This advice to Arsenal comes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

It refers to the idea that one must take a step back and engage in different forms of self-renewal before growth can occur. In the literal sense, in order to most efficiently cut down a tree, you should take time to ‘sharpen the saw’ to ensure it’s working at its optimum.

This advice seems so obvious but is difficult for individuals and organisations to integrate. We are all so wrapped up in the ‘here and now’ and an immediate sense of accomplishment that it feels as if we are wasting time if we take a step back.

It’s why people visit psychologists; Why Businessmen go to professional conferences; Why teachers engage in professional development; Why self-help books are readily consumed; Why we take vacations to get away from life’s stressors.

Both personal and organisational betterment result from thinking differently and stepping out of a comfort zone.


1. Arsenal Football Club is at a crossroads

It’s time for the entire organisation to take a step back and ‘sharpen the saw’ in order to progress.

The transitional period we are about to embark on will have major ramifications for years to come.

Will we continue to stress entertaining, attacking football?

Will we delegate responsibility more evenly throughout the organisation?

Will we start to seriously challenge for titles again or fall to Europa League-type levels?

We see change on the horizon.

The Arsenal fanbase is intelligent and well-informed. Even the most positive of which now see deep-rooted structural and philosophical flaws that permeate from top to bottom.

This piece won’t mention our manager. The club is bigger than one man. It may be uncomfortable and enduring a few below average seasons.

Here are some ideas that Arsenal should consider in order to “sharpen the saw” and get us back to the Premier League summit.

First, adopt an holistic footballing philosophy