I’m not overly happy about there not being any football this weekend but it is what it is and we will just have to deal with it. But it gives us a chance to catch up with other subjects, and I would like to start by discussing some of our backups that Mikel Arteta will want to be fit and ready in case of injuries or suspension to his First XI.
When the Gunners went to Switzerland last Thursday to face FC Zurich, the boss made a massive seven changes to the team that lost at Man United, and two of those were making their first ever competitive debuts for Arsenal, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.
The first one I want to discuss is our new American keeper Matt Turner, who, despite being the Number One keeper in the MLS and the USA international keeper, was described by the outgoing German Bernd Leno as a “political signing” implying that he was only signed to improve Arsenal’s commercial standing in the USA.
But the fact is that Turner has improved dramatically year on year and there is no reason why he cannot adapt to the EPL improve even further. As he told the media when he left America: “When I got my first chance with the national team, it was only as a No. 3,”
“No one ever really took me seriously, so I’m not going over there just to collect a cheque and ride off into the sunset.
“I’m going to push myself, I’m going to push Aaron and continue to help him get better and help myself get better.”
So after playing a few games in pre-season, he finally started in our Europa game against Zurich, and how did he do? The Arsenal expert Charles Watts said in his podcast after the game: “Matt Turner was an interesting one, I thought he started off pretty shaky.”
“There was a couple of moments with the ball at his feet and once when he was trying to claim a cross.
“It was just after he’d sort of had that bit of an issue with the ball at his feet when to be fair Gabriel didn’t help him with the back pass but he just looked a bit nervy.
“As the game went on I thought he improved, Turner, he got a little bit of confidence, he came out and claimed a couple of decent crosses.
“(He) didn’t really have to do anything in terms of shot stopping because they didn’t really threaten or have many shots on target but they did deliver a few decent balls in towards the end.
“I thought Turner sort of improved on that as the game went on, but I think certainly the jury’s still out on him a little bit.”
I think that is most fans impression on Turner so far, but surely we need to see him in action in a higher pressure game or two before making judgement. Maybe the game against PSV will give him more of a chance to show his talent…
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