Inside story: How Mikel Arteta used clear-the-air talks to turn things around at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has had to make some bold calls to get Arsenal back to winning football matches.

<p>Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates their side’s victory with the Arsenal Club Photographer Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)</p>

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates their side’s victory with the Arsenal Club Photographer Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal continued their strong revival under manager Mikel Arteta by beating Tottenham 3-1 in the North London derby.

Goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the hard-working Bukayo Saka ripped Tottenham apart in a one-sided first half, before Son Heung-Min pulled one back for Tottenham.

The win sees Arsenal jump to 10th on the league table, above Tottenham who are 11th, and swing momentum to the Gunners, who were bottom, while Tottenham were top after three league games.

It has been a remarkable turn of events for Arteta, who has experienced the emotions of watching on as Arsenal made the worst ever start to a Premier League season.

So how did he turn things around so quickly ?

Ramsdale over Leno

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal celebrate their side's victory (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

After three defeats to start the season, Mikel Arteta called a team meeting to find out if the players were concerned about the poor start and how they could come out of the situation together.

Aaron Ramsdale, who had just joined from Sheffield United, was one of the most vocal  at the meeting.

The England goalkeeper spoke about the need to get back to basics, close shop and grind out results.

He argued that was the way to go if they wanted to build momentum and confidence.

Arteta instantly picked up from his tone that he had not just signed a potentially brilliant goalkeeper, but had also secured a leader who had taken the long route of relegation to get to the Emirates.

That was the night before Arsenal played Norwich, and Arteta made the decision to start the 23-year-old ahead of first choice Bernd Leno.

Ramsdale has since kept two clean sheets in his first three league games, and transformed a defence that conceded nine goals in their first three games into one of the meanest in the league.

Convincing Xhaka he is a key player in his team

Granit Xhaka of Arsenal reacts as he leaves the pitch after being substituted during the Premier League (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Granit Xhaka is a player who divides opinion, from the playing body all the way to the fan base, but he is crucial to the way Arteta wants to play.

The Switzerland captain had wanted to move to Rome, where he would have linked up with former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho at AS Roma, but Arteta talked him out of it.

When Arsenal started the season with defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City, Xhaka was one of the under-performing players.

He was sent off against Manchester City and on the train back to London, the midfielder apologised to the technical team and his team-mates for letting them down.

Arteta’s response was firm, telling him  to remember that he is a key member of the team and that they would sail or sink together.

Arteta also assured his troops that he had seen enough despite the heavy defeat at City that they would soon start winning games.

Covid-19 and the red card kept the Switzerland captain  out of games against Norwich and Burnley, but against Tottenham, he reminded everyone why he is highly thought of by some of the best managers in the world.

His energy, tackling and his passing was instrumental in the demolition of Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday evening.

Taking a risk on playing Takehiro Tomiyasu against Norwich

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta reacts towards player Takehiro Tomiyasu during the Premier League match (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

When Arsenal signed Takehiro Tomiyasu on transfer deadline day, the right-back had to quickly join his national team for the World Cup qualifiers and the club was not certain if he would be ready for the game against Norwich.

They had not submitted his registration documents and he had barely finished his second full training before being informed he would be with the team for the must win Norwich game.

Arteta was not sure if starting him was the right thing to do, given he had just joined, did not speak much English and did not know most of his team-mates.

The Spanish manager picked the brain of his assistant Albert Stuivenberg on what he thought of starting Tomiyasu straight away, both agreed it was a risk that could harm his adaptation to the club but they also agreed it was a risk worth taking.

The Japan international started against Norwich and lasted almost 70 minutes before being replaced by Smith Rowe to see out the first league win of the season.

The former Bologna man impressed, got the feel good factor and now has the momentum.

Against Tottenham, he was unbeatable as Arsenal condemned their nearest rivals to defeat.