2024 World Snooker Championship: Mark Allen Must Find Fluency for Crucible Gold, Says Stephen Hendry

Mark Allen, poised for Crucible glory, faces Stephen Hendry's critique on fluidity and tactical balance, as he aims to join snooker's elite.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-04-17

Naim Rosinski

4 minutes read

Mark Allen preparing to shoot

Setting the Stage: Allen’s Triumphs and Crucible Challenge

Snooker legend Stephen Hendry shared his insights on Mark Allen's prospects heading into the 2024 World Snooker Championships in an exclusive interview with With Allen's successful year so far, including victories in two ranking tournaments – the Johnstone's Paint Players Championship in Telford and the Snooker Shoot Out earlier in the season – as well as a recent semi-final appearance at the Johnstone's Paint Tour Championship in Manchester, Hendry offered his perspective on Allen's chances on becoming the third Northern Irishman to conquer the World Championship stage.

Assessing Mark Allen’s Current Form

The Pistol has solidified his position as a formidable contender for snooker's most coveted title. However, Hendry underscored the importance for Allen to rediscover his fluid form if he aims to make significant strides in the World Championship. 

Despite acknowledging Allen's adeptness at tactical adjustments, Hendry voiced apprehension regarding the sustainability of Allen's current cautious approach throughout the rigorous 17-day tournament. Despite recent triumphs, Hendry cautioned that Allen's game may falter under the heightened pressure of the Crucible stage.

Defensive vs. Offensive Snooker

"Mark Allen played incredibly well in his first match, but then he struggled to find that same rhythm and same tempo," Hendry remarked following his Tour Championship exit. “In any sport, if you’re the third-best player in the world you play your best snooker under pressure, and he doesn’t really do that."

While praising Allen's remarkable safety play, Hendry emphasised the importance of adapting to the unique demands of the longer-formatted fixtures at the Crucible. 

"Playing that type of snooker, 30 seconds a shot, for 17 days will take a lot out of you," remarked Hendry. "He would rather win matches where he’s scoring incredibly...You want to be finishing matches off quicker and reserving some energy. He needs to find a game that’s better for Sheffield."


Image credit: WST

Is Allen a Genuine Contender?

Regarding Allen's mindset and readiness for the challenge, Hendry acknowledged a notable shift in mentality. "Without a doubt, there’s been a mentality shift for Mark Allen," acknowledged Hendry. "The last two years he’s won six events; he’s become a serial winner. He’s very difficult to beat."

In anticipation of the World Championship, Hendry emphasised Allen's ability to be a real threat in Sheffield. With his established record and well-rounded skill set, Allen is ready to challenge for the most coveted title in snooker.

"He’s got that all-round game. He doesn’t just rely on scoring; he can win in any way. He’s so tough to beat," affirmed Hendry. "That’s the next step for him. He’s winning regularly and it’s about racking up those Triple Crowns now for Mark Allen."

Journey to Crucible Glory

As Allen prepares to conquer the Crucible for the first time, Hendry's insights provide valuable perspective on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With the World Championship looming on the horizon, all eyes will be on Mark Allen as he seeks to etch his name among snooker's elite champions. 

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Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.