It came a little out of the blue in the post-match Mark Allen/Michael White press conference when the Northern Irishman revealed how much he had been stung by comments made in a TV feature showed on BBC Wales earlier that day, in which a panel of Steve Davis, Ken Doherty and Shaun Murphy analysed strengths and weaknesses of the leading players. This BBC feature was in fact first shown at the Masters in January.
Davis started off by saying: “Mark Allen…not being disrespectful, but not necessarily Premiership, more Championship material”, and it appeared that it was this that had wound up Allen the most. Doherty was overall more complimentary but also labelled Allen “inconsistent” and pointed to Allen’s positional play and focus as issues.
Allen does seem the type of personality though that could turn this to his advantage. If such criticism makes a player go away and work even harder at their perceived weaknesses, it can do them a favour. He told Terry Griffiths how wound up he was before the White clash, and took it out on his young Welsh opponent.
Of course, Stuart Bingham was famously motivated and driven to succeed after a certain player accused him of having no bottle before an Australian Open quarter-final. It pushed him on, saw him collect titles and ultimately a brilliant world championship win beating three tournament favourites in a row in Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy. The originator of the “no bottle” remarks? You’ve remembered it – Mark Allen.