Professionalism and patience

13/14: Arsena 2-0 Crystal Palace - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Many factors determine the outcome of a football match but the one I feel we overlook due to our understandable bias is that team we are playing just might have played very well. Our last two games, although immensely different, have demonstrated that fact quite well.

Come half-time down in Southampton last week we could have found ourselves further behind than just the one we conceded. I do think on another day our hosts' opener could have been deemed a foul but that doesn't hide the fact they played extremely well, had far more of the ball and created enough chances to deserve their lead.

The second period could be described as topsy-turvy and, like many, I am convinced if we had held our lead for 10 minutes or so we would have gone on to win the game. Taking everything into account I see it as a point gained from a very tough game, especially given how well our hosts played.

Although tactically it couldn't have been more different, the fact Crystal Palace have not conceded many goals in recent weeks is not just coincidence. Well-drilled and hugely disciplined, the Eagles' defensive unit was difficult to break down on Sunday afternoon.

As with a number of other home games this season, however, it was hugely important that we didn't stray from our game, remained disciplined and most of all patient, both on and off the field.

This we did of course and once again we reaped the rewards, the Ox topping his fine performance with a brace to send us back to the top of the league.

Our fixture list over the next couple of months is incredible. We are all very much aware of that and the media in particular have not stopped talking about it. That period begins with our Saturday lunchtime encounter up at Anfield.

Looking at the weather outside and using a little bit of cockney rhyming slang, it's certainly a bit 'Mork and Mindy' right now and the forecast suggests that could still be the case come kick-off time.

Wrap up warm then and tune those vocal chords, we need to be part of the whole package over the coming weeks.

Come on you mighty yellows!


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