Written by Gazz
Paul “The Asset” Nicholson from day 1 has made his mark on and off the board, he made his PDC tv debut at the 2008 Grand Slam of Darts where he caused a major surprise by beating Gary Anderson 5-4 in his opening group game.
This was despite constant booing from the crowd, who began chanting “Who Are You?” during his walk-on and after his first three darts which was a maximum 180, he put his finger to his mouth at the crowd which caused them to boo him almost every time he threw his darts.
Despite beating Anderson, losses to Darryl Fitton and Kevin Painter eliminated him at the group stage but he had made his bed with some of his actions.
The Asset made it into the 2009 PDC World Championship where he knocked out Adrian Gray, Adrian Lewis and Dennis Priestley only to lose to James Wade in the last 8 but he walked with his head held high in regards to his performance on the board but underneath he was trying to be a panto villain with comments like “If they want a bad boy I will give them a bad boy” and I feel like this takes away from his talent as putting yourself under that much pressure you must have the game to back it up and when it comes to being cocky you have to win a lot to rub it in the booing fans faces just like a footballer getting booed at a game until he scores a goal to silence the crowd!
In 2009 after his performance in the World Championship, Nicholson decided to leave the DPA (Darts Players Australia) and play in the PDC Pro Tour. This was a bold move for the Aussie Geordie and in 2010 it would pay off when he won the Player Championship Finals beating Mervyn King in the final which put him in with the big boys of the PDC rankings top 16 in the world.
But since then he has had spats with Phil Taylor on the board and Eric Bristow on Twitter and its been clear to see that his game has suffered.
Nicholson is a fan of WWE Wrestling and sometimes he tries to incorporate that into his game, he feels he needs to be something hes not in order to stand out but he his good enough to let the darts do the talking, its just a shame we don’t see it more as he has taken out the big names in the past so the talent is there.
Like I mentioned before when you take on the ‘bad boy figure’ you have to win regularly, for some sportsman they use it to their advantage as it makes them perform better but darts is much different to other sports as you must be focused at all times and the crowd are a lot closer to you than in other sports!
If Nicholson wants to get to the top he has to be himself and stop trying to be something that hes not.
Its hard in darts as it is as guys have to stand out amongst a very talented field possibly the finest we have ever had in the game as it continues to grow in popularity but if you’re trying to play darts with five thousand fans booing you it has to hinder you eventually as soon as you miss that one dart it then becomes two missed darts and so on.
Nicholson brings a lot of this on himself and he doesn’t need to as he is a nice guy at heart and is thought of very well in the darts world, we as fans need to see more of the nice guy less of the panto villain as its not doing him any favours.
Currently ranked 19 in the world Nicholson has the platform to move up the rankings and go further in the big TV tournaments than he already has as impressively Nicholson has quarterfinal finishes at the World Championship, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts, European Championship and UK Open along with a runners up place at the Championship League Darts in 2011 and of course the win at the Players Championship I mentioned earlier in 2010.
So Paul lets be more of ‘The Asset’ the quality darts player who can compete with the best of them and leave the pantomime villain stuff to the actors!
Till next time its Gazz saying Game On