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What will the T in Taylor stand for this week? Terrific or Terrible!

Premier League Darts - Week 3 Belfast

Posted: 19.02.14 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

What will the T in Taylor stand for this week? Terrific or Terrible!

 
 

 

What will the T in Taylor stand for this week? Terrific or Terrible! It has been a torrid start to the Premier League campaign for Phil. On the plus side he has faced arguably two of his potentially most formidable opponents in Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis. However, Taylor has earned his fortune and reputation by brushing aside any attacks on his supremacy but he has, so far, had no answer in the opening two games of this year’s Premier League.

So where has it all gone wrong? Let’s investigate!

Week 1 v Mighty Mike

Taylor had already hit the darts headlines prior to the Premier League kicking off by making the switch from Unicorn to Target and thus being forced into a change of darts, stems and flights.

One theme arising on a scoring front from both Taylor’s games so far is that he has got off to a slow start. Against MVG and with the throw his first leg started with 84, 60 and 30. After 15 darts Taylor was marooned on 140 and MVG popped in double 18 to break in 13 darts!

Taylor hit 95, 140, 98 and 57 in the 2nd leg and a 121 checkout from VanG left Taylor on 111. The 3rd leg followed the same pattern, 96, 81, 85 and 57. This mediocre power scoring opened the door for Mike and a 180 and a 140 helped him break again in 13 darts. Taylor’s scoring did get back to somewhere near to what we know he is capable of in Leg 4. Three 140s on the bounce and a shot at 69 was the closest Taylor came to getting a leg on the board. But with the darts MVG took out 64 in 14 darts, 4 zip!

From leg 6 onwards Taylor’s scoring did make a recovery and this was the best scoring phase of the game for The Power but he couldn’t hit a double. He had shots at 122 and 48 but still couldn’t register a leg. A whitewash!

You do also have to factor in the 78% checkout stat for MVG which is extraordinary! But the scoring speaks for itself and this was a below par performance from Taylor. So do we blame the darts? Taylor has also lost a lot of weight too, this will have an effect on the bio-mechanics of his throw and combining a new set up with this seems to be the obvious culprit to explain away this performance.

The Pro-Tour

The Taylor saga took an interesting twist at the Pro Tour event that took place straight after the opening Premier League fixture. On the Friday Taylor appeared to start as he had finished against MVG and went out in his first game against the talented Keegan Brown. Then there was a renaissance! Taylor got through to the semi final in the Saturday event and hit two 9 darters over the course of the day and beat Lewis in the final of the Sunday event! How about that for a transformation? Truly incredible, the real Phil Taylor had come out of his exile.

The Pro Tour events are behind closed doors so we have no way of knowing exactly what Taylor did to change his fortunes. Using our original theory, short of packing a few sandbags around himself he was the same weight as he was on Thursday in the Premier League so that didn’t alter. What about his equipment then? Did Phil go back to all or part of his “old favourites” with regard to his darts set up? We don’t know for sure, maybe you could visit your favourite darts forum and see if they have anything to say on that.

Premier League Week 2

Moving swiftly on we were in sunny Bournemouth next for week 2 of the Premier League. Taylor, the renaissance man vanished again and submitted another poor performance losing to Jackpot 7:3. The opening 9 darts of the first 3 legs went like this for The Power: Leg 1: 45,140,96 Leg 2: 98,60,45 Leg 3: 95,45,99.

Taylor did get his scoring back on track and had shots at 130 and  83 but found himself 5:0 down. There was a recovery from Taylor possibly helped by Jackpot’s usual mid game snooze that at least got him 3 legs on the board. He took out 40, 140 and 44 to avoid another whitewash.

So what will week 3 bring? Taylor plays Peter Wright. The Power is odds on favourite for this (4/6). Victor will even give you 4/5 on Snakebite wining with a 2.5 leg advantage. Perhaps they know something we don’t; maybe the real Phil Taylor will be playing in Belfast on Thursday! 

The fixtures are:
Robert Thornton (7/4) v Gary Anderson (11/10)
Dave Chisnall (9/2) v Michael van Gerwen (4/9)
Peter Wright 11/4) v Phil Taylor (4/6)
Wes Newton (9/2) v Adrian Lewis (1/2)
Raymond van Barneveld (4/5) v Simon Whitlock (12/5)

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )