Matt Turner says he’s already improved as a goalkeeper since joining Arsenal in the summer and is happy with the way his debut went.
Signed in the summer from MLS franchise New England Revolution, the 28-year-old arrived with a reputation as a fine shot-stopper but readily admitted his need to develop the distribution side of his game, especially with his feet.
After three months of training with Mikel Arteta, he believes he’s moving in the right direction.
“My game has come a long way since I began at Arsenal,” Turner told MLS Soccer.
“Just the speed and the intensity of everything, every single day. Mikel [Arteta] doesn’t accept anything except full-gas at training sessions, so you have to bring it every single day, or else you get found out pretty quickly out there on the pitch.
“For me, it’s the consistency that I have to bring every day in training, being ready for moments where I’m going to be able to get to play and overall just the speed, technical execution of things, making saves against world-class players every day in training, sometimes getting found out by world-class players in training. But all the while learning.”
Turner also revealed how much emphasis the boss places on maintaining a positive attitude when things aren’t going to plan.
“We were playing a small possession game and it was really, really tight. I tried to make a pass and I gave the ball away. I sort of visually got frustrated and upset and he [Arteta] just came up to me and shoved me. He was basically like, ‘I don’t want to see that. I don’t like seeing that reaction. I want to see you pick yourself up and keep going.’
“I think that really set the tone for my mentality within the club and just to keep going no matter what. If you fail, that’s alright. What matters is how you react and not about the failure in itself. That was a really nice moment.”
It’s coming up to two weeks since Turner made his debut in the Europa League win over FC Zurich and he’s expecting more game time in the busy period up to the World Cup in Qatar.
“Playing in the Europa League was a nice box to tick and I felt like after the first five minutes I sort of settled into the game and I felt really, really good about how I did,” he said.
“[Now it’s] sort of continue moving forward and focus on these two games and then from there, we have 13 games between the end of this break and the World Cup. Busy times ahead.”
He added: “I had a meeting recently with my goalkeeper coach [Inaki Cana Pavon], where we looked at videos from my first few days of training and then videos from my last few days of training.
“Because I think it’s easy for us to get caught up in the moment, but looking back then to now, the difference in a goalkeeper that I am is huge and I’ve changed massively.”