ALAN McManus marched into the second round of the World Snooker Championship with a defeat of fellow veteran John Higgins – then unleashed his views that Twitter and Facebook are killing the game’s young guns.
McManus had not won a match at the World Championship since beating Ken Doherty in the last 16 in 2005 – and will now face the 44-year-old, a former Crucible champion like Higgins, at the same stage again on Friday.
The 43-year-old booked that clash with Doherty by beating long-time friend Higgins in a tight battle yesterday afternoon, snuffing out the four-time world champion’s mini-revival in the second session to take a 10-7 victory. The Glaswegian potter they call Angles – for his precise style of play – believes younger players should start following the old guard’s example to prolong their career at the very highest level of the game.
“I think there’s still plenty of room for guys over 40, 42 – whatever it is – to compete at the higher level of the game,” said world No 35 McManus. “I also think, personally, the older players have stolen a march on today’s young brigade. Today’s world isn’t good for young people in snooker terms because they spend all their time on Facebook and it’s killing their snooker.
“I’ve seen it and I do see it and they’re too busy reading and writing about snooker instead of getting their nut down. I’m on Twitter but don’t post messages very often – only for fun – but that’s just my personal opinion.
“Not all of them do it, but some of them are spending too much time on the internet. I’m pleased for Ken; we both probably play a similar type of game.”
Higgins had won the last three frames in the first session to seemingly have the momentum, but poor positional play initially blighted his comeback attempt. But the world No 9 found his groove to pull it back to 9-7 – including a match-high break of 111 – before missing a crucial blue to allow McManus to mop up the win.
Higgins has struggled to find his very best form since last winning the world title in 2011 and, though he admits he may never again reach such heights, he is adamant he has plenty left to give.
“There have been times I’ve sat here desolate thinking there’s nothing at the end of the tunnel but I definitely think I’ve got some decent snooker left in me,” said Higgins.
“Now, I might not be one of the top players you think challenging for every event – I’m possibly a journeyman top-16 player now – but every journeyman can obviously have their day sometimes. I had to play [the last blue] really thin because I knew it would have cannoned into the brown, and I just took my eye off it.
“Alan then cleared up and it was disappointing the way it finished because I was playing pretty well.”
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