thegentle wrote:Well, someone had to ask it, if Barney had been in the PDC all along, how many titles do him and Taylor win? Would Barney have won many more, or would Taylor have merely broken him at an earlier stage?
With the lack of depth of the PDC during the 90s pretty much every final would have been a combination of Taylor, Priestley and Barney. I think Taylor still wins the majority of them.
I've always thought Barney winning the Worlds in his debut year (especially doing it by beating Taylor) was the worst thing that could happen to him. It seemed like he achieved his lifelong goal and pretty much downed tools since that moment and ended up not winning anywhere near as much as he could and should have.
There were plenty of factors. After winning the 2007 World Championship, Barney in the rest of 2007 (mostly up to July) won the Masters of Darts, the UK Open, the Las Vegas Desert Classic, won 4 Pro Tours, and 2 UK Open regionals, and was runner-up of the US Open. Barney in June-July 2007 looked dominant. Taylor's form troubles were back in June and July like they had been for a period around February time. Barney's hunger did not look the slightest bit diminished by being world champion, quite the opposite. On the last day of the 2007 UK Open, he beat Taylor 11-4, Lloyd 11-4 and van der Voort 16-8, and then carved through the 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic field with ease. There didn't seem to be anyone capable of living with him at the time over a distance, unless Taylor got back to his proper form. All the more ironic that Barney didn't win another TV singles major for over 5 years.
Barney started hurting himself in the second half of 2007 and first half of 2008 by experimenting with ceramic darts. It didn't work out, his consistency dropped off, he lost his unbeaten UK Open record and he had a calamitous match with Mardle at the 2008 World Matchplay where Barney led 12-7 in the quarter finals with 3 breaks of throw and then lost 8 straight legs before eventually losing 16-18. Following that loss, Barney took 2 months off, came back refreshed, reached the final of an Irish Pro Tour where Priestley beat him, and it took Taylor to beat him in the World Grand Prix final which was much closer than the 6-2 scoreline suggests. Barney walked off in a huff after losing, so he expected to beat Taylor and it hurt him bad. At the 2009 World Championship, Taylor won 7-1 against Barney in the final with a 110.94 average, even though most of the sets were very close, but this time Barney was all smiles afterwards.
Come the final of the 2009 Las Vegas Desert Classic, Taylor beats Barney 13-11 after Barney had given up for a few legs, fought back but by then Taylor was too close to the finishing line, and then came Barney's eulogizing of Taylor's greatness after the match. At the 2009 World Matchplay, Terry Jenkins gave him a battering in the quarter finals, going 15-8 up and winning 16-12. Barney took another 2 months off, got diagnosed with diabetes (which he claimed had been undiagnosed for well over a year beforehand), reached another World Grand Prix final against Taylor, took a 2-0 lead but lost 3-6. At the 2010 World Championship, Barney was 4-2 up against Whitlock in the semi finals, but lost 5-6.
During the 2010 Premier League, Barney was a victim of a blackmail scandal back home, and was in poor form for most of the campaign, and missed the UK Open (then in June) completely. He came into the 2010 World Matchplay with a big point to prove, and was at or near his best all tournament, especially when beating Wade 17-8 in the semi finals. Taylor beat him 18-12 in the final.
Barney didn't achieve more largely because of a certain Taylor, but also because of changing his darts setup, health issues with diabetes. Barney lived to be the best, and he wasn't able to do that.