Wayne Mardle salutes standard of arrows at the Grand Slam of Darts
And Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson will take some stopping at the Ally Pally
By Wayne Mardle
Last Updated: 16/11/15 12:16am
Wayne Mardle has hailed the standard of arrows at the Grand Slam of Darts as "the best ever" and admits Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson will take some stopping at next month's PDC World Darts Championship.
Van Gerwen, who has reached every major final since the world championships in January, won his first title in Wolverhampton to complete the full set of majors at the PDC after defeating 'The Power' 16-13 in a thrilling final on Sunday.
And Sky Sports analyst Mardle reflected on a tournament, which sees the best of the BDO and PDC come together, as a great watch.
"The actual tournament from start to finish has been the best that there has ever been here," he told Sky Sports 1 HD. "The quality on show from the BDO and the PDC has been magnificent to the very end.
"No one will leave here disappointed. We've seen the greatest ever against the greatest now and they've gone at it toe-to-toe, but what it has proved, even though Michael van Gerwen has been the best player from start to finish, it shows how hard it is to win any championship. He has played so well and has only just crept over the line.
"Phil Taylor said he missed too many doubles and if you miss too many doubles against Michael van Gerwen you are going to get beat."
Mardle believes 16-time world champion Taylor should not be written off as the players start their preparations for next month's showpiece at the Alexandra Palace in north London.
"He's got the ability, the belief and the power in him to allow him to perform under an extreme amount of pressure," said Mardle. "Not a lot of people in the world can do that - forget about sportsmen.
"Michael's special and so are all the guys that get up there, but there's something about Phil Taylor that just allows him to fight on and grind on. He doesn't need to be playing at his best to win."
Meanwhile, Mardle feels Dutch maestro van Gerwen is now starting to play the game more for pleasure than for the big pay cheques, saying: "I was watching Michael and I just don't think he's interested in the money anymore.
"The minute that double went in he just wanted to collect it [the trophy]. He was holding it like a baby. He wanted this because it was the missing one from the set.
"He's 26 years of age and he's won everything that the game has had to offer. What does he want to go and do now? He wants to win them all again, then all again. He wants to be the next Phil Taylor. Can he do that? I doubt it with the strength in depth but he could go and dominate.
"The standard is absolutely incredible. He's so passionate about winning still. So many players take their foot off the pedal - none of it from Phil and Michael as well.
"Gary Anderson will have a tough time holding onto his World Championship title. Those three are head and shoulders above everyone and they'll take some stopping."
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