Early draw dampens title hopes – yes, already.
Arsenal have been frustrating in the first three matches and will now have to wonder when the season ends that a draw at home against a side whose ceiling is surely mid-table is a reason why they will not be champions again this season.
Here are five reactions from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Fulham
5 reactions to Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Fulham
1. Partey at RB has To End
The flow of the game with Partey at right-back is off. Everyone feels out of sync. The decisions aren’t as quick and decisive. There’s no need to create or fix something that was working last season.
If there was to be an experiment, why not try it in cup games or other fixtures that perhaps aren’t quite so important? I know Arteta is a Pep disciple, but sometimes you don’t have to fix something that’s not broken. The White-Saka partnership was immense last season, but the pair have barely combined so far. Partey himself has not looked good in one-on-one positions when he is the last line of defence. It is puzzling. It didn’t cost Arsenal in the first two matches, but it did against Fulham.
Once Arsenal had its back-four shape with a substitution of Oleksandr Zinchenko for Partey, the pace picked up. Zinchenko is certainly more comfortable in the inverted left-back role and it showed in the build-up.