The game of darts in the English Premier League is gradually coming to an end. In Milton Keynes, darts are entering their last straight streak this week, with another crowd behind them. Darts Co Stompé analyst looks ahead: “The audience will have an impact, but van den Berg usually handles that well.”
“Not all players will deal well with the crowd”
The last week of the Premier League is approaching. Compared to the past few weeks, there is one significant novelty: there will again be a crazy audience. 1,000 fans per day will be admitted to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
According to former darts player Ko Stombe, now a darts analyst on Dutch TV, the influence of this audience cannot be underestimated. “Most players are used to it, but not all players will handle it well.”
“Someone like Michael van Gerwin takes advantage of this and also loves to use it, whether the public is for or against it. Van den Berg has also treated the audience well over the past couple of years. For someone like de Souza, who hasn’t” has been around for a long time. And it was barely played in front of an audience, which might have had an effect.”
Similar conditions will appear again this week.
“Van Gerwin is the frontrunner, and Van den Berg has a good chance of winning four places”
On Monday, the remaining eight darts periods will start again. “It’s immediately going to be a very exciting evening, with some important posters,” says Stumpy. “I expect some decisions will be made now.”
When we ask who is the favorite for the overall victory, Stompé looks in one man’s direction. “Van Gerwin is the man to beat right now. His last three matches have been insanely good. The continuity, which we’ve been used to for years, is back again.”
“The same must also be said of Van den Berg. He lost to Van Gerwin and Anderson, but he played very well. He was unlucky that his opponents played against him at the top of their match. They fell to the wrong side.”
Van Gerwin is the man to beat. The continuity we have had for years is back again.
How does Stumpy estimate Van den Berg’s chances over the last week? “He has a good chance of getting into the top four and qualifying for the last day on Friday. But on Monday it will be a key match for Dimitri against De Sousa.”
“If he wins he gets away by himself, if he loses he gets passed over. The pressure would be great, but van den Berg usually handles that well. He almost always makes important finishes between 60 and 90 under pressure, and this is a gift that only a few benefit from. From the players. I give.”
On Belgium darts noise: ‘I was expecting it sooner’
In Belgium, there has been quite a buzz around darts in recent months. How do people in the Netherlands, after the UK the largest darts country in the world, see darts in Belgium?
“We’ve been wondering for some time why darts in Belgium didn’t attract the general public before. In the early ’90s you already had many toppers and the Belgians were actually better than the Dutch,” knows Stumpy.
“When Kim Hebrechts peaked a few years ago, I thought you left. We expected it earlier, but Van den Berg has succeeded now, which is nice to see.