When you call on Ronnie O’Sullivan as an expert, expect the unexpected from one of snooker’s greatest characters.
And that’s exactly what viewers got when O’Sullivan appeared as a pundit for Eurosport during the Welsh Open.
In a brutal dig that would have even made Roy Keane wince, ‘Rocket’ told fellow professional John Astley that he didn’t have a snooker brain and should call it a day.
Astley was beaten 4-2 by Mark Williams, one of O’Sullivan’s oldest rivals, on Monday and the 48-year-old pulled no punches in his wild assessment of the player.
Speaking on Eurosport after withdrawing from the Welsh Open due to anxiety, the seven-time world champion said: “If I have a chance I think I should win the match.
“If I’m not in position, I accept it because I just can’t accept that I’m not going to win the game, so it’s difficult sometimes to turn away balls.
“I would probably try screwing that in, pinching it a little bit and at least if you miss it the red will go away.
“But to play like that, he’s not even on black… bad move. He doesn’t really have a snooker brain, that’s what it is. You have to have a snooker brain.
“Some people are good at math, some people are good at English, some people just have snooker brains and some people just don’t play the right shot and they will never play the right shot because their brains don’t think like a snooker player.
“There are some top five players, I won’t name any names, who I don’t think have snooker brains, but they have such good technique that they can get away with it.
“He has neither. He doesn’t have good technique and he doesn’t even have a snooker brain.
“He’ll just go 30s, 40s, miss balls and never really do anything. It’s unfortunate, but you have to have one of those two.
“You have to have good technique or a snooker brain and if you don’t have either, maybe it’s time to find something else to do.”
It is not the first time O’Sullivan has spoken out bluntly, finding himself embroiled in a bitter war of words with Ali Carter after beating him last month to win his eighth Masters title.
Carter claimed O’Sullivan had “nested on the floor”, leading to a furious reprimand from Rocket, who called him a “f****** nightmare” and a “make sorting out your fucking life.” “.