Michael van Gerwen dismisses Gerwyn Price’s A game claim: ‘He knows it’s a lie’

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Michael van Gerwen (Picture: Getty Images)

Michael van Gerwen remains in no doubt that if he plays his best darts then he will beat anyone on the planet, accusing Gerwyn Price of lying for suggesting otherwise.

Price is the reigning world champion, holds the world number one spot and has just won his third Grand Slam title, so is brimming with confidence.

The Welshman, understandably, believes he is the best in the business right now and feels he cannot be beaten if he is on form, saying at the Grand Slam last week: ‘If I play my A game then Michael doesn’t have a chance and if he plays his game, he probably thinks the same.’

Van Gerwen certainly does think the same and thinks Price is being disingenuous when he backs himself.

‘He says it because he has to say it,’ Van Gerwen told Metro.co.uk ahead of the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals. ‘If he thinks it’s true, of course for himself that’s a good thing, but he knows it’s a lie and he knows it because he’s played me so many times in good form. Everyone knows and the stats say the same.

‘If I play my best game then no one can beat me and they all know that, but no one will admit that, no one will say that. I understand that, but don’t worry, I will say it.’

Price won the Grand Slam for a third time last week (Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

When put to MVG that Price might accuse him of fibbing to boost self confidence, the Dutchman dismissed the idea, saying: ‘But factually I’m right. The numbers say I’m right.

‘To be fair he’s only been there a few years and I’ve been playing there a little bit longer, so I know what I’m talking about.

‘Of course they have to believe in their own opportunities, but it’s all a fairy tale for them.’

Who is the best player right now is a more difficult question for him to answer, though, given how impressive Price has been while Van Gerwen continues to search for his best form.

Asked if he remains the best player on the planet, MVG said: ‘Erm…yeah. Of course he does well, 100 per cent, but do I need to keep tapping myself on the shoulder?

‘I just need to play better and perform and keep putting the pressure on the other players. Let the people have their own opinions. No one cares what I thinks or he thinks.’

It has been a year since Van Gerwen’s last major title, as he returns to the Players Championship Finals this week to defend that trophy he picked up in 2020.

It has been a tricky spell for the three-time world champion since then, but his performances have been improving and he feels his form is edging closer towards the brilliance that saw him dominate the sport from 2014-20.

‘I’m still sometimes a bit too inconsistent, but overall my form is starting to get where I want it to be, it takes time, but we’re not far away,’ he said.

‘If you look to my games in the last there or four months, I’ve played a lot of really good darts with a lot of really high averages.

‘It has to do with confidence, the top of darts is different now, a lot of people are coming up,  a lot are throwing high averages. There’s a lot of players performing better than they actually are.

‘If you add up everything it’s just a big learning process. Of course that’s not really what you want but you have to fight against it, keep the hard work going and the rest comes automatically.

It has been a lean time in terms of major titles for MVG by his standards (Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

‘You need to be aware of that, make sure you practice hard and put the most pressure on their shoulders they can have. I didn’t do that last year but I think the last few months I’m playing really good darts again.’

Van Gerwen feels his old glories are only round the corner again, but while he sounds confident that they are close, the formerly unshakeable confidence hasn’t quite returned yet.

‘I’m the only one who can change things, that’s why I can’t waste my energy thinking about other things, it’s not worth thinking about,’ he said. ‘That’s why you need, to believe, and have confidence in yourself, believe in your ability to win tournaments. 

‘I think I’m very close to that and look at my results in the last weeks, I’m starting to get somewhere.

‘Of course I didn’t do what I wanted to do [over the last two years], but as long as you keep believing in yourself and know where you want to go, things can get better.’

Van Gerwen has been to a string of semi-finals and the European Championship final this year, but without lifting a major trophy (Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

One thing that Van Gerwen does not lack is focus on the next event, as the suggestion that any player is building towards the World Championship at this time of year is brutally dismissed.

‘That’s nonsense, they always say, “I’m building up to the Worlds.” I’m not, I will after this tournament but not before,’ he said.

‘Let’s say I have two Pro Tours after this then I’d be building to them, not the Worlds. It’s blah blah blah, they talk too much nonsense, I mean it.

‘I’m here now, not preparing for the World Championships, because it would devalue this tournament. If you devalue a tournament then why are you there? Stay home, simple as that.

‘There’s too many players that say things because they want to say things, they should keep their mouths closed.’

MVG will be letting his darts do the talking at the Players Championship Finals when he gets his campaign underway against Kevin Doets on Friday evening live on ITV4.


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