As the world number one and the world champion, Michael van Gerwen is more open than most to scrutiny.

Any failure to win by a man used to vacuuming up titles is forensically analysed, as critics question the Dutchman’s ‘bottle’ and look to anoint a new number one. But nobody is as critical as van Gerwen himself. The three-time world champion took to his official YouTube channel for an interview in which he assessed his own year to date, starting with an indictment of his own form at the World Cup of Darts.

“I was a huge part of it, because I didn’t play well at all,” said van Gerwen on a Netherlands run that ended with semi-final defeat to the Republic of Ireland.

“There’s not a single game that I could point out and say ‘I played really well there’.

“I couldn’t focus myself enough. I don’t know what the reason is – probably, I need a holiday!”

Stefan Strassenburg/PDC Europe

Photo: Stefan Strassenburg/PDC Europe

Satisfactory showing

However, van Gerwen refused to write off his 2019 achievements. With a raft of majors still yet to come, Mighty Mike has already landed the Premier League Darts and Masters titles, as well as four European Tours and two Pro Tours. That’s without mentioning the World Championship, which he won right at the start of the calendar year.

“To be fair, the first half of the year went quite well for me,” the Vlijmen ace surmised.

“I won a lot of nice tournaments, the two biggest ones – the Worlds and the Premier League.

“If you win the biggest ones of the year, you can’t complain.”

More to come

There are plenty of trophies still left to be won. Next on the agenda is the World Matchplay, where van Gerwen starts a bid to win a first title since 2016 against Steve Beaton in Blackpool.

“The Matchplay and the World Championship are the two tournaments this year I really want to win.

“I feel very comfortable with the tournaments – the long formats suit me.”

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Author: Ed McCosh