Monday, 27 August 2012

Boring, boring Selby just isn't fair

Boring, boring Selby wins the Paul Hunter Classic.

That's the angle many people would have you believe after the world number one retained his title in Furth. Although I respect everyone's opinion, I can't go along with this.

The real story here, in my opinion, is that one of the sport's top players rekindled his form, returned to the winner's circle and sent out a message that he's back in the race for titles.

I believe Leicester's Mark Selby is somewhat wrongly labelled a negative player on the baize, but he's not the world number one for no reason.

You don't have to believe Selby is the best player in the world, but the ranking points he's accumulated over the past two years means he deserves to sit at the top of the tree.

Selby's excellent all-round game is built on excellent safety, patience and knowing exactly when to push the boat out. He doesn't play kamikaze shots but plays a measured game that allows him to compete with anyone.

I don't think this should be mistaken with negativity. When a chance comes along, he can score as heavily as anyone. In fact, he holds the record for the most number of centuries in a single season and has scored the most hundreds in a single match at the Crucible.

He might not be rash, but he most definitely is clinical.

That's why it's a joy to see him back on form. Selby was back to his solid best in Germany and showed that he's over the neck injury that has stifled him since the build-up to April's World Championship.

It's neither easy nor enjoyable playing Selby in a big game. He makes it tough for his opponents and showed why in Germany.

He looked back in the zone and back in the mood for the rest of the season.

He deserves an extremely big congratulations for defending a very competitive title. It was surely only a matter of time until Selby started playing the kind of snooker we know he's capable of.

He's a tough match player. He can front run a match and also come from behind. I'm sure he will be in the hunt to win more titles.

Love him or hate him, he's going to be around at the top end of our game for plenty of years to come yet.

Selby wasn't the only star this weekend though. Runner-up Joe Swail showed he's still got it. After falling off the professional circuit last season, he returned with very little practice to show he can still deliver.

Then there were the incredible German fans. They packed out the arena all weekend long and laid bold claim to being the most enthusiastic fans in the world. There's no way the players can't enjoy playing in Germany.


  1. Good blogging, Gary.

    I for one think that Mark doesn't need defending or explaining. Of course, everyone has the right to an opinion. It's just that certain opinions don't really deserve contradicting. Facts have their own way of becoming quite obvious. Besides, everyone knows who says what - and why. (Fans are so predictable! lol)

    Before I forget (again): good interview with Alfie. Huge respect for those bloggers who don't use interviews to express "political" statements i.e. don't ask the interviewees more or less subtle "leading questions" and use them as personal or group loudspeakers.

    Well done.

  2. Selby has won just a couple of world ranking titles in his career compared to a massive 24 each by the last two world champions.THIS IS 12 TIMES AS MANY! Therefore it is plain ridiculous to suggest Selby deserves to be at the top of the rankings ahead of Higgins and O'Sullivan. Just because some bloke wants to blackmail the players with ranking points up for grabs in loads of smaller tournaments doesn't make Selby any better than he is. Poor blogging in my opinion.

  3. As I say in the blog, you don't have to believe Selby is the best player in the world.But he deserves to be top of the rankings list because he's picked up more points and performed most consistently over the past 2 years.

    At the end of a career, players will ultimately be judged on titles won though. You mention ROS and Higgins. They have won enough titles to be classed as two of the greats.

    Selby needs to win a lot more titles to get to that level. He hasn't won a UK or World title.

  4. So given Higgins recent run of poor form and O'Sullivan's no shows to most tournaments over the last 2 seasons, under what system on earth would they be ranked 1 and 2 in the world at this moment in time? Get real anon.

    Good luck to Selby for this season and let's hope he cleans up along the way to stick it to these tossers who call him boring.

  5. On Gary's "you don't have to believe Selby is the best player in the world": rankings are not made for eternity otherwise Hendry will ALWAYS be Number One. So, taking into account the recent results, yes, for the moment, Selby IS the best player in the world, no matter what certain fans' hearts might tell them because hearts have pretty little to do with the ranking system. He is the best and we should have the necessary guts/fair play to admit it.

    Anon's idea about the "blackmail of the players with points": sorry, but this whole blackmail oldish rant is downright stupid, no matter who's started it and who's 'confirmed' it later on and it makes me laugh to no end. All competitions reward sportsmen with ranking & financial advantages. Are those blackmail? Folks, really, do get real!

  6. I enjoy watching Selby play very much, and think he unfairly gets a lot of stick. There is room in the snooker world for all sorts of players and all sorts of styles.

  7. How come u didn't post my comment, Gary ? Or do u only approve the ones that are pro Selby ???

  8. Hi Bogdan. The reason I hadn't published your comments was because I've been busy this weekend. I'm not on the blog 24/7. All comments are moderated before they are displayed. This was not always the case but had to be changed because of comments posted whochy were defamatory and included lots of swearing.

    I am happy to publish all comments, for or against Selby. But I will not be publishing your comment earlier this weekend because of the swearing in it. Happy to publish if you resubmit without the bad language.

    I have readers of all ages and don't want swearing. Same rules here as my facebook page.



  9. Gary, the fact that you wrote this article to defend him is proof in itself that he is BORING.
    He is a slow robotic player who uses dirty tactics when he's up against a tough opponent because he knows he can't win otherwise. To keeps it short, he's "the modern Peter Ebdon".

    He's ranked no. 1 simply because he went to much more tournaments that the other top players. In fact, except for the China Open, I think he went to all of them.
    But he's not the best player in the world, not by a long shot.
    He's not even in the top 3 best players in the world.
    Plus beeing ranked no.1 isn't that important; winning tournaments is what matters, especially the World Championship.
    Ronnie O'Sullivan is the world champion and the best player in the world by a mile, not " Slowby ".

    As 4 him holding the record 4 most centuries in a season, again, it's due to the fact that he went to so manny tournaments, thus playing so manny frames. But he's not the best breakbuilder in the game right now, Ronnie O'Sullivan holds that accolade, yet again. Ronnie has a much better ratio of centuries made per frames played. He made 53 last season compared to Selby's 55 , even though Ronnie barely entered half of the tournaments Selby did.

    If all the players were like Selby, than nobody would watch snooker anymore.The game is better off the likes of players like Selby and Ebdon.
    Snooker needs more players like Hurricane Higgins, Whirlwind White and the Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan. If snooker looses Ronnie, it's doomed. When he's in the right frame of mind, it's like watching poetry in motion.


  10. @Anon 9:42. You say what system on Earth would Higgins and Ronnie be 1 and 2. Well, the money system that Hearn is introducing in 2014/15 for starters.

  11. Find out who has been writing these comments, sure not Ronnie obsessives?


  12. Having read my arguments to why Slowby is boring, has your opinion changed Gary ?

  13. No it hasn't. There isn't a problem here. I just have a different opinion to you

  14. Opinions are made up of arguments, factual and otherwise; they are not a blanket excuse for differing with someone. Opinions are weighted depending on the argument, and Bogdan's argument holds more weight.