PHIL TAYLOR believes that Gary Anderson will be “reborn” when darts returns after lockdown. The 16-times World Champion has been back in the spotlight thanks to online events with Paddy Power against Raymond van Barneveld and Fallon Sherrock.
But The Power is predicting a big comeback for pal Ando who finished runner-up in the PDC Home Tour a fortnight ago. He also laughed off suggestions by Michael van Gerwen that he only made controversial statements to stay in the spotlight.
Taylor said: “Someone like Gary Anderson will benefit from this enforced break. The time at home with his family will do him a world of good – he will almost be a player reborn.
“I’d have loved being in Michael’s day as his peak. I do enjoy his company to be quite honest, he’s a funny lad.
“Am I trying to wind him up? No.
The question was who would be World No.1 if not Michael, it would be Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price is also climbing up the rankings. “But Michael will lose the fact that people are scared of him. He isn’t winning the titles like he used to.
“Do I need publicity? Not really. I think I’ve done 30 years at the top. If he can do 20 years at the top he’ll be doing well. “But he doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Do I care? No, not really. I’m quite happy where I am. “I can’t run him down, the lad has done brilliantly.
“You need someone on a pedestal and Michael was the one who took over from me. But I don’t think Michael will ever get me out of his head. “If you asked him truthfully, he misses me. Because it’s not the same. A lot of the players have told me this. The practice room where it used to be brilliant, ask James Wade, ask Gary, they say it’s dead. The characters are not there anymore.
“So deep down I think Michael would love me to come back as a rival. And then you’d see Michael up his game again because he’d have no choice.”
Taylor is convinced that the dominant MVG will find it hard now that he has a young family and a new baby son who was born in early April.
He added: “I’m really pleased for him. There’s nothing like fatherhood for changing your life. But it will get harder for him now – when you have to leave your loved ones week in, week out to play in the Premier League, and you’re only at home one or two nights a week, it’s really tough. Especially when your family is so young.“
Back in the day, I had to spend a lot of time on the road to pay the bills because there wasn’t a lot of money in the game. I got £24,000 for winning my first world title – now you get £500,000. But it’s getting harder and harder because the schedule is so full, and the travel is relentless.”
Pix: Taylor Lanning