Micah Richards believes Mikel Arteta still needs to find the right tactics for Arsenal’s midfied following their 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The Gunners got their new Premier League campaign off to a winning start as first-half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka gave last season’s runners-up a commanding lead by the break.

Taiwo Awoniyi pulled a late goal back for Forest but Steve Cooper’s side were unable to find the equaliser as Arsenal held out for the victory.

Declan Rice was handed his debut following his £105 million move from West Ham in the summer, but Richards feels the arrival of the England international has hampered Thomas Partey’s impact in midfield.

When asked what he thought of Arteta’s midfield tactics, Richards said on BBC’s Match of the Day: ‘For me, I’m not sure it worked out today.

Obviously, Partey started out in that right-back role and I could see the intent from the start of the game.

‘What they wanted to do is Partey to go inside to leave all the space for Saka, so Saka can come to the ball in a one-versus-one situation, or he can go over the top.

‘But the lacking of pace and fluidity in Arsenal’s play… Arsenal are moving the ball left to right too slow. If you’re going to play like this you need to move the ball from right to left, left to right as soon as possible to get them in these key areas where they’re going to hurt them.

‘It was a great result for them to get off with a win but I just think everything was a little bit too slow.

‘People are asking how they are going to fit with Rice and Partey in this system, they tried it today and of course they’ve won but I just don’t believe it worked exactly how they wanted it to work.

‘With Zinchenko on the other side coming in and being able to attack, but for me it didn’t work exactly how they wanted [on the right side].

‘One concern I do have is, defensively, if you play in that position you’re going to get isolated one versus one. Has he got the capability to deal with that situation? We know that in midfield [he can], but against a better team they could’ve got punished.

‘Little tweaks, I know it’s only the first game of the season. On the ball, Partey was fantastic. But in terms of the fluidity of the team, I’m not sure it worked today.’