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AFC Bournemouth: Arter advocates single striker stance
MIDFIELD marvel Harry Arter is backing Cherries to prosper from their passing approach and insists playing with a lone front man is no barrier to their attacking instincts.
The 24-year-old was at the hub of Cherries’ creativity as Eddie Howe’s charges fought back from two goals down to secure a point in a 2-2 draw at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Despite their early deficit, Cherries continued to create with Eunan O’Kane providing the platform for Arter and Andrew Surman to pull the strings in the middle of the park.
Simon Francis’s 65th-minute leveller came a minute after the introduction of attacking duo Tokelo Rantie and Yann Kermorgant from the bench.
But while there have been calls from some quarters for Cherries to take a more direct route from the outset, Dean Court’s former Woking wonder believes patience on the pitch and from the stands can help his team to turn on the style.
Arter told the Daily Echo: “Sometimes it is difficult when the fans see we are playing one up front. They might see it as a negative tactic but in terms of chances, we create more when we play three in midfield.
“The team have definitely been more comfortable with it lately. It was never going to be something which clicked into position straight away, we have had to work hard at it every day in training.
“You can see it has started to come together in games now and we have been the better team for long spells in the past six or seven games.
“If a result doesn’t go for us one week it is not necessarily down to tactics, there are other reasons, but if we keep playing the way we are at the moment we will see plenty of positive results.”
And Arter, who played a starring role in Lancashire despite twisting his ankle in the warm-up, reckons Cherries have to stick to their principles if they want to emulate teams revered for their moving of the ball.
“As a group that is what we are groomed to do and if you want to play an attractive style you have to play that way,” he added.
“Barcelona play one up front, so did Liverpool when they came here and when you look at the best teams in the world, everyone seems to overload the middle of the park to get their creative players on the ball.
“That is the way continental football is going and with more young managers like ours coming into the game, the philosophy is to beat teams by playing football.
“It is tough for teams to stick with that when they are constantly looking to improve but it can be done.
“Teams like Swansea and Brighton earn a lot of praise for playing that way but they made steady progress over time. Their fans stuck with them and that’s what we need here.”