United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Matt Turner has revealed how he’s working alongside Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to improve his ball-playing skills.
Turner joined the Gunners from the New England Revolution in June having established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS – winning the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2021.
Despite being a top-class shot-stopper, Turner has often been criticized for his ability to play out from the back – something he’s been hard at work rectifying since arriving in London.
“If you watch me last year, two years ago, you’d say I have improved! Obviously, there’s a learning curve,” Turner told CBS Sports. “Things happen faster here, players are better, smarter and press with more intensity. There definitely was a curve but it’s an area I’m always improving on, always working on, always striving to get better and better.
“As a goalkeeper, you don’t want to take risks but the way we play, that’s the way it goes. The position has evolved. I’m the type of person that has always tried to adapt and improve my game. Mikel [Arteta, Arsenal manager] is always identifying areas where we can hurt other teams, that’s one of the areas where I can improve a lot, seeing the picture on the field and executing the ball to hurt the other team.”
Though he is four years his senior, Turner is also enjoying learning from Arsenal No.1 Aaron Ramsdale, who grew up as a ball-playing goalkeeper and is regarded as one of the best at his craft.
“Aaron brings a great calmness to the field with the ball at his feet,” said Turner. “Honestly it’s amazing. To get to learn from him, see what he sees, talk through moments, he and I have developed a really great relationship over the course of these past few months. We’re looking to help each other in different ways.”
Though Ramsdale is first-choice in the Premier League, Turner is expected to start Arsenal’s remaining four Europa League group stage matches, as well as their EFL Cup clash against Brighton.
That would take Turner’s appearances up to seven before heads off to Qatar with the USMNT for the World Cup.
Gregg Berhalter’s side endured a poor international break last month, losing 1-0 to Japan in Dusseldorf, Germany, before drawing 0-0 with Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.
If the USMNT are to get out of a group containing England, Wales, and Iran, they’re going to require rapid improvement.
“For us as a national team [and] as the USMNT, we know that we need to be better if we want a chance to get out of our group,” said Turner. “Once we get to Qatar, the next time we’re together, we have a lot to look at, a lot to improve upon and not a lot of time to do it. The message was take the time with your clubs and as things get closer and closer we need to tune into our message of what we’ve been trying to build over these last few years.”
Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.