Co Stompe has launched a stinging attack on Phil Taylor in an interview with Dutch website NUSport, claiming that the 16-time world champion is ‘turning his own farewell into a joke’.
Taylor reignited his war of words with Michael van Gerwen in last weekend’s Champions League of Darts, where he edged out the world number one in a thrilling deciding-leg. However, ‘The Power’ made several scathing remarks about ‘Mighty Mike’ in his post-match interview with the BBC and Stompe was highly critical of his attitude.
“As a player I always had a lot of respect for him. He is the best player in history. All those years he never said a bad word about any of his opponents, so why do it in your last year. He is making a fool of himself and is turning his own farewell into a joke,” Stompe commented.
Taylor became embroiled in a feud with Van Gerwen at July’s World Matchplay, after thrashing the Dutchman 16-6 in the quarter-finals en route to winning an incredible 16th Winter Gardens title.
In his post-match interview, he told Van Gerwen to ‘grow up’ after claims emerged that the world champion had texted his fellow countryman Vincent van der Voort during the break of his second-round clash against Simon Whitlock. Taylor added: “I’m not angry at him, I think he’s just stupid for doing that. I’m going to tell him anyway.”
Sunday’s Champions League clash between the pair was a fiercely contested affair, with Taylor requiring eight legs to seal his qualification and dump Van Gerwen out of the competition.
The 57-year-old imitated the Dutchman’s trademark double fist-pump celebration and also enjoyed a celebratory jig after moving 8-7 ahead, before eventually closing out a 10-9 win which condemned ‘The Green Machine’ to a shock group-stage exit.
In his post-match interview, the 16-time world champion claimed that Van Gerwen had accused him of being disrespectful, which he claimed was ‘a load of rubbish’. Taylor told the BBC: “When he came off he had a go at Bob [Glenn] and said I kept moving his stuff and I was disrespectful.
He’s talking a load of rubbish to be honest with you. I don’t touch his stuff and I don’t even know what he’s on about, what stuff? His dart case? No idea, but who cares? He’s the best winner in the world, he is, but when he loses, he’s the biggest mard-arse to have ever drew breath and I’ll tell him when I go upstairs, trust me.”
This isn’t the first time Stompe has been critical of Taylor’s behaviour in recent months. The former World Cup of Darts champion hit the headlines in July after labelling the Stoke-on-Trent star a ‘backstabber’ in the wake of Taylor’s dramatic World Matchplay victory over Van Gerwen.
‘The Power’ is set to hang up his arrows competitively after this year’s World Championship in January. He has recorded victories at the World Matchplay and the Melbourne Darts Masters over recent months, and he will be desperate to mark his farewell with an unprecedented 17th World Championship title at Alexandra Palace.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC