There was a lot of excitement around Craven Cottage after Fulham achieved promotion to the Premier League. The Lilywhites haven’t spent ridiculous amounts of money like they did last time, but their recruitment has been smart.
With Scott Parker at the helm, there’s a lot to be positive about for Fulham fans. However, they were handed a harsh reality check in their first game of the new Premier League season.
Arsenal put three past Parker’s side at the Cottage without reply. Fulham started off fairly well but it seemed as if they didn’t know what to do once the Gunners took the lead.
If Fulham’s second-half performance is anything to go by, they may struggle to stay away from the relegation zone. BBC pundit Garth Crooks feels the writing is on the wall already but the Cottagers could change that if they can get one of their best players firing.
He wrote on BBC Sport: “Fulham appear hesitant and lacking in quality, particularly in the last third. Unless they can get Aleksandar Mitrovic fit and scoring goals, I think the writing might be on the wall already.”
Mitrovic has been struggling with injuries for a while, which forced Parker to put him on the bench against Arsenal. The former Newcastle man scored 26 times for Fulham in the Championship last season and is their biggest hope this term.
If Mitrovic can stay fit and manage to score at least half as many as he did in the Championship, Fulham’s chances of survival will increase considerably. However, he can’t do it all by himself, which puts further pressure on his teammates and Parker this season.