‘Van Gerwen isn’t as good now – Phil Taylor was a level above,’ says Rob Cross

Rob Cross believes Michael van Gerwen isn't as good as he once was, despite his devastating display in the Premier League final.

MVG has been riding the crest of a wave over the last couple of weeks, following up his victory at the O2 Arena with his second US Darts Masters title over the weekend. The Dutchman rolled back the years with a dominant performance to beat Gerwyn Price 11-5 in the final of the Premier League, before whitewashing Jeff Smith 8-0 in New York.

Despite two barnstorming performances from the three-time world champion, PDC rival Cross reckons MVG isn't quite as good as he used to be during his era of dominance.

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"I would’ve probably liked to have seen Gezzy win it," Cross told Neun Online Casinos about the Premier League final, in quotes seen exclusively by Daily Star Sport.

"How good was he in his semi-final? But the thing is, with Michael [van Gerwen], you can just never write him off. When I first came on the scene and used to play him in 2017, he was a different animal then.

"The 170s, when he needed something, he hit it. It’s all about putting the pressure on and taking what you can. He [MVG] used to do it more than any other player I’ve seen.

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"Look, he’s still winning tournaments but is he as good as what he used to be? No, probably not. But the standard has gone up also. I used to remember Michael used to buzz for big averages, whereas now he’s all about the wins."

There can be no doubt that Van Gerwen will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of darts. Not just for his incredible trophy record, but also for his style, 180-hitting and overall ability.

Yet comparisons will always be made between the 34-year-old and Phil Taylor, who dominated the sport for over 20 years. The pair overlapped as Van Gerwen was just getting going on the PDC circuit, but Cross believes it'll be hard for the Dutchman to ever top the Power.

"Phil won so much, didn’t he? He was dominant," Cross said. "We aren’t just talking about dominance for ten years or whatever, it was probably 20. I don’t think Phil will ever get topped.

"Michael won a European Championship with a tournament average of 112. Most people just want to hit that in one game, let alone through five or six games or whatever. I don’t think that will ever get beaten, but if it does I hope it’s me that beats it!

"At the same time I don’t think it will ever get beat, it’s amazing. He was a level above Phil. But Michael and Phil are two different eras. Michael had wins over Phil later on when Phil was getting to the end. That’s life. You have an old great like Taylor, and it was Michael to fill his boots. Michael has taken over and taken the flame on that."

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