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Michael van Gerwen on Gerwyn Price wearing ear defenders: ‘In his position, with how big he is in darts, I wouldn’t have done that’ | Darts News


Gerwyn Price wore ear defenders to block out vocal Ally Pally crowd during 5-1 drubbing by Gabriel Clemens in World Darts Championship; Michael van Gerwen says Price is “going through a rough period'” while Wayne Mardle says Iceman’s actions showed a rare sign of “frailty”

Last Updated: 01/01/23 11:58pm


Gerwyn Price returned for the fifth set of his 5-1 quarter-final defeat to Gabriel Clemens wearing ear defenders to block out the raucous Ally Pally crowd

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Gerwyn Price returned for the fifth set of his 5-1 quarter-final defeat to Gabriel Clemens wearing ear defenders to block out the raucous Ally Pally crowd

Gerwyn Price returned for the fifth set of his 5-1 quarter-final defeat to Gabriel Clemens wearing ear defenders to block out the raucous Ally Pally crowd

Michael van Gerwen says Gerwyn Price “should not have put himself in that position” after the world No 1 donned ear defenders during his crushing defeat to Gabriel Clemens in the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Price wore bulky ear defenders for the fifth set of his 5-1 drubbing on Sunday night to drown out the boos from the crowd, and later wrote on Instagram that he was unsure whether he would play in the World Championship again.

Van Gerwen – who swept aside Chris Dobey 5-0 later in the night to remain on course for a fourth world title – says he would not have done what Price did but had sympathy for a player who is “going through a rough period”.

Will Price play at the World Championship again?

Will Price play at the World Championship again?

Title favourite Van Gerwen said of 2021 champion Price: “In his position, with how big he is in darts, I wouldn’t have done that but he’s going through a rough period.

“[Wearing ear defenders] has never been done in darts before and also he doesn’t need it, but he’s in a tough period so he’s thinking about things.

Wayne Mardle says Price's decision to wear ear defenders was a sign that the Iceman was feeling the pressure.

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Wayne Mardle says Price’s decision to wear ear defenders was a sign that the Iceman was feeling the pressure.

Wayne Mardle says Price’s decision to wear ear defenders was a sign that the Iceman was feeling the pressure.

“He shouldn’t put himself in that position but that’s darts unfortunately.”

Sky Sports Darts pundit Wayne Mardle said Price’s actions showed a rare sign of “frailty” and hopes the Iceman’s suggestion that he may never return to Ally Pally is just a “knee-jerk reaction” to a heavy defeat.

Price reeled off consecutive ton-plus finishes en route to waltzing though the opening set but then lost five in a row as Clemens, the first German into the World Championship semi-finals, averaged 99.94 to the Welshman’s 94.58.

Mardle: Price obviously felt the pressure

Mardle said: “Apparently Gerwyn has had the ear defenders with him prior to this game. It was something he was thinking about doing.

Price took out to ton-plus checkouts in the first set against Gabriel Clemens - before being thrashed by the German

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Price took out to ton-plus checkouts in the first set against Gabriel Clemens – before being thrashed by the German

Price took out to ton-plus checkouts in the first set against Gabriel Clemens – before being thrashed by the German

“The fact he has had them for a week or so shows you there is a bit of frailty there but nothing about him is frail – he hits everything head-on and takes everything in his stride.

“Normally he deals with things brilliantly but he obviously felt the pressure and is not 100 per cent comfortable right now.

“Mentally he couldn’t have been that strong where normally that is his game. He is one of the most mentally-strong darts players I have known.

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“I think he has been ground down over the last few months and maybe because he is not at his brilliant best, maybe he is a bit fragile. Gerwyn regressed after the first set and couldn’t find anything, which was just odd.

“I hope [saying he might not play at Ally Pally again] is just a knee-jerk reaction

“When you put the over-elaborate ear defenders on they are not for you, they are for the crowd. It’s, ‘this is me saying to you, shut up, be quiet, keep out of it’.

“People in the media were telling me he practised with the ear defenders on so I don’t know if they put him off – but I found it pretty peculiar he would be that elaborate in showing the crowd he couldn’t care less what they think.”

‘Van Gerwen looks a million dollars’

In stark contrast to Price, Van Gerwen breezed through his quarter-final dropping just three legs as he annihilated last-eight debutant Dobey.

Mardle says Michael van Gerwen is brimming with confidence after demolishing Chris Dobey 5-0 at Ally Pally

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Mardle says Michael van Gerwen is brimming with confidence after demolishing Chris Dobey 5-0 at Ally Pally

Mardle says Michael van Gerwen is brimming with confidence after demolishing Chris Dobey 5-0 at Ally Pally

Mardle added: “MVG was brilliant, he looks a million dollars.

“He is flowing and playing with a freedom you don’t ever see many players play with. He is not peak Van Gerwen yet but he is better than we have seen in the last two or three years.

“It will take something strange for him not to win this tournament. He looks so comfortable.”

Watch the PDC World Darts Championship semi-finals – Gabriel Clemens vs Michael Smith followed by Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh – live on Sky Sports Darts from 7.30pm on Monday.



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