15.8.07

WHITE UNDER PRESSURE

Jimmy White is 78th in the provisional rankings.

I'll repeat that: Jimmy White is 78th in the provisional rankings.

Bearing in mind he won a ranking event three years ago and was still the world no.8 in 2006, this has to be the most rapid decline of a snooker great in the game's history.

Journalistic impartiality aside, I'm a great fan of Jimmy as a player and a person, which makes his fall particularly disappointing.

Remember, he has to finish inside the top 64 at the end of the season to be sure of keeping his main tour place.

The way things are going this is by no means certain. Jimmy doesn't enjoy playing at the Prestatyn qualifiers and at the age of 45 must know that his best years are behind him.

It doesn't get any easier, either. In the Northern Ireland Trophy qualifiers he's been drawn to play Leo Fernandez, who has been enjoying some good form of late, or Xiao Guodong, the 18 year-old Asian under 21 champion who beat Michael Judge in the recent Shanghai Masters. If he gets through that he plays Dave Gilbert, who qualified for the Crucible last season.

It is entirely possible that the only time we will see Jimmy White on our TV screens this season is in the Premier League, to which he has been invited once again, although he must still be a favourite for a Wembley Masters wildcard.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi dave, I as a Jimmy White fan of old have a question for you. Putting aside the bums on seats arguement do you think it's right that White gets the invite for the Premier League and probably the Masters too.
There's only so many times that those bums on seats can go there only to be disapointed.
I am a White fan but I am also a realist.

Anonymous said...

I saw Jimmy playing during the Kilkenny Masters this year. He drinks bear during the session and talk to the spectators while his opponent plays snooker. So i'm not surprised.

Anonymous said...

"... do you think it's right that White gets the invite for the Premier League..."

Yes, I do think that's right, as Jimmy White actually made it to the final of the 2006 Premier League after beating players like Ding Junhui, Stephen Hendry, and Graeme Dott. So he deserves another chance. The Masters, however, is a different story...

Cheers,
Eric

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I remember White saying during last seasons PSL, that he was playing well in it, but when it came to world ranking tournaments he couldn't pot for toffee. Well, he should be winning matches. If you look at the players that are ranked around him, none get the chance to play in front of a packed house live on TV, via the PSL.

The most they can hopeful is a handful of people at the qualifiers, which, when Jimmy turns up to, cannot handle. You argue that the other players are used to the surroundings. But White should turn up with confidence and win these matches, if he gains valuable 'practice' with the PSL. Like a school report 'White can do better!'

Cannot believe that about Mark Williams. It really has been a great fall for the two former great potters; Williams and Stevens. Maybe Williams needs some PSL games now as well.

Any idea what the possible seventh world ranking event is? Overseas?

Finally, when is the release date for Clive's book?

Thanks, Joe

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Anonymous said...

he'll get a wildcard no doubt if he falls off the tour.....

Dave H said...

The Premier League can invite who they want and Jimmy still sells more tickets than anyone else, so it makes sense from their point of view

If I were promoting the Masters I'd want him in the field

Joe - Clive's book is out in September

Not sure about the other ranking event