Former Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United midfielder Matt Taylor has been named as the new head coach of Walsall. Taylor steps into senior management for the very first time having been a youth coach at Tottenham Hotspur since 2019.
Taylor replaces Brian Dutton who was sacked by Walsall after a disappointing second half of the season. A poor second half of the campaign saw Walsall narrowly escape relegation and record their lowest ever football league finish.
Taylor will be assisted by Neil McDonald and will officially take the reigns at the start of June.
Matt Taylor Appointed Walsall Manager
Taylor Will Be Taking His First Steps in Management
The former Premier League midfielder had an excellent playing career, turning out for the likes of West Ham and Portsmouth. Since retiring, Taylor has been earning his coaching badges and plying his trade in the Tottenham youth set up.
He had a brief spell in caretaker charge of Swindon Town in 2018 after David Flitcroft was sacked. Taylor consequently departed the Robins and joined Spurs in 2019. He has spent the past two years helping develop Tottenham’s youngsters but will now take his first steps in management.
Chairman Leigh Pomlett and Technical Director Jamie Fullarton have worked extensively sourcing a replacement since Brian Dutton’s departure. Dutton was thrust into the hotseat after Darrell Clarke left for Port Vale. However, Dutton could only manage three league wins which just about secured survival.
The club want to be challenging in the upper echelons of the League Two table. They hope Taylor is the man who can deliver the goods in his first management job.
Taylor Honoured to Be Given the Opportunity
Speaking to the Walsall website, Taylor said: “I’m very happy to join the club. As with a lot of things in football, they move fast and this is no exception.
“I’m extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to be Head Coach of Walsall and I’m really excited. In football and life, a lot of it is about timing and in my opinion it’s very good timing.
“The club, the owner and the Technical Director want the opportunity to bring success back to Walsall Football Club and I hope I can be part of that.
“Winning football matches is never easy but what I’ve learnt in the last two years gives me an opportunity to build a style of play that the fans resonate with and enjoy watching, with the aim of delivering positive results on the pitch.
“It’s about building an identity of what we are and that the football team on the pitch replicates this on the pitch. One thing I can guarantee to all the supporters is their team will always give 100 per cent on the pitch because as a player, I was always that way and as a coach, I’m always that way and therefore I expect the players to reflect that.”
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