By Phil Lanning
PHIL TAYLOR has agreed with Peter Wright that Michael van Gerwen could go without picking up a trophy on TV this year.
The 16-times World Champion believes that Snakebite has started the mind games in the countdown before the Unibet Premier League starts on Easter Monday.
Wright re-ignited his verbals with the Dutchman by predicting earlier this month that MVG “won’t win a TV tournament this year”.
Taylor, 60, said: “He’s planted a seed in Michael’s head has he? I think he’s got a massive point and he’s right in what he’s saying.
“The fella hasn’t won anything this year for some reason, I don’t know what it is. But maybe he’s just enjoyed the break. I’m sure he can win a tournament.
“But when it starts next week it’s going to be difficult for them, because it’s every day. It’s the fitness and the stamina that’s going to take its toll on people.
“My predictions for next week are the two Welsh lads. Jonny Clayton has just finished work and he’s a plasterer which is a hard job. He’s got the stamina.
“I think Gerwyn Price always has had the stamina. He’s a good strong fit lad. Peter Wright might do well but I’d give a tip for the two Welsh lads. They’ve got that bit between their teeth where they want to win tournaments.”
The Premier League kicks off on Monday with no fans in Milton Keynes for five nights in succession in a hotel bubble. Gary Anderson last year stated that players were going “stir crazy” during a similar stint.
Taylor added: “It would drive me crazy. I was watching the results from the Super Series in the same venue and the players who went out first round, like 2pm, you’d have to sit in your room until the next day. I would be suicidal.
“The only thing you can do is walk round the car park. Being stuck in there for so many days would drive me crackers.
“It’s every day, you’ve got to prepare and you’ve got to do it properly every day like it’s the World Championship final.
“It shouldn’t affect Gary, he doesn’t come out of his room anyway, only for something to eat. It won’t bother Gary too much. Whether he does well in the Premier League. I doubt it because I think he’s more into fishing at the minute, his life’s changed a little bit.
“He’s still have that little bit between his teeth when he’s ready but next week’s going to be hard for Gary.”
It will be announced today that Taylor has signed a 10-year contract extension with top darts firm Target – which will take him into his 70s.
Asked whether he’ll be playing darts using a zimmer frame, he laughed: “No I won’t, hopefully I won’t need one.
“I still want to play competitively, not on the circuit, but I’ll play exhibitions. I still want to win and I miss that competition.
“I’m not a big watcher of darts because I love playing. Now I just look at it and think I’d love to have a go at Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton, because I like them. They’ve got good spirit about them, the same as Michael (van Gerwen).”
*Interview in association with BetBull.
Checkout Phil Taylor’s tips for the Premier League at betbull.com.
Images by Taylor Lanning.