Michael van Gerwen rejects Gerwyn Price’s A-game claim: “He knows it’s a lie”

Michael van Gerwen (Photo: Getty Images)

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

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

The Welshman, naturally, thinks he’s the best in the business right now and thinks he can’t be beaten if he’s fit, declaring at the Grand Slam last week: “If I play my A game, Michael doesn’t stand a chance and if he plays his game he probably thinks the same.

Van Gerwen certainly thinks the same and thinks Price is dishonest when supporting himself.

“He says it because he has to say it,” said Van Gerwen Metro.co.uk ahead of the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals. “If he thinks it’s true, of course for himself it’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 shape. Everyone knows it and the statistics say the same thing.

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

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

When told Price could accuse him of lying to boost self-confidence, the Dutchman dismissed the idea, saying: “But actually I’m right. The numbers say I’m right.

“To be honest he’s only been around for a few years and I’ve been playing there a little longer so I know what I’m talking about.

“Of course, they have to believe in their own opportunities, but this is all just a fairy tale to them.”

Who is the best player right now is a harder question to answer, given how impressive Price has been as Van Gerwen continues to seek his best form.

When asked if he was still the best player on the planet, MVG replied, “Uh … yeah. Of course he’s doing fine, 100%, but do I keep hitting the ball? ‘shoulder?

“I just need to play better and perform better and keep putting pressure on other players. Let people have their own opinions. Nobody cares what I think or what they think.

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

It’s been a tough fate for the three-time world champion since then but his performance has improved and he feels his form is approaching the shine that saw him dominate the sport from 2014 to 2020.

“I’m still a little too inconsistent at times, but overall my form is starting to get to where I want it to be, it takes time, but we’re not far off,” he said.

“If you look at my games over the past 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 the darts is different now, a lot of people are coming in, a lot are throwing high averages. There are a lot of players who perform better than they really are.

“If you add it all up, it’s just a big learning process. Of course, it’s not really what you want, but you have to fight it, keep working hard, and the rest comes automatically.

It’s been a sluggish period in terms of major titles for MVG by its standards (Photo: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

“You have to be aware of that, make sure you train hard and put as much pressure on their shoulders as possible. I didn’t do it last year, but I think in the last few months I’ve been playing really good darts again.

Van Gerwen feels that his former glories are only returning, but while he seems confident that they are close, the once unwavering confidence is not quite back 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 it,” he said. “That’s why you need to believe and have confidence in yourself, to believe in your ability to win tournaments.

“I think I’m very close to that and look at my results for the last few weeks, I’m starting to move forward.

‘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 knowing where you want to go, things can get better. ‘

Van Gerwen has made a series of semi-finals and the European Championship final this year, but without lifting a major trophy (Photo: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

One thing Van Gerwen doesn’t miss is to focus on the next event, as the suggestion that a player is getting ready for the World Championship at this time of year is brutally dismissed.

“It’s nonsense, they always say: ‘I’m getting ready for the Worlds’. I’m not, I will do it after this tournament but not before, ”he said.

“Let’s say I have two Pro Tours after that, then I would build them, not the Worlds. It’s blah blah blah, they say too much nonsense, I really mean it.

“I’m here now, I’m not preparing for the World Championships because that would devalue this tournament. If you devalue a tournament, why are you here? Stay at home, it’s that easy.

“There are too many players who say things because they want to say things, they should keep their mouths shut.”

MVG will let his darts do the talking in the Players’ Championship final when he kicks off his campaign against Kevin Doets on Friday night live on ITV4.

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