Saturday 16 December 2017

Former Ireland star Matt Holland: Premier League will not faze Harry Arter

Harry Arter of AFC Bournemouth
Harry Arter of AFC Bournemouth

MATT Holland only has nice things to say about Harry Arter. Ireland fans got a glimpse in June and the Setanta pundit believes he will be worth watching in the upcoming Premier League season.

"He was at Charlton when I was there and he ruptured his Achilles and he had a really difficult time with that injury. He took a step back and actually reminded me of myself. I was at West Ham, didn't get into the first team and spoke to Harry Redknapp who wanted me to sign a new contract.

"I was 20 and wanted to play first-team football. Harry Arter was the same, he was held back because he couldn't quite break in on the players ahead of him. He took a step back and has shown a hunger and desire to get himself back to the top," said the former Ireland international.

"It can work two ways if you've been in that position. You can go 'well, it's not going to happen for me' and fall by the wayside. But his attitude was to say, I'll have a go. He always believed in his ability, you could see he was a confident lad who thought he should be pushing the likes of me in the first team.

"Jonjo Shelvey came in around the same time, he was two years below him, but got into first team at 16. He was pushed out the door a little bit because of that."

After such trials and tribulations to get to the Premier League, Holland has no fears about his ability to cope with the pressure.

"He's an excellent player, technically gifted, with a nice touch. He will take the ball in tight areas. There may be a question mark over his ability to last 90 minutes in matches. He enjoys the game for 75 minutes but if I'm being hyper-critical here. It's perhaps something he has to work on."


"He's someone who scores goals from midfield. He's a nice addition, we're a team (Ireland) that hasn't scored enough goals from midfield.

"It's nice for somebody to take the opportunity of shooting from 25 yards. He's quite confident to do that.

"He won't have any doubt that he can handle that level.

"Bournemouth have played against some Premier League teams in the past couple of years, they played Liverpool last year in the Cup, Aston Villa, they've played against those teams anyway.

"They play a really good brand of football and as a team, they've got to go and believe they can live at that level."

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