Ex-Portsmouth, Bolton and West Ham favourite takes charge of League Two outfit
Former Fratton favourite Matt Taylor has been appointed head coach of Walsall.
The ex-Pompey midfielder had been serving as an under-18s coach at Tottenham Hotspur but has departed to be boss at the Bescot Stadium.
It represents Taylor’s first permanent job as a Football League boss, having had a brief spell at interim manager at Swindon in 2018 during the latter stages of his playing days.
Walsall will be seeking a return to League One in the 2021-22 season, having finished a disapppointing 19th in League Two this term.
Now Taylor, who was a candidate to succeed Kenny Jackett as Pompey manager before Danny Cowley's appointment, is relishing his opportunity with the Saddlers.
He told the club's website: ‘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.’
Arriving from Luton in 2002, Taylor scored 39 goals in 203 appearances for Pompey before leaving for Bolton six-and-a-half years later.