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.

2. Adopt an holistic footballing philosophy

For a little over a decade, Arsenal has become synonymous with free-flowing, possession-based, attacking football.

This ‘on the ball’ excellence has so become a part of our ethos that we struggle when forced to play in a different style.

Tactical flexibility is vital against the best clubs in the world.

Our performances against Man City, Chelsea, and Bayern are evidence that when forced away from our attacking identity, we struggle to excel for extended periods.

You can go back to most big games over the last decade and see the same narrative.

It’s time to be more holistic and play in a variety of different ways. The meaningful commitment and drilling of different styles means we can adopt different approaches for different games as well as make in-game adjustments.

We are a possession-centric team but let’s have it in our locker to play counter-attacking, expansive, and pressing styles as well.

Take an expansive playing style for example. It’s a common criticism we that play a far too narrow and centralised game.

The best way to allow for creativity and individual brilliance is by expanding space. Ozil has spent most of this season attempting to find space in a system that has very little. A

s a result, he is criticised due to lack of involvement. Bayern played with such width against us that, despite employing two banks of four behind the ball, still had space to exploit and get in to playmakers. Their fullbacks and wingers still have chalk on their heels from collecting on the touchline and assessing interplay options from wide areas.

Next, give clearly defined roles based on tactical approach