Well I admitted that I wasn't sure if Ronnie O'Sullivan would be able to recreate his magic from the past and to be quite honest I was spot on. He wasn't his old self throughout the tournament: He was a million times more incredible. Even his biggest fans surely could not have expected such a ridiculously imperious return to the game as he swept aside everyone and made light work of the world's biggest snooker tournament. Okay, he didn't have the toughest run to the title and a glamour tie with Judd Trump was as close as he came to leaving the tournament, and we all know how much of a pain in the ass he can be at times; for someone who claims he doesn't like attention he sure is good at kicking up a storm, but ultimately it was a phenomenal performance from a player who hasn't been in the game for a whole year. While I am really hoping he stops moping around and plays on the circuit next year, I am still unsure as to whether the snooker world needs him or not. While it is brilliant to see him back and he certainly brings in the crowds, it is a bit like Man United bringing Paul Scholes back in the middle of the season last year. It is great to see an old genius back playing and he has shown he is more than capable of competing at the highest standard, but the problem is it doesn't really allow for new stars to come through. This season has seen the trio of Trump, Selby and Roberston rise to the top of the rankings in much the same way the 'big four' have in tennis. The three have been interchanging in the rankings throughout the whole year and each of them has their own style of snooker flair, providing great entertainment throughout in my opinion. If I was Barry Hearn, I would have marketed the rivalry between these three as much as I possibly could as they look to be the best talents for the future and could go on to dominate between them. Domination is definitely something the game needs but I am still undecided as to whether Ronnie being the dominator at this late and unpredictable stage in his career is good for the sport. Maybe that debate is for another day though.
Now the snooker is over it is back to football for me, though that is nearly over too and I will soon find myself lost for a whole summer (though perhaps this is good as it will be a summer of mad job hunting). The form of the three teams going for the champions league has been exceptional over the last few weeks and I must admit I thought at least one of them would falter. Chelsea in particular have impressed me the way they have balanced their European efforts and their league position simultaneously, though in fairness I couldn't think of many better managers to do this, I wonder how many Chelsea fans will be annoyed at Rafa's appointment by the end of the season. I am beginning to wonder about the threat Chelsea will pose next season in the title race as they have a big squad with some fantastic young players, while they have the appropriate mix of experienced players too, but I will wait until after the transfer/manager window before making any decisions. If you are looking at this though, they are currently 4.4 to win the league next season on Betfair, which is considerably shorter than the 6.4 they started at this season. They still have a massive match tomorrow against Spurs and anyone willing to stick their neck out on a Spurs win could take a big profit as a huge flip in the markets would be probably should Spurs win. As it is though, the markets have Chelsea firmly in the top 4 spot at 1.09 and their top 3 price is now at 1.28 following their victory at Old Trafford. Spurs remain outsiders for the top 4 at 2.86 while Arsenal are at 1.36.
Enjoy the football this week. Savour it. It won't last for much longer!