Premier League Darts Dublin: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Phil Taylor?

It's halfway point in the Whyte and Mackay Premier League and things don't look good for Adrian Lewis. And then there is that man Taylor, even he can't solve the problem oh himself judging by the kip on him...
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It's halfway point in the Whyte and Mackay Premier League and things don't look good for Adrian Lewis. And then there is that man Taylor, even he can't solve the problem oh himself judging by the kip on him...

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Premier League Darts Dublin: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Phil Taylor?

Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor v James Wade

There is a sequence in Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean’s classic starring Peter O’Toole, when the patience of the audience is tried to bursting point. A shot of the horizon, swirling sands and unforgiving landscape. Minutes pass. A speck in the distance, perhaps a trick of the eye, a mirage. Interminable minutes pass. It’s a man. Oh look it’s Omar Sharif.

In Premier League Darts things have finally come into focus.

Our eyes have adjusted, we can finally discern what our senses were formerly unable to recognise.

At the half way point of the league things are getting clearer; and it doesn’t look good for Adrian Lewis.

But first:

Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock sits second in the Premier League Darts table behind the obscenely talented Phil Taylor. It’s like placing third in the SPL or La Liga. You can’t compete with Rangers or Celtic (in normal years) or Real Madrid or Barcelona. Second place is a moral victory. Whitlock is top of the ‘If Taylor didn’t exist table’ and there are hundreds of darts players thinking if only that were the case.

Whitlock overcame his nerves to defeat Gary Anderson on home turf last week; to put himself in a commanding position to reach the playoffs.

His opponent, not so much. Andy Hamilton started pretty well in the league but a recent poor run sees him propping up the table with Adrian Lewis; who might be crap now. (Disclaimer: Adrian Lewis is better at chucking darts than monkeys are at chucking feces).

But we all know about Hamilton’s grit, and this could be just the occasion for a Godfather 3 match, that is, “Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.” He might win.

Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter

Lewis is crap now. OK we know he’s not crap, he’s World Champ, but if you banged your head a lot - Or like Guy Pearce in Memento had no short term memory, you’ve got to tattoo your arm ‘Adrian lewis is good at darts’  otherwise you'd forget - you’d be forgiven for asking what the deal was with this guy; he’s supposed to be good?

And Painter is very much part of the playoff pack. Anderson, Painter, Barneveld, Wade, all sit on six points and in fine position to make a run for finals night in London May 17.

It’s actually fun Lewis sits bottom of the table. He’s capable of going on a run. He’s capable of going on a tear. He’s capable of anything.

Lewis will either sit bottom, dejected, depressed, disinterested, or he’ll man up and sweep all aside who dare to challenge. Either way, observing Adrian Lewis, how he reacts in the face of real adversity, will be half the fun of the league from here on out.

Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson

Anderson lost last week and called himself a ‘Muppet’ for doing so. He’ll be asking himself; am I a man, or am I a muppet? (If I’m a man that makes me a muppet of a man)

Barney just seemed depressed after he beat Painter last week and he’ll need to up his game; Anderson won’t feel nearly the same pressure he felt last week playing in front of the Glaswegian throng.

Phil Taylor v James Wade

How do you solve a problem like Phil Taylor?

James Wade is playing some great stuff, and although Lewis has been struggling, his 99 average last week is nothing to sniff at. Wade’s superior matchplay nous carried the day in Glasgow.

But Phil is a different kettle of fish. And as for, how do you solve a problem like Phil Taylor? You pray. You get on your knees and pray to your deity of choice. Offer some prayers. Hope. He just might have a bad day. You never know. You just don’t know.

Pray.

If you liked this have a look at these other darts stories

Premier League Darts Brighton: Who’s The Baddest MoFo On The Oche?

Phil Taylor’s Average of 117.35 Sticks Two Fingers Up At The Doubters

Premier League Darts Exeter: Into The Twilight Zone We Go

You can follow Lenny on Twitter @Lenny_Boyle, and read more of his words about Darts at Tectonic Tungsten

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