OPINION: Taylor’s antics were a sign of desperation!

Taylor Matchplay.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen retained his World Matchplay crown with an emphatic 18-10 win over Phil Taylor in Sunday night’s final at the Winter Gardens. ‘The Green Machine’ produced a brilliant display to inflict Taylor’s first ever defeat in a Blackpool final, although ‘The Power’ still stole the headlines, albeit for the wrong reasons.

There was no shame in Taylor’s performance. In his post-match interview, he said he felt ‘gutted’ to have let the crowd down, although in truth he performed well; averaging in excess of 101. However, his conduct on-stage, particularly in the latter half of the contest, was frankly embarrassing.

At various stages of the contest, Taylor gave his Dutch opponent a fierce stare, insinuating he had done something to antagonise ‘The Power’, which wasn’t the case. He also urged the crowd to perform the ‘Icelandic clap’on numerous occasions, including when Van Gerwen was throwing, which was most unsportsmanlike.

Additionally, Taylor persisted to mock and replicate MvG’s celebrations, and even appeared to be captured calling the world number one an expletive, after Van Gerwen extended his lead to 14-8. If Taylor had been winning, Michael’s exuberant celebrations wouldn’t have left a mark on ‘The Power’. He simply couldn’t handle the fact he was being outplayed.

One of the key factors behind Taylor’s unrivalled success is his mentality- he has come up against so many top quality players, but his belief, determination and mental strength has seen him prevail on most occasions. Therefore, to see the 16-time world champion unravel to such an extent was simply bemusing.

Throughout his career, Taylor has always had the ability and mentality to wear down his opponents. He has never needed to resort to mindless antics to distract his rivals, and his behaviour last night was a blatant sign that he was a beaten man- desperate to affect Van Gerwen by any means possible.

This will have been a painful defeat for the 55-year-old. He has tasted victory at the Winter Gardens on 15 occasions, which is simply remarkable. Until last night he was yet to taste defeat in a Matchplay final, so it was uncharted territory for Phil. He is used to being the main draw in Blackpool, and his attention-seeking antics underline this point.

Taylor has long been critical of players who resort to tactics and mind-games, most notably when he’s on the losing side.  If the shoe was on the other foot, and Van Gerwen was whipping the crowd into a frenzy whilst Taylor was throwing, Phil would have been apoplectic.

Taylor showed graciousness in congratulating Van Gerwen, and he even labelled him as ‘the greatest ever’ in his post-match interview. However, he also made a number of barbed comments towards the world number one, claiming: ‘He bullies people. He is an aggressive, nasty player.”

On a separate note, ‘Mighty Mike’ deserves immense credit for retaining his professionalism in the face of antagonistic and erratic behaviour from Taylor. Van Gerwen will have been surprised at the erratic demeanour of his old foe, but secretly he must have felt satisfied, as it showed that Taylor realised he had no answer on the dart board.

Van Gerwen is taking darts to a new level, but there’s no disputing that Taylor remains the master. He has enjoyed incredible longevity and his illustrious list of titles will surely never be beaten.

He deserves tremendous respect for all that he has achieved, and his run to the final, as well as his comprehensive semi-final win over world champion Gary Anderson, show that he still has the quality to compete and succeed at the top level. Nevertheless, looking back on his antics,  Taylor must surely recognise that he stooped to an embarrassing level.

15 thoughts on “OPINION: Taylor’s antics were a sign of desperation!

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  1. He’s the one Player that would not like it done on him he just hack it that he’s not the best player now

  2. I’m sorry to say so, but I don’t think Phil Taylor is a good man at heart. He probably never has been. It’s just that in the past he used to win everything, so we hardly ever got to see the man being exposed as much as he is today. Still, a great darts player.

  3. I was presant two years ago when he played wes Newton, fan’s behind wes were asked to leave the premises if they carried on,,Taylor has two standards, great player in his own right,, needs to accept players are getting better

  4. phil taylor is the best in the world i like him and suport him alot i wish him all the best in his matches

  5. Well written. MvG told on the dutch television that he expected Phil would do stuff like that. But that was after winning the match.

    In my opinion Phil Taylor is a real dart legend, but also a great example of a player that don’t stop at the right time in there career, so people only remembers the great things.

  6. MVG is just the latest in a long line of players who has fallen foul of Taylors oche antics along with,Peter Manley,Chris Mason,Kevin painter.Raymond van Barneveld to name but a few.It always seems to be the other player that is at fault.I respect his achievements and all that he has brought to the oche but he is nothing more than a poor loser and embarrassing one at that.It seems Taylor has a licence to say and do as he pleases on the oche regardless,personally,i think its about time the PDC intervened and made Taylor apologize for bringing the game into disrepute with his disrespectful behaviour and swearing towards MVG,had it been the other way round and MVG was doing it to Taylor then there would have been a holy outcry because of it.You cannot have one rule for him and a different one for all other players. I for one am glad MVG won ,he and the other players are taking the game into a whole new era with out the antics.

  7. I think Taylor will never be beaten on what he’s achieved. Maybe in an an era where some people think it was easier? I don’t agree. He was born old school and dominated. Now, anyone can beat anyone but his age still holds him in all major comps and, he may not win too much tournament wise but he’s still feared.

  8. I have to admit i do not like either of them. True, Taylor is the most accomplished player with so many titles. He is rubbish as a human being. PDC showed a lot of tolerance for Taylor because he was and still is making money for them. His behavior changed once he got older (not that he was super-nice before, but winning made him gracious) – once he started to lose a lot more often than before. On the other hand, MvG’s “angry gorilla” celebration is a sign of bullying, aggressiveness that should not be present in any sport. He started a trend that is affecting a lot of players. Winning a leg is a great feeling, but it should not lead to disrespect your opponent by making all kind of gestures. There are so many players (mostly “old generation”) who are so nice and respectful with their opponents when playing, they are a joy to watch. Young generation follow the MvG lead and I believe they are damaging the sport itself.
    I am afraid that these two are bad examples for other players, regardless the high level of darts are both playing.

  9. For the first time in Phil’s career he has met a player he cannot beat on the board in finals since 2014 last win or in the battle of mind games. What ever he throws at MVG, MVG just steps up another level which Phil has never had before! Only Anderson & Van Barneveld seem to be able to beat MVG on a occasional game. Since Phil has changed to Target, constant looking off the stage for reassurance, celebrating small victories (hitting double on 3rd dart) he’s struggled to cope with someone better! I think unless Phil cuts out all that off the throw bullshit and gets a decent Sports Psychologist he’ll never beat MVG in a final again. End of an Era I think, perhaps he should do what Eric did with him and coach someone up, but the likelihood of that is very unlikely, people with hunger and desire are not around anymore with the amount of money involved!!!

  10. Well written article. Taylor’s behaviour was disrespectful and shouldn’t be tolerated at all, especially swearing whilst on live TV. He can’t handle losing to better players as he hasn’t been in this position before and is a bad loser. Well done MvG on your professionalism. Cheers

  11. When Taylor said “He bullies people. He is an aggressive, nasty player.” he was giving MVG a compliment. As for the PDC giving Phil special treatment, well they should he has made the PDC ( Phil’s Dart Circuit”) what it is today. All the players in the PDC should be thanking Taylor for every Penny, Pound or Euro they have in the bank. Taylor is human and you do not have to like him or love him. He has every reason to have a big head as he was the greatest of all time and I am sure it would be a hard fall from grace for anyone. Walk in Phil’s shoes. Remember people these guys are like you and I, they are no different then the people you see every day and you dissect every thing they say and do like they should be some kind of perfect being.

  12. Phil taylor was such a bad loser what a childish response so embarrassing he buggered off the stage and then came back on acting like someone high on drugs!! What a spectacle he made of himself. Well done MVG

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