) The difference now is when the Beeb's programming stops, you can hit the red button and continue watchng live coverage. I'd probably say overall, there's more snooker on telly now. The difference is, there's now so many sports channels, it gets a bit lost, which gives the impression of there not being as much on.

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If further proof were needed that today's players are of no higher standard than a couple of decades ago, the likes of Mark Allen, Mark King and Joe Perry are currently in the top 16. ;)

Allen and Perry would have easily been in the top 8 twenty years ago. King is more a journeyman pro, similar, although better, than the likes of Neal Foulds and Tony Knowles. Although both these players reached Number 2 in the rankings, a position Mark King will never see.

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It's debatable. There's less tournaments these days, however there's live coverage throughout them all now. The smaller ones are covered by Eurosport, whilst the 'gala' tournaments are still covered by the Beeb. (Actually, Eurosport also gets pretty much them all now) The difference now is when the Beeb's programming stops, you can hit the red button and continue watchng live coverage. I'd probably say overall, there's more snooker on telly now. The difference is, there's now so many sports channels, it gets a bit lost, which gives the impression of there not being as much on.

A fair point. And probably the biggest reason behind my not really noticing it now. And the lesser coverage on the BBC might be why it features less on things like Sports Personality of the Year to an extent. But that doesn't explain why the papers give it far less coverage and why attendances at events are sparse to say the least.

Allen and Perry would have easily been in the top 8 twenty years ago. King is more a journeyman pro, similar, although better, than the likes of Neal Foulds and Tony Knowles. Although both these players reached Number 2 in the rankings, a position Mark King will never see.

A matter of opinion. ;) I genuinely don't think the likes of Perry and Allen are any better than the likes of Griffiths, Parrott, etc. It's easy to pick a couple of players who came from nowhere (relatively) and spiralled back there again having peaked very high up.

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A matter of opinion. ;) I genuinely don't think the likes of Perry and Allen are any better than the likes of Griffiths, Parrott, etc.

Terry Griffiths and John Parrott were both world champions though, it's not a particularly fair comparison.

I would say, for example, that Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon are better players than what Griffiths or Parrott were at their peak.

John Parrott was a fine player, but he was lucky in a way that his peak coincided with that wee lull where Davis's dominance was ending and Hendry's was starting.

As for Griffiths, he was the epitome of average. Won a world title, and hardly anything else of note. In fact, his world title win was his only ranking event victory in his career. (His UK title was in the days where it was invitation only and didn't have anywhere near the same kudos as it does now)

Actually, I reckon Joe Perry probably is a better player than what Griffiths ever was, and Allen most certainly will be over the next few years. One of the most exciting prospects in the sport.

However, the main point I'm making is that the quality of player outwith the top four or five is miles better now than what it was. (But I would still debate the case FOR the current top players) There's so much more depth to the men's game now. Don't justy take my word for it, nearly every major tournament you'll hear the old pros who are commentating make exactly the same point, and they'll know better than both of us.

But that doesn't explain why the papers give it far less coverage and why attendances at events are sparse to say the least.

We live in an age where everything has to be 'fast', celebrities are more prominent than actual sportsmen/women, and sports fans want everything now. You could say your average younger sports fan won't have the patience for snooker, whereas your older fan now has far more choices of sports to watch on TV, therefore doesn't need to turn up at live events.

To the casual sports fan now, snooker is an incredibly dull sport and there's no novelty value like there was in the 80's. I don't know what they can do. The 25-second clock in the Premier League works well, and that event is well advertised and publicised, so draws in the crowds. Even then people could just be being seduced by the name 'Premier League'.

It may need Barry Hearn or the like revamping it like he did with Darts, but as mentioned before, there's only so much you can do, as it is a gentleman's game.

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To prove Stewarty's point once and for all, Ladies and Gentlemen of P&B, I give you.................

post-7951-1229698648_thumb.jpg

Reached number 10 in the World Rankings and stayed there for 2 years.

Not counting the English Professional Tournament (:huh:) , apart from the British Open the only tournaments he won were as Steve Davis' Doubles Partner. :lol:

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Funnily enough, I used to copy Tony Meo's style when I was younger, in that I'd do the wee finger jig on my bridge hand :lol:

Probably why I was never any good :(

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Terry Griffiths and John Parrott were both world champions though, it's not a particularly fair comparison.

I would say, for example, that Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon are better players than what Griffiths or Parrott were at their peak.

John Parrott was a fine player, but he was lucky in a way that his peak coincided with that wee lull where Davis's dominance was ending and Hendry's was starting.

As for Griffiths, he was the epitome of average. Won a world title, and hardly anything else of note. In fact, his world title win was his only ranking event victory in his career. (His UK title was in the days where it was invitation only and didn't have anywhere near the same kudos as it does now)

Actually, I reckon Joe Perry probably is a better player than what Griffiths ever was, and Allen most certainly will be over the next few years. One of the most exciting prospects in the sport.

However, the main point I'm making is that the quality of player outwith the top four or five is miles better now than what it was. (But I would still debate the case FOR the current top players) There's so much more depth to the men's game now. Don't justy take my word for it, nearly every major tournament you'll hear the old pros who are commentating make exactly the same point, and they'll know better than both of us.

We live in an age where everything has to be 'fast', celebrities are more prominent than actual sportsmen/women, and sports fans want everything now. You could say your average younger sports fan won't have the patience for snooker, whereas your older fan now has far more choices of sports to watch on TV, therefore doesn't need to turn up at live events.

To the casual sports fan now, snooker is an incredibly dull sport and there's no novelty value like there was in the 80's. I don't know what they can do. The 25-second clock in the Premier League works well, and that event is well advertised and publicised, so draws in the crowds. Even then people could just be being seduced by the name 'Premier League'.

It may need Barry Hearn or the like revamping it like he did with Darts, but as mentioned before, there's only so much you can do, as it is a gentleman's game.

Och, stop being so serious.

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