By Phil Lanning
MICHAEL van Gerwen has vowed that he can “boss” the oche for another decade because the sport has lost some of the big characters.
The flying Dutchman is top of the Premier League table and resumes his bid for a sixth title tomorrow night against second-placed Nathan Aspinall.
But MVG, 32, believes he can keep winning for a long time as some of the big names have made way for quieter players.
He said: “Can I dominate for another 10 years? Of course I can. Even though I didn’t have my best year last year. But did anyone else really stand up and say I’m the boss now? No one did. Of course Gerwyn won the World Championship, Dimitri Van den Bergh won the Matchplay but no one really stood up. I’m going to stand up now and say I’m the boss again.
“I miss Gary because he’s not 100 per cent what he can be and the same Peter Wright.
“It’s tough sometimes, Adrian Lewis is dropping down the rankings. It’s moving a lot, it’s weird.
“It’s difficult for me to understand because sometimes I think, why’s Michael Smith not here for instance? Raymond’s not here, Phil Taylor the same.
“The game of darts is moving on and we all have to accept that. Sometimes it’s difficult because there’s new names coming through.
“But look at Jose de Sousa and how many 180s he’s hit, very good player. But is he a character? No he’s not.
“There’s some players who give no energy and in my opinion are quite boring. If I’m wrong, people can tell me I’m wrong. It’s not like the old days.”
The Dutchman also admitted that the league has missed Gerwyn Price, ruled out on the eve of the tournament after testing positive for Covid-19. He especially misses the Welshman because of the mind games.
He added: “Gerwyn Price is a phenomenal example of that. He’s quite strong mentally as well. But it’s started to change a bit. You have to accept it and you can’t do that overnight. It takes a little bit more time.
“Would the Premier League have been better if Gerwyn had been here. I would say yes. But Covid is here and you have to deal with the situation.
“I don’t think Peter is playing too badly overall. Everyone has their own preparations and their own reasons, what can you do against it? I only have to make sure I do the right things for myself. If they only want to practice for five minutes or two hours, that’s up to them. I only need to focus on my own game.
“Of course I want to win this title back and with the performances over the past two months I think I can. There’s still some dips here and there but overall my game has been good. I think there’s still more in the tank.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.