Few surprises in the coverage, but maybe another on the oche

I mentioned in my first Tungsten Talk post that Sky rely upon a tried-and-trusted formula for their darts coverage, and it’s fair to say there have been very few surprises so far.

The familiarity is all too apparent in the trailers they use to promote a particular player. I haven’t seen the ‘shouting from the rooftops’ one featuring Phil Taylor yet this year, but it may well be rolled out at some point.

Their favourite one at the moment promotes Gary Anderson and is based on the Duck Sauce track ‘Barbra Streisand’, with random fans saying the Scottish player’s name into the camera.

Why they chose to do that is anyone’s guess. One reason why it doesn’t even work properly is that Gary Anderson has an extra syllable in his name. If it was, say, “Ron-nie Bax-ter” in between the wooh-ooh-ooh-ooh’s of the hookline – sampled from Boney M – then I’d get it. That would scan like Bar-bra Strei-sand. But Ga-ry And-er-son? Err, no.

But I’m sure the ‘Flying Scotsman’ isn’t worried, being a phlegmatic character. The problem is that Anderson is occasionally a bit too phlegmatic on the oche and his performances, especially in the first round of tournaments, can resemble Barbra Streisand playing in a blindfold.

That was the case when the PDC World Championship second favourite came up against Jyhan Artut at Alexandra Palace and was taken to a sudden-death leg by the Niall Quinn lookalike from Germany.

Anderson just never got going in the early stages and found himself 2-0 down, with his all-too-familiar problems on the doubles resurfacing again.

However, like his conqueror in last year’s final, Adrian Lewis, on the opening night, he turned things around just in time and scraped through to the last 32.

If Anderson is to become world champion, he will have to shake off the lethargy that leaves him relying on natural ability to progress in the big events rather than the dozens of practice hours Phil Taylor puts in.

The Somerset-based Scot admitted he had not been doing the work behind the scenes and that his narrow escape against Artut had been a wake-up call.

Luckily for Anderson, he has a gap until his second-round match in which he can put things right – as long as the lure of presents, food and drink over Christmas does not prove too strong.

In truth, none of the leading contenders have impressed all that much so far with Taylor, Anderson, Wade and Lewis failing to hit the heights in their opening victories and Van Barneveld and Webster already out.

Dave Chisnall is a 5/1 chance to knock out ‘The Power’ in round two and may have his supporters at that price considering the way he disposed of Mark Dudbridge in his opener.

The yellow-shirted former BDO World Championship runner-up soared to an average of 98.5, and if he can reproduce that against Taylor he may have a glimmer if his opponent does not step up from the level he attained in the first round.

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