Michael van Gerwen has expressed his frustrations with the relatively new format of the Premier League Darts. The Dutchman lost his first match against Jonny Clayton in Berlin on Thursday evening and was therefore able to pack his things immediately.
“It didn’t make any sense. I wasn’t sharp and not good enough. I can blame myself for that, but also the format. It’s sometimes not a big deal,” said an outspoken Van Gerwen after the defeat against Clayton (5-6 ) in conversation with Viaplay.
In the current format, first used in 2022, the same eight players compete each week in a knockout system. Elimination in the semi-finals earns two points, the losing finalist takes three points and the winner gets five points.
Previously, everyone played one game in an evening. A general classification was drawn up on that basis. The two worst players were eliminated after two phases and the best four eventually qualified for the play-offs. The winner was determined in it.
‘I’m just a little less concentrated’
Now the prestigious competition looks less exciting. Of the nine rounds to date, Van Gerwen has reached the finals five times and booked three stage victories. As a result, De Brabander is proudly at the top of the standings and he can afford an early elimination, like on Thursday in Berlin.
“As a result, you are just a little less concentrated,” says Van Gerwen about the lack of tension. “Everyone knows that I am a winner and that I always want to fight for it, but things like that play a role. It didn’t work out now and I’m disappointed.”
The ninth round was won by Clayton, who beat world champion Michael Smith in the final. Van Gerwen is not worried about it. “I really don’t care that I lost. What I do regret is that I have been preparing for mischief here for 3.5 hours.”