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Steve Walford Hired as New BWFC Assistant Manager

Replacing the departing Johan Mjallby

Stu Forster/Getty Images

This is a piece of news that was already well known to everyone, but Bolton Wanderers have hired Steve Walford as the new assistant manager after Johan Mjallby departed for personal reasons.

Losing Mjallby will undoubtedly come as a bit of a blow to Neil Lennon, who has had the eccentric Swede by his side ever since he took the first step into management. But with Walford he's appeared to pick a sensible choice.

The highly experienced 57-year old has been in football since 1975, playing for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Norwich City and West Ham United over a career that spanned twenty years.

Upon retirement Walford entered the coaching scene and has remained their for the past 21 years. His first two jobs were head coach at two of his former clubs, Wycombe Wanderers and Norwich.

Throughout the entirety of those two jobs he worked for Martin O'Neil, a man who would have a great influence on our manager in his next two jobs. Walford followed O'Neil to Leicester City, in which time they were highly successful, winning the League Cup Twice.

When Celtic came calling for O'Neil, both Walford and Lennon followed, as did more success.

Lennon separated from the duo after that, but O'Neil and Walford would continue to work side by side at Aston Villa, Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland.

So yeah, it seems like a very smart appointment by Lennon. Whilst Walford is man he's worked with extensively in the past and will work well with, since Lennon bases a lot of his managerial style on O'Neil, Walford shouldn't be a 'yes man' to Lennon. With Lennon having played under Walford in the past, I'd be very surprised if Walford was the type of man to not tell Lennon when he was doing something wrong.

A very important trait in an assistant manager. We saw how 'yes men' can make for a weak team and poor manager with both Owen Coyle and Dougie Freedman.

Another important thing to note is that Walford was a defender during his playing days, which points towards him being a defensive minded coach. A big part of Mjallby's role here was to be the defensive coach. I'm very happy we won't be losing that defensive perspective in the back room, especially since our defence is actually quite good now.

So whilst I'm a little disappointed to see Mjallby leave, but wish him all the best in his future endeavours, I really don't think Lennon could have hired a better man.