In his pomp

Taylor remembers his time playing alongside Merse

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Matt Taylor shared some fond memories of his time playing alongside Paul Merson at Portsmouth on Fantasy Football Club.

The pair were key players in Pompey's promotion to the Premier League as Championship winners in 2002-2003.

And for Taylor, who joined that season from League Two Luton, it was a dream come true to be playing at that level with the former Arsenal ace.

"I'd just left Luton before that season and only watched Merson previously on the TV, so it was a great honour to play with him," said the West Ham winger.

"I think I did most of Merse's running that season! But my one memory of Mesre was he never used to come out for a warm up. He used to sit in the corner of the dressing room with a cup of tea.

"But it was a dream come true for me to come from League Two to a side getting promoted from the Championship - it was a really good time and playing under Harry Redknapp was fantastic."

Happy Hammer

After a move to Bolton in 2008, Taylor is now at West Ham and says he is enjoying playing under boss Sam Allardyce.

"I'm enjoying life at Upton Park," he said. "I'm enjoying my football and I feel fortunate to be back in the Premier League.

"We've had a solid start to the season - and that's all we could have asked for. We got promoted the hard way through the play-offs so the summer was a bit shorter for us. But we've done well.

"We've had quite a welcoming set of fixtures so far and haven't played any of the big boys yet, so we'll find out how we fare against them sooner rather than later."

Taylor says he also relishes the attention to detail Allardyce has brought to the dressing room.

"He gives you so much information on the teams you're playing," he said. "But you're not overloaded by it all.

"He gives you the information you need but in the right way - because as people know footballers don't have the best attention spans!"