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What aspect does Neil Robertson still need to improve?

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  • What aspect does Neil Robertson still need to improve?

    Just watched the new highlights video Tequila posted on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQGRUD9W1g) about Neil's best shots in Worlds 2015, and it made think about his game again: I've been watching Neil's game since 2007 and have to say he really has improved a lot in every single aspect, and elevated his game to another level.

    He's a better all-round player now, with decent safety shots, top break-building skills (103 tons in a season is such a great achievement) and better shot selection. He still remains one of the best single ball potters in the game, and he's tactical play has also improved.

    He's been very consistent in the past several seasons, but honestly I just don't think he's ever reached the level of Hendry/ROS/Higgins/Williams. I know he's a very complete and top player but what do you think he could still improve to be even better?

  • #2
    Sometimes takes too bleeding long on a shot, almost as if he has forgot what to do !
    Quite often obvious what to play but he just stands there like a muppet, one World Championship he must of taken over 5 minutes to play a SIMPLE safety shot, i was screaming at the TV lol

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    • #3
      Fluency - his incessant walking around the table is too much - he will wear himself out - he tries too hard at times to play perfect - plays too negatively at times and its quite boring to watch. Could have been one of the most exciting players on the circuit and would probably have earned more in exhibition monies and sponsorships and might have enjoyed playing to the crowd - which would have elevated his game and status further.

      To me he looks very manufactured now and its disappointing - could have been one of the greats.

      Whilst all that is said I like the bloke and hope he could still turn this around and push on to become a better player as he is young - and no doubt he is a great player who might easily win another two or three world titles - I just really do think he needs to start enjoying it a bit more and get a bit of fluency going to become a multiple winner.
      Last edited by Byrom; 5th September 2015, 06:25 PM.

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      • #4
        Nothing,amongst a lot of circles he was the man to beat in World Championships since 2010 so they know they have to raise their game to beat him.

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        • #5
          He needs to be more confident in his own game rather than trying to stymie his opponent with slow play gamesmanship. Shows a lack of confidence when a player resorts to that, but why with the talent he obviously has. He has the long game, the break building and his safety is pretty good too but is rarely needed when his eye's in.
          Just turn up and play and let the rest worry about you.

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          • #6
            Well said. I agree that a lot of times he wasn't really playing the table, but worrying too much about the opponent.

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            • #7
              Yeah great points made here, I suppose it depends on if we're talking about gaining results or gaining fans but I do find him very boring to watch, very boringly robotic but at the same time he is a machine and when he's up for it he isn't easily stopped.
              "It might not be on stats or titles but in terms of talent and the ability to play snooker erm......he's the best" Hendry's humbled words on Ronnie O'Sullivan.

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              • #8
                Robertson is pretty much the complete player when he puts it all together. His breakbuilding over the last three seasons has been as good, if not better than anyone's, his potting is excellent as well, and he has the patience and the skill to compete in the safety exchanges. He also has that essential quality of being able to win matches and tournaments with his B-game, and I would even say he won the 2010 World Championship mostly through his mental strength rather than top form.

                I think his best-ever tournament is probably the 2009 Grand Prix. It was a week that didn't see that many high breaks, mainly because the tables seem to play quite tight, but Robertson was miles ahead of everyone else in the centuries stats, and his semi-final against John Higgins was one of the best best-of-11 matches I can remember, Robertson prevailing 6-5 in the end. I don't think snooker can be played much better than what Robertson played that week.

                As for what he could improve... I can only agree with what others have already said. This is a man who was undefeated in major finals for a long time in his career, and he had a great ratio of converting quarter-finals to titles, so he was always known as a big-occasion and a great pressure player. And he got that reputation at a time when his breakbuilding was clearly not as good as it is now, so if he has improved on his weaknesses, why are more titles not coming his way? I am not sure what happened to him, but lately his decision-making under pressure has been shocking. Last season he only won 4 out of 11 deciders he played in the major events. He lost to Michael White and Joe Swail from well in front, he lost to Maguire in the German Masters when Maguire already needed two snookers on the colours, and he lost that 80-minute decider against Mark Davis, when he refused a fairly easy mid-range final black, and I can't think of any other player that wouldn't have gone for it. Then there was the frame he lost through the 3-misses rule against Gary Wilson in the Welsh Open, although that wasn't the decider. He seems to slow his tempo down a lot under pressure and overthinks situations. I suppose we already saw a bit of that when he took five minutes over a shot in the 2010 World final after a foul, before having Dott play again, but lately it's been getting worse. In his match against Marco Fu in the World Open two seasons ago he opened the decider with a 7-minute break of 7, mostly just staring at the table even though there weren't any tough decisions to be made. I think that's the sort of thing that has been holding him back lately, and that's probably why he seems to play a lot of his best snooker in the early rounds these days.

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                • #9
                  His extreme diet is what I believe will hurt his performance in big and long tournaments like UK and the Worlds, if it didn't already.
                  What he needs is roasted lamb under the bell, not that extreme vegan stuff.

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                  • #10
                    I have the feeling he doesn't always make the best decisions and maybe sometimes plays a bit to offensively.
                    But along with Mark Selby he is the most complete player in the game so there are not many aspects where he needs to get much better.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ace man View Post
                      His extreme diet is what I believe will hurt his performance in big and long tournaments like UK and the Worlds, if it didn't already.
                      What he needs is roasted lamb under the bell, not that extreme vegan stuff.
                      haha totally agreed here. A player like Neil who plays powerful shots a lot needs energy

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Odrl View Post
                        Robertson is pretty much the complete player when he puts it all together. His breakbuilding over the last three seasons has been as good, if not better than anyone's, his potting is excellent as well, and he has the patience and the skill to compete in the safety exchanges. He also has that essential quality of being able to win matches and tournaments with his B-game, and I would even say he won the 2010 World Championship mostly through his mental strength rather than top form.

                        I think his best-ever tournament is probably the 2009 Grand Prix. It was a week that didn't see that many high breaks, mainly because the tables seem to play quite tight, but Robertson was miles ahead of everyone else in the centuries stats, and his semi-final against John Higgins was one of the best best-of-11 matches I can remember, Robertson prevailing 6-5 in the end. I don't think snooker can be played much better than what Robertson played that week.

                        As for what he could improve... I can only agree with what others have already said. This is a man who was undefeated in major finals for a long time in his career, and he had a great ratio of converting quarter-finals to titles, so he was always known as a big-occasion and a great pressure player. And he got that reputation at a time when his breakbuilding was clearly not as good as it is now, so if he has improved on his weaknesses, why are more titles not coming his way? I am not sure what happened to him, but lately his decision-making under pressure has been shocking. Last season he only won 4 out of 11 deciders he played in the major events. He lost to Michael White and Joe Swail from well in front, he lost to Maguire in the German Masters when Maguire already needed two snookers on the colours, and he lost that 80-minute decider against Mark Davis, when he refused a fairly easy mid-range final black, and I can't think of any other player that wouldn't have gone for it. Then there was the frame he lost through the 3-misses rule against Gary Wilson in the Welsh Open, although that wasn't the decider. He seems to slow his tempo down a lot under pressure and overthinks situations. I suppose we already saw a bit of that when he took five minutes over a shot in the 2010 World final after a foul, before having Dott play again, but lately it's been getting worse. In his match against Marco Fu in the World Open two seasons ago he opened the decider with a 7-minute break of 7, mostly just staring at the table even though there weren't any tough decisions to be made. I think that's the sort of thing that has been holding him back lately, and that's probably why he seems to play a lot of his best snooker in the early rounds these days.
                        Glad you mentioned so many details. Time for me to go back check the 09 Grand Prix matches...

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                        • #13
                          I have a lot of respect for Robertson as a player on and off the table because he is an exceptional player and a good ambassador for the game. He can go through phases of being unstoppable and like poetry in motion so his all round game is hard to fault. I think he can worry too much about the crowd sometimes and maybe it's because of the whole Hann unpleasantness but Robertson is in a different class and conducts himself well so I think he gets a lot more support than he thinks. He is reserved but not afraid to speak his mind and be honest but he also sends out the message that he just wants to play Snooker and be part of the developing sport.

                          Something he did a few years ago was a WTF! moment and I'm still not sure what happened. It was my first visit to SWSA and I went up to the bar and approached the glass window overlooking the arena. All I can remember is there was a match in progress but not sure who was playing or even if Robertson was. I just remember seeing Robertson leave the arena and walk up to the bar area. He just stood there and looked around for a few seconds before going back down to the arena. I can remember he looked right at me and looked miffed about something but he never said anything. Looking back I'm wondering if maybe my looming outline as I approached the glass viewing window put him off and he came up to have a go at me but upon seeing me give him a nervous smile (or maybe he saw that I was with my mum and dad ) he decided not to. It was probably not that at all but it was still odd how he seemed to just come up to the bar, stand there looking around like he was after someone to give them a kicking and then change his mind and leave. It was slightly intimidating.
                          www.mixcloud.com/jfd

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                          • #14
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-AJBqwPv9s#t=18m30s

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                            • #15
                              TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR (in my opinion) the refs need to grow some and warn him !!!

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