Pundit slams Arsenal star Turner after Sporting display

By on March 10, 2023

Former Arsenal defender turned pundit Martin Keown has slammed the Gunners’ goalkeeper Matt Turner after a shaky display during the 2-2 draw against Sporting CP in the Europa League round of 16 clash.

The north London club started the game on a positive note after William Saliba’s opener midway through the first half. However, the Gunners’ lead didn’t last long as Goncalo Inácio equalised the game before Paulinho gave the lead to the Lions just after the interval.

But, Hidemasa Morita’s own goal helped Arsenal to come away with a draw. So, the tie is currently nicely poised ahead of next week’s second leg – which will be at the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, Turner is Mikel Arteta’s preferred choice for the cup competitions and he started the game yesterday. However, the American looked shaky and struggled to be a commanding presence throughout the game. He made the mistake for Sporting’s first goal as he misjudged the ball’s flight and also was uncomfortable with possession.

Keown slams Turner

During the match coverage, Keown told BT Sports that the defenders should take the initiative of clearing the aerial balls rather than giving that responsibility to Turner as he can’t be trusted.

Keown said:

“What I’d be saying, if I’m playing regularly with this keeper, I’m going to have to go and head things because I can’t necessarily trust him. I hope it’s a one-off.”

Turner signed for Arsenal last summer from New England Revolution for a fee of around £7m. He was purchased as a backup to first-choice option Aaron Ramsdale and due to that the 28-year-old has been on the periphery for most of the season. And it’s always hard to showcase match sharpness when regular game-time is hard to come by.

So, following the USA international’s poor display last night, it’s now going to be interesting to see whether Arteta will opt to start Ramsdale in the second leg next week or stick with Turner.

Meanwhile, after the midweek Europa League clash, Arsenal will now travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday. So, a tough league encounter lies ahead for Arteta’s side this weekend.