Monday, December 5, 2022

“I have to train at a higher level” – Turner opens up on his Arsenal move

Matt Turner admits he’ll have to adapt to Arsenal’s style of play when he finally completes his move from ‘old school’ New England Revolution.

The goalkeeper is set to arrive in London in three weeks’ time and will quickly be thrust into pre-season action as Mikel Arteta’s players begin their preparations for the new season at London Colney.

Known more for his shot-stopping ability than his distribution, he’s keenly aware that his new gig represents both an opportunity to learn but also a challenge to his existing skillset.

“I have to train at a higher level,” Turner told The Athletic ahead of his move.

“The style of play with the Revolution is mighty old school. If there’s pressure, we don’t really try to play out of it too much.

“At Arsenal, the goalkeepers are required to play a little bit more with the ball, playing in the system rather than just sort of going out there. They have to follow tactics and game plans a little more closely. Those are things that I know are valued with the national team that I’ll be challenged more with Arsenal.

“In December and January, I got to spend weeks at a time with the national team in buildup to games. And in all those games, I feel like I was pretty solid with the ball at my feet.

“Apart from the one blip in Canada, pretty solid connecting passes, making the right decisions. And then I don’t train exactly like that when I’m with the Revs, so I lose it. I get it for a couple of weeks, then I lose it. Now I’ll be training that way all the time.”

Before Turner heads to London he’ll be part of the United States’ squad that faces Morocco and Uruguay in friendlies and a CONCACAF Nations League clash with Grenada. After that it’ll be back to New England for a couple of farewell matches in the MLS.

It’s a busy few weeks for a self-confessed Gooner who is clearly excited about the huge break coming his way.

“You can imagine this stuff, but only in a fantasy,” he said.

“You know that it’s never actually going to happen. Thinking about all the little things along the way that had to break for this to be possible, all the signs and all the omens, it’s all crazy. It’s really crazy. I never thought that this would actually happen for me. I’m just so excited and blessed.”

It’s well worth reading Turner’s full interview with journalist Sam Stejskal…there’s far more to the full feature than the football-related bits we’ve covered. See here.

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Looking forward to seeing what he can do. Welcome to Arsenal!

A Different George

I guess it depends on the team in front of you. I just saw a keeper who is really not very good with his feet (though he may think he is) and whose distribution is nothing out of the ordinary get named man of the match in a Champions League final. (Also their three midfielders are a combined 100 years old. I might be exaggerating because Casimiro is only around 30; so, probably 98, not 100.)

Mayor McCheese

Didn’t know he’s a Gooner. Fantastic!

Jeff Febus

He had a good showing tonight on a friendly against Morocco. I think he plays with some heart and honesty. Hopefully he can progress as a solid backup for us and do something in the Cup games

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