LOS ANGELES: Matt Turner said on Monday he is unfazed by a lack of minutes for Arsenal as he bids to establish himself as the United States’ first-choice goalkeeper for the World Cup.
Turner, 28, who started eight of the USA’s 14 World Cup qualifiers, joined the Gunners in June on a long-term deal from the New England Revolution after being named Major League Soccer’s goalkeeper of the year in 2021.
However Turner has failed to dislodge first-choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale since moving to London, and has not featured in any of the Gunners’ seven Premier League fixtures to date.
Turner, though, does not believe a lack of minutes will hamper his match sharpness as the USA prepare for friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia -- the team’s final games before heading to the World Cup in Qatar.
“The situation depends on how you approach training,“ Turner told reporters on a video conference call.
“I’d say if you’re in (training) just to stroll about, and you don’t think that you can change your situation, no matter what you do then you’ll lose a lot of that sharpness.
“I don’t know how much you know about me or my story, but that’s not really the kind of way that I operate.
“Every single day I go to training, I’m going to try to get better to try to learn and improve, and try to get myself onto the field.”
Turner is one of three goalkeepers included in the US squad for Friday’s game against Japan in Duesseldorf, Germany and next Tuesday’s friendly against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.
Luton Town’s Ethan Horvath and New York City FC’s Sean Johnson complete the trio. Manchester City’s injured Zack Steffen, on loan at Middlesbrough, is expected to return to the squad for the World Cup.
Turner meanwhile paid tribute to the work of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has guided the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table after seven games.
“He’s just a great person to be around,“ Turner said, recalling an incident in one of his first sessions at Arsenal where the manager had remonstrated with him.
“I gave a ball away, and I sort of showed that I was frustrated and upset,“ Turner said.
“And he just came up to me and shoved me and basically was like ‘I don’t want to see that, I don’t like 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 all right. What matters is how you react not about the failure in itself.” - AFP