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Walsall confirm appointment of ex-Premier League player as new manager

Walsall confirm the appointment of their new manager Matthew Taylor, who was most recently a coach at Premier League outfit Tottenham.

The 39-year-old will join on the 1st of June from Spurs, where he has been in charge of the under-18 side, and has clearly been impressing the League Two club.

Taylor, who also played for West Ham and Luton in a career spanning 658 league games, has previously worked as a player-coach at Swindon.

CLUB STATEMENT:

Walsall Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Taylor who will become our new Head Coach on 1st June 2021.

Taylor will be assisted at the Banks’s Stadium by former Blackpool manager and Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United coach, Neil McDonald, who will take up the role of First Team Coach.

39-year-old Taylor joins the club from Tottenham Hotspur where he has been part of the coaching staff at the Premier League club concentrating on the performance of Spurs’ young talent.

He also had a brief spell as Swindon Town’s interim manager in 2018 after the departure of David Flitcroft. A year later, he acquired his UEFA Pro License and has been working at Spurs since 2019.

As a player, Taylor represented Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Burnley in the Premier League, making over 300 appearances . He also had spells at Luton Town, Northampton Town and Swindon Town in the EFL.

The new Head Coach will see out the remainder of the campaign at Spurs before arriving at the Banks’s Stadium.

Taylor is looking forward to the challenge and is delighted to have been named as the club’s new Head Coach.

“I’m very happy to join the club,” he said. “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.”

Chairman Leigh Pomlett is pleased to have his number one target on board.

“Matthew is young, ambitious and successful and I am delighted that we have been able to attract him to leave Tottenham Hotspur to become our Head Coach,” Leigh said as Walsall confirm the appointment of an ex-Premier League player as their new manager.

“I have spent a number of hours talking with Matt in recent days and he meets the profile of the Head Coach I am seeking for Walsall Football Club.

“Coupled with Neil McDonald and working closely with Jamie Fullarton, we now have the right set up to drive the Walsall football agenda forward. I do not want more of the same and I am looking for a significant shake up of the club and believe this is the right team to do it. I welcome Matthew to the club and look forward to his impact.”

Technical Director Jamie Fullarton was impressed by Taylor and is looking forward to working with him.

“I am delighted we have been able to secure Matthew as the new Head Coach,” added Fullarton.

“During a thorough recruitment process undertook, Matthew was our stand out candidate and was our number one target for the role.

“He has a clear defined vision and detailed plan along with the skill set and character to drive the club forward in a direction that aligns with the club’s strategy.

“I am really looking forward to working with Matthew, who will no doubt have a major impact and will create a genuine feeling of optimism amongst everyone involved with the football club for the coming season.”

We will officially unveil the Head Coach at a press conference on June 1st.

– STATEMENT ENDS –

TAYLOR’S PLAYING CAREER:

Youth career
–1999 Luton Town

Senior career
1999–2002 – Luton Town – 129 games (16 goals)
2002–2008 – Portsmouth – 178 games (23 goals)
2008–2011 – Bolton Wanderers – 123 games (23 goals)
2011–2014 – West Ham United – 76 games (2 goals)
2014–2016 – Burnley – 37 games (4 goals)
2016–2017 – Northampton Town – 44 games (7 goals)
2017–2019 – Swindon Town – 71 games (9 goals)
Total – 658 games (84 goals)

HONOURS:

Portsmouth
Football League First Division: 2002–03

West Ham United
Football League Championship play-offs: 2011–12

Burnley
Football League Championship: 2015–16

Individual
Luton Town Young Player of the Season: 1999–2000
Luton Town Player of the Season: 2000–01
Swindon Town Player of the Season: 2017–18

Fans reacted as Walsall confirm the appointment of their new manager…

@wfcbanksy: Not disappointed to be honest. A name that I assume players will be attracted to come and play for and bringing an experienced number 2 with him. Give him a chance and see what happens

@PenegalLTFC: Best left foot I’ve ever seen

@hxrryjxnes: Happy with this… start the rebuild ASAP and get some proper football back UTS

@CowleysCows: Hopefully will look to take some of ours on loan. Glad he’s got his opportunity #pompey

@LutonAnalytics: Absolutely loved him as a player/Hatter and can’t wait to see how his managerial career plays out. Always struck me as smart, tenacious and dedicated – pretty good starting point for a head coach.

@chris_lamb77: Bit of a gamble but experience alongside him and DoF above him means he’s got plenty of support in place to account for inexperience. Deserves a good chance to show us what he’s about

@MarcRiggan: The more I think about it the happier I am with this appointment..young manager with experience next to him, would have developed a decent style of football at spurs youth. Optimistic with this. #UTS

@BenBarker_: Would’ve loved him as our new manager. Scary to think who we’ll actually end up with. #STFC

@RyaaanD95: Let’s at least get behind him before slagging him of

@JordanCrane97: Hope he smashes it what a man

@leeboyce20: Happy with the appointment. An experienced coach next to him. Hopefully some good contacts in the game to recruit the right personal. Looking forward to next season now

@ChisieWeirdo: Good luck- think you’ve got a good appointment there

@JoshRainer8: Fans need to give him a chance and stop moaning. Good appointment

@thatdanmayguy: Exciting appointment, love this! Good luck Matty!

@adamguestwfc: Too early to judge, but at least he brings an experienced assistant with him. Welcome Matthew.

@paragaz: I think this is the right balance of young coach who has some experience at a top club and an experienced assistant being him!! Well done. Ignore the negatives

@Adrobbo3: Hopefully the board will back him in the transfer market and give him a chance

@worzel999: UEFA Pro Licenced Coach, young with an experienced number 2 coming in. Been in the youth game for a few years so will have a links to hopefully attract young players in and will probably know some of the experienced players he wants from playing. I think it’s a decent appointment

@andy90wfc: All the best fo him 🙏. I’m certainly not going to moan (as others will), as who knows how well he is going to do. Every appointment is a risk and this is no exception. He certainly has a decent standing in the game so you’d like to think he could attract some decent players. UTS

@andy90wfc: I’m happy with it mate. I think the only reason why some are disappointed is because the bookies messed up the betting and confused it all with Exeter’s Taylor 🤣. Of course he’s unproven and it’s a risk but it’s an exciting appointment all the same.

@sturuss1990: I think this is the perfect style of appointment why people are desperate for a experienced lower league manager baffled me

After seeing Walsall confirm the appointment of their new manager Matthew Taylor, what do you make of this? Let us know on our socials!

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