FAM­ILY XMAS TEAR-UP

Bournemouth’s Harry Arter takes on bro-in-law Scott Parker and Ful­ham

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Jack Skel­ton

THE sea­son of good­will to all men is upon us but that fes­tive cheer may not be ex­tended to ev­ery­one around Harry Arter’s ta­ble this Christ­mas.

When the Bournemouth mid­fielder looks up from his turkey and trim­mings, he will lock eyes with the man he will do bat­tle with in his side’s clash against Ful­ham the fol­low­ing day – brother-in-law Scott Parker.

In­flu­ence

The for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tional is mar­ried to Arter’s sis­ter Carly and while Parker has been an im­por­tant in­flu­ence on the 24year-old’s ca­reer, the two fam­ily mem­bers have never pre­vi­ously played against each other.

With Parker stay­ing loyal to the Cot­tagers fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion last sea­son and Arter re­main­ing at the core of Ed­die Howe’s im­pres­sive squad, the fam­ily has re­ceived an un­ex­pected Christ­mas present.

And as a Ful­ham side en­joy­ing a resur­gent spell after their ear­lier strug­gles seeks to dis­rupt Bournemouth’s au­to­matic pro­mo­tion bid at Dean Court, Arter could be for­given for help- ing Parker, 34, to over-in­dulge the day be­fore.

Yet while the Cher­ries star may limit his spoil­ing tac­tics to a few gen­er­ous help­ings at the din­ner ta­ble, he in­sists the gloves will be off come Box­ing Day.

“It will be the first time I’ve played against Scott so it will be a surreal feel­ing and a very strange sort of day for the pair of us and the whole fam­ily,” said Arter.

“We’ve spent ev­ery Christ­mas to­gether as a fam­ily and will be do­ing so again be­fore play­ing the next day.

“He’s not a drinker and the fam­ily rarely drinks as well, so I can’t ply him with al­co­hol as it is very much bot­tles of wa­ter or Diet Coke for us.

“In­stead I’ll have to pile an ex­tra few pota­toes on his plate to make sure he’s a bit slower round the field the next day.

“As strange as it will be to face each other on the pitch, we will be pro­fes­sional and our fam­ily ties won’t get in the way.

“It would not be fair on the clubs or fans for us to go easy on each other, so we will both be fully fo­cused on get­ting our side the vic­tory.”

Re­gard­less of the re­sult, Arter is sure to re­flect on a spe­cial mo­ment along­side Parker, who has guided him through the dis­ap­point­ment of his re­lease from Charl­ton be­fore a spell at Non-League Wok­ing and up through the

ranks at Bournemouth. “Scott has had a ca­reer I would give any­thing to em­u­late,” he adds. “I’ve looked up to him with­out nec­es­sar­ily re­al­is­ing it and I’m proud to say he’s part of the fam­ily.

“He de­cided to stick with Ful­ham when he could have gone back to another Premier League club but he’s got a fam­ily of four that are set­tled in the area so it was the right decision.

“His goal was also ob­vi­ously to get Ful­ham pro­moted this sea­son and I re­spect him greatly for that choice, even though it’s not worked out this year.

“There are a lot more lows than highs in this game so it is nice to have some­one to help me through and I know how mas­sive a part of my life he has been.”

De­spite a 3-1 loss to Liver­pool in the Cap­i­tal One Cup quar­ter­fi­nals on Wed­nes­day that brought an end to Bournemouth’s 12-match un­beaten run in all com­pe­ti­tions, Arter be­lieves his side’s tri­umph over West Brom in the pre­vi­ous round is in­dica­tive of their pro­mo­tion cre­den­tials.

And with the Cher­ries con­tin­u­ing to dis­prove the naysay­ers, the mid­fielder is con­fi­dent ev­ery­one at the club, highly-rated boss Ed­die Howe in­cluded, is ready to make the step up.

“It was a big boost to have beaten Premier League op­po­si­tion al­ready this sea­son as we haven’t beaten a top-tier side for many years and that shows how far we have come,” he said.

Credit

“A lot of other fans keep say­ing we have spent loads of money and not given us credit for how hard we work.

“But what we’ve spent is pretty low com­pared with a lot of other teams in this league and we’ve passed Fi­nan­cial Fair Play so that was great for the club.

“We can’t be wor­ried that the Premier League is a step too far or that another club will take Ed­die be­cause then you’re scared of be­ing suc­cess­ful and you can’t play foot­ball like that.

“I don’t think leav­ing is at the back of any­one’s mind. There is over half the sea­son left, but we’re play­ing well and re­ally want to reach our goal of pro­mo­tion.”

PIC­TURE: Pin­na­cle

CHRIST­MAS CRACKER: Bournemouth’s Harry Arter will face broth­erin-law Scott Parker’s Ful­ham on Box­ing Day

SPE­CIAL: Scott Parker

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