Young Guns Forcing Generational Change? Or The Old Guard Failing To Keep Up?

Darts World lets our readers have their voice heard and, it’s fair to say, our reader *Elias Wilhelm has gone from gentle homage to the Winter Gardens, to a full blast at some of our senior Pro’s:

In recent years, many young players, such as Aspinall, Dobey or De Zwaan, have attracted a lot of attention. Slowly, but surely they supplant themselves into the world’s elite. Slightly older players just can’t seem to keep up.

The Asp, Nathan Aspinall, has been amongst a group of younger players nipping at the heels of those who have been at the top for many years.(pic: Taylor Lanning)

How can it be that these are being harassed by young players from their place at the top of the world? Terry Jenkins, Ronnie Baxter, Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Andy Hamilton, Robert Thorton. These were all players who have played in the Premier League in the last ten years. Now some have almost completely disappeared, while some have to fight to keep their spot on the tour.

Raymond van Barneveld ended his career simply because he no longer had the ability to win. He was in pain. It was too hard for him to endure, to go to tournaments, and hardly ever to win.

In addition, many trips were a problem for him. His departure was then at the end of last year full of disgrace. That’s exactly how many older players feel. The whole trips back and forth is much too exhausting. The tournament calendar is getting more and more crowded.

RVB’s career petered out over the last few years (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG).

The tournaments are indispensable for them because otherwise, they would drop in the rankings. That’s why they have no choice if they want to stay successful, they have to play and play and play. On top of that, strong young players join in. Especially the players, like Nathan Aspinall, who are almost unstoppable. Full of energy, they’re pushing up the rankings. Also players, like Humphries or Van Den Bergh, who beat big players every now and then and score good results.

All this makes it difficult for the older players, which is why it is no wonder that they are slowly being ousted from the world elite. Experience no longer plays such a big role and young players have a lot of self-confidence and no respect for,(or perhaps, fear of) the older players.

Everbronze? The Adonis does not conform to the conventions in any way!

Many are happy when players like Steve Beaton or Mervyn King can still keep up. But it is obvious that time is running out for the veterans.

Elias Wilhelm (@ewh27) is a Darts World reader and budding darts writer who appears to be getting the hang of our ‘Talking Points’!

*Reader’s writes is Darts World’s area for our reader’s voices to be heard. Their views are their own and do not represent the opinions of the magazine or its staff.

The Fall of Benito Van De Pas. When Will It End?

Benito van de Pas was ranked 13th in the world. He was about to be nominated for the Premier League. He was on the verge of joining the world elite. But then it went downhill all of a sudden. Now he is 52nd in the rankings and must fear the loss of the Tour Card.

‘Big Ben’ no longer chiming? Benito has suffered a dramatic decline. (Pic; Taylor Lanning)

Van de Pas’ talent cannot be denied, he had demonstrated this early in his career, reaching the last
16 of the World Masters whilst still a teenager. He was then able to win a tour card, via the PDC Q
School, at his first attempt in 2014.

Benito made an almost instant impact and things started to improve very quickly for him. He claimed multiple Pro Tour titles and reached the Quarter-finals of three different majors. He also matched Van Gerwen toe-to-toe on more than one occasion. He was considered one of the hottest new talents.

Some say that the turning point came after the unfortunate defeat to Peter Wright in a European
Tour final. It is certain that the quarter-final in the World Grand Prix, a few months later, was his last
big success. From then on he did not play so often and consistently at a high level.

Despite these problems ‘Big Ben’ was able to achieve good results in the last two World
Championships, although the statistical values were not very good. In the other tournaments, during
the last two years, he has not produced many noteworthy performances or results.

Nevertheless, it is not yet completely hopeless for the 26-year-old Dutchman. This year he already
qualified for a European Tour event and achieved some good results at the ProTour.

If we are to see ‘Big Ben’ back on top, he has to prove that he can consistently perform and to the level he has shown previously. When this happens, it is conceivable that instead of falling, he will rise again.

  • Credit – Elias Wilhem (@ewlhlm83)
  • Feature Pix- Taylor Lanning

Elias is a darts enthusiast who has written and contributed to a variety of darts publications. Follow him on twitter to see what he is up to next.

DW Ed. (3rd June 2020 Article amended for structure and quality at author’s request.)