Has Van Gerwen lost his aura of invincibility?

Michael van Gerwen has lost his world No 1 spot and has not won a TV title since November 2020; so where have things gone wrong for the once dominant Dutchman?; Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster spoke to host Emma Paton about ‘Mighty Mike’ and his current decline

Last Updated: 12/02/22 7:08am

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Michael van Gerwen may not be the force he once was, according to Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster
Michael van Gerwen may not be the force he once was, according to Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster

Has Michael van Gerwen lost his aura of invincibility? Sky Sports analysts Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster believe the chasing pack are not scared of taking on ‘Mighty Mike’ anymore.

The five-time Premier League champion appeared to be back to his very best on Night Two of the competition in Liverpool on Thursday.

Van Gerwen dismantled world champion Peter Wright 6-1 in the quarter-finals with a superb 103 average.

But despite upping that performance with a 105 average in a thrilling semi-final against reigning champion Jonny Clayton, he let a 4-1 advantage slip to the Welshman, losing five consecutive legs to crash out.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch the best of the action from Liverpool as Jonny Clayton beat Joe Cullen to go top of the Premier League table
Watch the best of the action from Liverpool as Jonny Clayton beat Joe Cullen to go top of the Premier League table

“He’s not as ruthless, he’s not as confident and he’s lost that aura”

Mark Webster on MVG

Van Gerwen has long been the dominant force on planet darts, holding the world No 1 position from 2014 to 2021 as well as winning the World Championship in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

But ‘The Green Machine’ has not won a TV title since claiming his sixth Players Championship Finals crown in November 2020.

Mardle told Sky Sports: “When you’re losing, like MVG, it’s horrible because you come up here, you’re on your own and you can’t just pass the ball out to the wing and be done with it and hopefully somebody else runs with it, it’s not like that. I fear for Michael van Gerwen more than the others.

“The panic at the moment seems to be from MVG and no one else.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Van Gerwen produced this stunning 129 checkout on two double 18s during his thrilling Premier League semi-final defeat to Clayton in Liverpool
Van Gerwen produced this stunning 129 checkout on two double 18s during his thrilling Premier League semi-final defeat to Clayton in Liverpool

Webster believes the ‘aura’ surrounding Van Gerwen’s dominance has suffered a decline in the last couple of years.

“It clearly has,” said the former Lakeside champion. “He hasn’t won a major title for almost 15 months now and he lost to a player who averaged around 88 at the weekend (he suffered a third-round defeat to associate member Stephen Burton at Players Championship 2 in Barnsley).

“That’s no disrespect to that player, but when you get away with playing like that, it’s Michael van Gerwen.

“The players aren’t scared of him anymore, he’s not as ruthless, he’s not as confident and he’s lost that aura. He needs to get it back because he’s no longer the world No 1.

“I think he needs a major win and then he’ll get going again or just something to clutch to, because at the minute he looks nervy, edgy, everything he does looks a bit of a struggle at times, but that could all change.”

Premier League Night 3 in Belfast. Can MVG get back to winning ways?

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Here are some of the best checkouts from Night Two of the Premier League in Liverpool
Here are some of the best checkouts from Night Two of the Premier League in Liverpool

The Dutchman will hope to put things right when the Premier League roadshow heads to Belfast for Night Three on Thursday, February 17 – live on Sky Sports Arena.

Van Gerwen takes on newcomer Joe Cullen with the winner to meet either Michael Smith or current world No 1 Gerwyn Price for a place in the final.

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. We’re back for more Premier League action from The SSE Arena, Belfast next Thursday from 7pm on Sky Sports Arena.

Source : Sky Sports