By Phil Lanning
MICHAEL van Gerwen believes that he’s in “the head” of rival Peter Wright on the eve of the Unibet Premier League.
The old foes have started verbals yet again after Livingston-born Wright claimed that MVG “won’t win a TV tournament” in 2021.
The Dutchman responded with defiance as he bids to reclaim his grip of the league he lost for the first time last year since 2015.
Van Gerwen begins his bid for a sixth PL title on Monday night and said: “You’ve got two players Peter Wright and Phil Taylor and they always talk about me.
“One wants me to play well and keeps talking about me because when I’m in my form he always finishes runner-up like he used to be.
“The other one couldn’t handle when I took over his place in the world rankings. Always in every interview he always talks about me as well.
“I’m still in their heads. I don’t know how. I’ve stopped playing darts and I’m still in their heads. When I stop I’ll never give another interview again, I promise you. I think it’s weird, I take it as a big positive, a compliment.
“That’s how darts is. People talk, people say things, you have to respond. Not only the British press, the Germans, the Dutch. I got it all the time.”
Wright also said that MVG shouldn’t have missed the Super Series in Milton Keynes. The Dutchman, who takes on Dimitri Van den Bergh on Monday night, added:
“Peter needs to understand darts is not my No.1. I’ve got friends, I’ve got family and I care about them.
“When it’s the World Championships, darts is my No.1. But I have my private life and I love that a lot. If I want some time off, I take some time off. I can afford it.
“Peter is a phenomenal player, he always says things, there’s no need for that. We all know I’m a danger to them, they know that as well.
“They don’t like to say the truth probably. I don’t really care what other people say.
“You have to say my biggest rival is Gerwyn Price. Can I call it a rivalry?
“Is there a Taylor v Van Gerwen clash anymore, no, that’s not there yet. It can go to that, it has the potential.
“Peter (Wright) is always a good player, Gary Anderson still so many qualities. I’m still fresh and still young so I’ve still got years to go.”
Van Gerwen was the shock story of the Premier League by not qualifying for the finals night for the first time since he entered the tournament in 2013.
But he’s clearly revved up to take the title back off Glen Durrant when it starts back in Milton Keynes on Monday night.
He added: “I’m always hungry, I always want to perform to the highest level I can. If I don’t I can only blame myself.
“Everyone knows and even the players if I’m on my form, they won’t beat me. I keep saying that and I’ll always say that.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.