Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner has explained a moment on the training ground which highlights the change in culture Mikel Arteta has made at the club since taking over. The Gunners reportedly had several dressing room issues when the Spaniard took charge, but the club is in a much better place now with the side top of the Premier League.
American stopper Turner joined the Gunners in the summer as competition for Aaron Ramsdale, and revealed how a conversation early on with his new boss changed his outlook. “We were playing a small possession game and it was really, really tight,” Turner told MLS Soccer.
“I tried to make a pass and I gave the ball away. I sort of visually got frustrated and upset and he 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.
“My game has come a long way since I began at Arsenal. Just the speed and the intensity of everything, every single day. Mikel 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.”
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Turner made his Arsenal debut during the 2-1 win over FC Zurich in the Europa League, and could get more opportunities in cup competitions ahead of the World Cup where he could be competing against some of his club team-mates such as Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and Ben White with his national team.
“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,” Turner added.
“[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.”