Remember the date, June 7 2010, it was the day that Harry Nicholas Arter signed on the dotted line to join Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth revolution.
For the princely (reported) sum of £4000 Harry Arter was a work in progress. Eddie Howe rarely gets it wrong and the next six years were to prove him very much right. Two months after signing he made his Cherries debut away to former club Charlton in a one-nil loss. What else did Harry manage to achieve? His first ever yellow. A sight that was to be more familiar than he or the club wanted. But, on the flip side it showed what he was all about, a fierce competitor.
NUMBER EIGHT, NUMBER EIGHT , HARRY ARTER
Six years at AFC Bournemouth is a long time. It’s a long time at any club, but Arter, like the fans has seen the meteoric rise from the duldrums of League One to a second season in the top flight of English football. Did he ever believe that when that £4000 changed hands he would be playing in the Premier League before he reached the ripe old age of 26. If he did he had greater vision than anyone else.
He is a player who has grown up with the club, he is a player that has endeared himself to the fans and he is a player who has enjoyed the journey more than most. He is AFCB royalty, he is one of the AFC Bournemouth family. Will he ever leave? We hope he stays until the journey’s end where he retires at the helm of the club he loves, guiding the team to yet another successful season in the top flight. Harry Arter the greatest AFC Bournemouth player of all-time? It really could happen.
2010/11 – IN, OUT, LOAN
Coming from non-league football there were no great expectations of Harry Arter. He was new, raw and keen, enough for him to stake a place in the team. His first home game for AFC Bournemouth saw him come on in the 83rd mnute as a sub for Liam Feeney. The Cherries were already 5-1 up thanks to a Pitman hat-trick. He was in and out of the first XI, until Lee Bradbury decided that he needed more game time. Off to Carlisle he went for a five-game loan spell where he scored his first goal against Brighton, who featured ex-captain Tommy Elphick. Carlisle manager Greg Abbott wanted to sign Arter, but thankfully common sense prevailed and he returned to Bournemouth and the bench, for now.
2011/12 – HERE COMES THE RUSSIAN
It was an explosive start to the 2011/12 season with 3 goals and 3 yellow cards in the first four games. In a season to forget for AFC Bournemouth Arter established himself in midfield playing alongside Steven Gregory, Marc Pugh, Wes Fogden, Shaun MacDonald and even Stephen Purches.
It was in the FA Cup that Harry Arter got his fifth goal of the season with an outstanding free-kick in the 90th minute away to Gillingham. His final goal of the season was to prove a vital one as he scored the only goal away to Huddersfield in December 2011. No goals in the last half of the season but a host of performances that kept him as one of the first names of the team sheet.
A FREE-KICK TO REMEMBER
2012/13 – WHEN WE WIN PROMOTION
It was a big season for Harry Arter and AFC Bournemouth. The Cherries got promoted and Arter put in 42 appearances, got 8 goals, signed a new contract and got his first red card. It was a slow start for the Cherries, getting 3 draws in the opening three games with Arter getting two yellows. But, fate meant that October was a good month for AFC Bournemouth and Arter. Paul Groves got the sack, Eddie Howe came back and Harry got a contract until 2015.
With Howe back there was a distinct upturn in results as draws went out the window and wins were coming far more frequently. Arter was blossoming and his goal away to eventual champions Doncaster being the only goal of the game. Three points, thank you very much. He went on to net against Yeovil, Swindon, MK Dons, Bury and the game that got promotion, Carlisle at home. Watch the video and see how much his goal meant to him.
ARTER SCORES, BOURNEMOUTH PROMOTED
JUST LIKE WATCHING BRAZIL
2013/14 – CHAMPIONSHIP WE’RE HAVING A LAUGH
It was big time football for the Cherries, the first time we had been in the second tier of English football since the halycon days of Harry Redknapp. A 2-1 win against Charlton in the glorious sunshine at Dean Court was a great start to the season, but there were a few dark days to come. But the Cherries were learning quickly and so was Arter. He scored in a classic game against Millwall and kept putting in man of the match performances, showing his true value to the Cherries.
His next foray in the goalscoring stakes didn’t come until March 2014. This time he got two in a 5-0 thrashing of Doncaster. Remember them? The team who won the title and went straight back down. Trophy or Premier League?
Arter ended the season on a low note getting sent off in the last game of the season at home to QPR. But even his dismissal couldn’t stop the Cherries getting all three points with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Tommy Elphick, Lewis Grabban and a last gasp goal line clearance from Brett Pitman.
ARTER DOUBLE, KERMORGANT TREBLE
FROM TWO NIL DOWN TO THREE GOALS UP
2014/15 – WHEN WE WIN PROMOTION – AGAIN
This was a seminal season for AFC Bournemouth and Harry Arter was a critical component of the promotion-winning team. Not only was his tireless running keeping the opponents pegged back, but his contribution on the goal front was his best to date. After a blistering start to the season, think we were top with Millwall, a run of losses and draws were lit up by Harry Arter’s wonder strike against Watford (see more later on this). The Cherries moved into a new gear, thrashing Birmingham 8-0 and beating Brighton 3-2, but it was another crucial goal for Arter away to Wolves that helped seal the three points in a 2-1 win.
He scored in the very next game in a 5-3 thriller (one of our Arter favourites) against Cardiff. After the distraction of the Capital One Cup he was back in goalscoring form in a 6-1 annihilation of a battered and bruised Blackpool. Would he score again this season? Of course he would, making it four league games in a row with a Boxing Day goal against Fulham in a 2-0 home win. Two days later he made it five in a row in a comfortable 2-0 win away to Millwall.
…AND ARTER MAKES IT SIX
2015/16 – PREMIER LEAGUE, EASY
Hard to believe but AFC Bournemouth were in the Premier League, a journey perfectly matched by Harry Arter’s rise from the depths of non-league football. Not even in his wildest dreams when he signed for the Cherries from Woking could he have thought that Premier League football was just around the corner.
Injury curtailed Arter’s season failing to get a start until the very end of October when the Cherries took on Liverpool in the Capital One Cup. His first four league games of the season saw two draws and two losses. But, he was on the pitch for the two impressive wins against Chelsea and Man United and the memorable 3-3 against Everton. Arter was slowly and surely getting back to his best but his long term lay-off meant he wasn’t quite reaching the dizzy heights of the previous season.
The new year saw Arter get his one and only goal of the season with an early strike against West Ham at Dean Court. In true Harry Arter style he picked the ball up 25 yards out and hit a rocket into the bottom corner. A goal worthy of winning any game, but it was not to be. Payet popped up with two world class free-kicks to condemn the Cherries to a 3-1 defeat.
The rest of the season was a see-saw ride for the Cherries with Arter featutring in one of the major highlights, a 2-0 win at home to neighbours Southampton. Again injury struck and kept him on the sidelines for most of March and April making his comeback away to Everton at the very end of April. The Cherries were safe and Arter was ready to go again and show off his undoubted talents with another season in the Premier League.
AN ARTER SPECIAL
AND ‘YELLOW CARD’ WAS HIS NAME
We don’t want to dwell on Harry Arter’s indescretions too much, but he used to be so good at getting a yellow card we couldn’t resist.
Arter’s competitive nature (which is what we love about him) has never really been the problem. Not knowing when to shut up has been his biggest problem. He gets involved when he doesn’t need. I remember going on at the ref and even as he was being dragged away he continued, until he got a yellow of course.
At his best (worst) he managed a games to cards ratio of 38% back in 2011/12. At his worst (best) he managed a ratio of 23% back in the 2013/14 season. His average over 6 seasons is just over 30%. Don’t worry Harry we know you don’t mean it and we still love you.
MOST MEMORABLE GOAL
Arter’s strike record sits at 27 goals. He kicked off his first season (2010/11) without a single strike for AFC Bournemouth. But, he did score in a 5-game loan spell at League One Carlisle in a 4-3 loss against a Brighton team that featured future Cherries Tommy Elphick, Glenn Murray and Marcos Painter. Remember him? He made three appearances for the Cherries and one of those was on the front of the matchday programme.
In 2011/12 his tally to 6, in 2012/13 he scored 8, in 2013/14 it was 3, in 2014/15 it was 9 and in his first season in the Premier League he managed a single goal (in 22 appearances) at home to West Ham in a 3-1 loss.
When it comes to Arter’s goals it’s not the quantity that sticks in the memory but the quality. Without hesitation we can think of three strikes, away to Watford in a 1-1 draw, a stunner against Middlesbrough at home and a peach at home to Cardiff in a 5-3 thriller.
We know which know which one is our favourite, but which one does it for you?
MIDDLESBROUGH (h) – 21.03.2015
WATFORD (a) – 20.09.2014
CARDIFF (h) – 13.12.2014