Plenty of support for Team Europe at Mosconi Cup
WITH THE 2012 PartyPoker.com Mosconi Cup just a week away, Matchroom Sport have been canvassing the great and the good in the world of pool to find out just who the likely winners will be of the 19th annual running of the Europe v USA team match.
Despite being beaten in four of the last five Mosconi Cups, there is a feeling amongst some pundits that this could be the USA’s year. However, with a fearsome York Hall crowd to contend with when the action gets underway from 10th to 13th December, as well as the Europeans themselves, it could be a tall order.
In the other camp are those who think that the Mosconi Cup is now European property and that Appleton, Feijen and company will continue their domination of the event.
‘I think Europe will take it again. The main reason for this is the venue as it’s notorious for crushing the confidence of the rookies from across the pond – and some experienced players too! It’s a gut wrenching atmosphere created by the fans and it’s the biggest weapon Europe has in the Mosconi Cup.
‘Other than that, in normal circumstances, both sides look strong, with a good mix of youth, experience, and talent, and both sides have players who are in a rich vein of form……but this is not normal circumstances, it’s the biggest and baddest pressure in pool…..the Mosconi Cup!’ Daryl Peach, two-time Mosconi Cup winner.
‘I think it will be closer than last year but in the end Europe will win. Nikos Ekonomopoulos will be the better rookie than the American rookies. Besides that Europe has outstanding players like Darren Appleton and Nick Van Den Berg. Finally, they have become more and more a team since Johan Ruijsink became the captain.’ Jochen Maurer, Touch Billiard Magazine, Germany
‘Europe will win. We are strong and hungry.’ Alex Lely, former Mosconi Cup player and captain.
‘This is a difficult one to predict as both teams have experience and both teams each have a debutant and the performances of Shuff and Ekonomopoulos could be a deciding factor.
The Europeans know each other well as they all play on the Eurotour and with Ruijsink at the helm, this team will take some beating.
‘Johan is an expert at getting the best out of his team and if by some slim chance Europe were to lose this contest it won’t be for lack of preparation. As usual the pressure of playing at York Hall will play a major part in this contest and I predict that the vociferous home crowd will carry the Europeans through to a victory, albeit a close one.’ Peter Aprile, International Delegate, Confederación Espańola de Pool
‘I fancy Europe to keep hold of the Mosconi Cup this year. It’s a big advantage to be in London with the crowd and I think the Americans will crumble under it.’ Karl Boyes, Mosconi Cup winner 2010.
‘Europe will win because of the crowd more than anything else. On paper it’s evenly matched for me because the USA has the best team they’ve aligned for quite a while. Europe will gain its force from the fantastic atmosphere of the York Hall, and this will lift them up. Also, Niels Feijen will have to step up as the anchor of the group, being the most experienced European played in the absence of Ralf, Mika, or Oliver. This will be very
interesting to watch!’ JP Parmentier, Official Photographer of last three Mosconi Cups.
‘On paper this year’s Mosconi Cup looks as though it could go either way. However, I think that when it comes down to the nitty gritty that the leadership skills of the best captain will prevail. So this in conjunction with the huge home town advantage will tip the scales for the European side. But with Dennis and Johnny there to motivate the troops it will still be a close match, but my gut feeling is that once again the European Team will just fight harder for the coveted prize, and join forces to show the meaning of the words ‘Team Spirit� Read more ...