Big fan of Phil Taylor that I am, careful analysis last week at Plymouth makes me doubt that he is primed for the Premier League title.
I think he has lost weight a bit too fast on his fitness regime and the stacking of darts around the 60 is still loose. In 2005 he was trying to kill off opponents 12-0, and did 11-1 twice. In 2006 he was trying to do 8-0 whitewashes and did 8-1 twice. His averages got to near 108. Last week he had a measly 94.5 in his draw with Roland Scholten. As important, Scholten did not seem scared of The Power.
On the other hand, Ray van Barneveld was in cool gliding form even after a red hot start from Adrian Lewis. Barney coasted to an 8-5 win with a 98 average. Barney is carrying the true aura of a champion.
Also most impressive was Peter Manley who had Lloyd at 3-0 and 6-3 before winning 8-6. He also played the boos of the crowd with a pantomime broker’s man aplomb.
SID’S CRYSTAL BALL
Here’s what I reckon will happen at Wolverhampton this week:
Lloyd is still having trouble with shot selection when under pressure, so I think Barney will beat him 8-4.
Scholten is flush with confidence and I think will beat the solid Jenkins 8-5.
Dennis Priestley had a mere 92.5 average last week and I can’t see him putting that up, so I think Phil will beat him 8-5.
Match of the night will be Manley against Lewis, and though there will be jokey verbals they will not be as spicy as in the famous world quarter final in 2006. Result? 7-7 draw. Sidney Chicken? You bet.
PRAISE FOR GEORDIE LIP
Over the years the ‘quality’ press have called me everything from loony to legend – words like drivel, mad, gibberish and even Tourette’s (wild random swearing) have been slung willy nilly at me.
So it was nice to see Des Kelly in the Daily Mail this week say how much I made him laugh. He also called me a genius and put me up there as a great with Bill McLaren, David Coleman and Murray Walker. ‘So treasure the magnificent Waddell while he is with us,’ says Des. A bottle of Chateauneuf de Pudsey Baths is winging its way to him.
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