Michael Smith is yet to win a match in this season’s Cazoo Premier League of Darts.
Fans are deprived of action this week, as the tour takes a week off, MerseySportLive explore where it has gone wrong for ‘Bully Boy’.
Where has it all gone wrong for the St Helens native?
Leading 5-4 with a two leg advantage in the 10th set, ‘Bully Boy’ was within touching distance of a maiden PDC World Championship win in January.
However, Peter Wright produced a stunning comeback to take the next three sets and secure his second title.
Snakebite would once again prove too much for Smith in the first week of the revamped Premier League.
Reigning champion Jonny Clayton won week two in Liverpool after defeating the St Helens native in his backyard.
World number one Gerwyn Price won the third week of the competition after dumping ‘Bully Boy’ out and hitting two nine-darters against Michael Van Gerwen in the semi-final and then James Wade in the final.
Smith sits bottom of the table on zero points after three nights.
What do the stats say?
The statistics suggest that he has to seriously improve to have any chance of being in contention for the Play-Offs night in Berlin on June 13.
Smith has lost the most legs so far, winning just 9, compared to Clayton’s (34) or Price’s (32).
His average has also declined significantly from his stunning World Championship performance, when he averaged 100.65 with a high of 106.32.
In recent weeks, ‘Bully Boy’ has averaged just 96.02, behind the likes of Price (100.63), Van Gerwen (100.35), Wright (100.31) and Clayton (96.98).
Smith broke the record for 180s in a single World Championships (83), however he has produced just four from his 27 legs so far in the Premier League.
Despite playing significantly less legs than his rivals, he also has the lowest rate of 180s per leg (0.15).
On a positive note, Smith is hitting the highest percentage of checkouts (64%), however he has only a small sample size (9/14) compared to his fellow players.
Can he still make the Play-Offs?
There are still 13 nights for Smith to sort out his form and secure a place in the Play-Offs.
He told MerseySportLive that he is not worried about his form after the week two loss to Clayton.
“As soon as I get that first win I’ll relax and everything will be fine from then,” He said.
One positive he can take is the fact that he has lost to the eventual winner on all three nights so far.
Also, his average has improved each night, increasing from 88.57 (v Wright) to 103.55 (v Price).
If he can get back to his World Championship form, hitting the kind of averages and the amount of 180s that took him to the brink of a maiden PDC title, there is every chance he qualifies for the Play-Offs round.
He faces Joe Cullen on March 3 in Exeter next.
Featured image courtesy of creative commons.