Premier League Darts: Weight loss and darts to blame for Phil Taylor defeat, says Mardle
Phil Taylor's weight loss is one reason for his thrashing by Michael van Gerwen, says Wayne Mardle.
By Wayne Mardle
Last Updated: 07/02/14 10:36am
Taylor has shed the pounds since the New Year as part of an overhaul of his lifestyle following his shock second round World Championship defeat to Michael Smith in December.
The 53-year-old spent three weeks at a mountain resort in Portugal, where he dined on a juice-only diet, as part of his preparations for the Premier League Darts season.
He also changed his darts - signing a lucrative deal with Target Darts - ahead of the new season and had been confident going into the match-up with the reigning world and Premier League champion and World number one.
But the changes failed to pay-off as he was defeated by the man who has taken his crown as the best in the world.
"I think it was a combination of a few things," Mardle told Sky Sports. "The fact that Michael got the better of him in the Players' Championship Final - he may have been thinking about that.
"Also he [Taylor] went into the World Championships when he played poorly, Michael went on to win that and now Phil is playing the world champion."
Mardle continued: "It's only my opinion but losing as much weight as he has in six or seven weeks is no good.
"But the main thing for me is the change of darts. They were going in weak and at an angle. And with Michael not missing as well, it was a combination of all those things.
"Michael actually said before we came up here that Phil did not look confident."
He'll be back
However, Mardle insisted that this is not the end for the 16-time World Champion and backed him to reach the play-offs despite his early setback.
"Look, don't write Phil Taylor off. He will be there in the play-offs," Mardle said. "He will not, not get through. He will be there. He will possibly go and whitewash someone else.
"But as Michael said it was not the Phil Taylor we are used to seeing. It was a performance he will want to forget after wanting to forget the World Championship.
"He has had two bad days at the office and they have just happened to run one, one week and then the next time we see him on TV.
"If it was one every couple of months then it would be fine but two matches running is hard to swallow for Phil Taylor."