There were many Arsenal fans complaining about Mikel Arteta selling Bernd Leno to Fulham extremely cheaply, and bringing in the unknown American Matt Turner, saying that a man with no Top Class European experience would obviously be inferior to the German international that left.
But Turner is not short on experience, having played over 100 games in the MLS and has been outstanding as the USA mens Team Number One, and he is very glad of the opportunity to show his skills, even if it is only in the Europa and Cup games for now.
He got his second start for the club against Bodo/Glimt (and his first at the Emirates) and had hardly anything to do in the first half, but he had to make some good saves in the second. This is how he described it: “It was a really, really special night for me,” he said on Arsenal.com. “Obviously watching from afar, games in Europe just look like beautiful theatre. To be able to put my feet on the grass tonight, play, and keep a clean sheet – it was just a really special night for myself and for my family, but more importantly, for the team to get a win.”
“I think overall, you gotta be happy with the clean sheet. A couple of plays in good moments that I made, but also definitely room for improvement in a lot of areas. So I’ll look at the film and just continue to try to get better and better. And at the end of the day, the most important thing is, for me, the team winning, and I’ll do whatever I can to help make that happen.”
His big moment came after the break, when Turner denied Amahl Pellegrino’s driven shot from close range, and his excellent reactions came into play. “That’s a big moment as a goalkeeper, especially with 56 minutes of not really doing much. And then to make a save, clear the ball, and then we sort of turn them and start building our pressure up again. It’s good when a team gives you a warning sign that they’re really coming forward, to be able to stand up to the task. It gives your team some confidence in you back there and they know that things are taken care of, so then we can start building that confidence back up within the match.
“So it was a big save in an important moment, but again, still other areas where I feel like I could do better,” he added.
But personally I think he was much less nervous than in his first game in Zurich, and I believe that he will develop further. After last night, I think Arteta will believe the gloves will be in safe hands if Ramsdale is not available.
What do you think?
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