Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Monday 8 March 2021

'I knew the manager didn't just wake up one morning and think, 'I don't like Harry anymore''

Harry Arter has had a frustrating season at Bournemouth and has big decisions to make over his future this summer.

A SERIES OF frustratingly debilitating injuries haven’t helped Harry Arter’s cause, but after eight brilliant seasons at Bournemouth, the midfielder is facing into a difficult decision over his club future this summer.

Arter still has three years remaining of a four-year contract he signed with the Premier League club last July, but the 28-year-old has fallen out of favour with manager Eddie Howe, sliding out of the team and into the margins at the Vitality Stadium.

Harry Arter Harry Arter speaking after Ireland training earlier. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Ireland international did not make a first-team appearance for Bournemouth after featuring in the club’s FA Cup defeat to Wigan in mid-January, and has held talks with Howe over his future on the south coast.

A recent calf problem, which forced him to miss Ireland’s friendly against Turkey in March, was no doubt a factor in Arter’s fall down the pecking order, but the form of Lewis Cook, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman and Emerson Hyndman meant he was pushed firmly out of the selection picture, with Howe admitting back in March that his omission was for tactical reasons.

Arter had been heavily linked with a move to West Ham in January but nothing materialised, leaving the player to sit frustrated at the club he joined back in 2010 and helped to Premier League promotion with consistently excellent performances in midfield.

“Disappointed is probably how I was feeling throughout the season, really, but I have always said in my life you always try to take a positive out of a negative,” Arter said this afternoon at FAI HQ in Abbotstown.

“I came out of the team quite early and having been such a big part of the Bournemouth starting XI for the last eight years…it’s easy to talk now because the season has finished, but every player when they come out of the team, they always feel a tad aggrieved, always feel like they shouldn’t be the one who comes out.

“Initially that was the case for me, but as the season went on, I respected the manager’s decision – I knew he didn’t just wake up one morning and think, ‘I don’t like Harry anymore’. I knew there was a football reason behind it in his head, rightly or wrongly.”

Arter waited until the end of the season, and when Bournemouth’s top-flight status was completely safe, to sit down with Howe and discuss where he stood and if he was part of the manager’s plans going forward.

“I felt at the end of the season was probably the best time for me and him to have an honest chat,” he continued. “He’s got a massive job during the season, and personal issues and the successes that we’ve had together on the pitch have been huge.

“The relationship has been very good and it still is at this point. He’s someone I respect greatly — he gave me my opportunity back in football, and now in the Premier League, he’s given me three good years there, so the respect will always be there from myself to him, and it’s the same from him to me.

“He thanked me for my efforts this year, he thanked me for having a good attitude and being a good person around the changing room, and we’ll see what happens in the summer.

“It [the chat] was not so much about football. The conversations were based on what I want to do in the future, what he wants from me in the future, which I took with complete honesty. I felt he was completely honest with me, I was honest with him and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the summer brings.

AFC Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League - Vitality Stadium Arter is keen for first-team football but says he is happy to stay at Bournemouth. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

“I have to respect him and my team-mates and that’s what I learned to do last season.”

Arter was then asked what he would like to happen over the course of the summer transfer window, but was hesitant in answering and instead maintained his focus is on breaking back into the Ireland team ahead of Monday’s friendly against France in Paris.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“Yes, in my heart I do,” he added. “But as I say, I’d probably rather just concentrate on this camp. I always feel when you come away, my aim now is to try to perform as well as I can for Ireland — I don’t want to be distracted by what potentially might happen or might not happen.

“All I know is that my main goal is to try to get some game sand some minutes here. The respect I have for Bournemouth and the respect I have for the manager, there’s no real reason why I can’t go back there next season and fight for my place.

“As I said there, my relationship with the manager is fine, my relationship with my team-mates is exactly the same.

“Bournemouth is obviously a very special club for me and I have got no problems at all going back to Bournemouth next season, My contract isn’t up, I have still got three years there, so I have got no problems going back there next season.

“My head is pretty clear and I am looking forward to this trip.”

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Sunderland name St Mirren manager as new boss after relegation to League One

Shakhtar want more than €50 million from Man United for Fred

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel