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Puncheon could end up paying penalty of his own for Warnock outburst
12:32pm Tuesday 14th January 2014 in Sport
EAGLES columnist WILL Taylor this week discusses Jason Puncheon's penalty miss, his subsequent ill advised Twitter comments about Neil Warnock and Palace’s January window transfer strategy.
IT was a familiar feeling of so close yet so far on Saturday, emphatically emphasised by Jason Puncheon’s gravity-defying penalty.
Once again Palace frustrated their technically superior opponents but failed to display a cut-throat instinct when placed in front of goal.
The prudent Tony Pulis looked to have the better of a sheepish Tim Sherwood in the opening exchanges with a typical blend of high-pressure and resolute defending.
But after the interval, Spurs revealed themselves as the wolf in sheep’s clothing and eased to a 2-0 victory.
It seems impossible, and somewhat unreasonable, to expect Palace to maintain such energy-sapping tactics for the entire 90 minutes.
And as soon as this side slips below their very best, they are punished with a ruthless efficiency which makes the Premier League such an exciting but ultimately daunting spectacle for supporters.
If Puncheon’s obscure spot-kick technique wasn’t going to attract enough social media ridicule, his reaction to former Eagles boss Neil Warnock’s insulting evaluation served only to light the Twitter touch-paper.
The midfielder unleashed a flurry of tweets questioning Warnock’s integrity as a manager upon hearing he would never have trusted Puncheon ‘in a millions years’ with such an important penalty.
His potentially libellous outburst was quickly deleted but the damage was already done as numerous print screen photographs popped up to repeat what had been tweeted and prolong Puncheon’s embarrassment.
The exact fallout of Puncheon’s actions are yet to be determined but the club can ill afford to be basking in negative publicity at this precise moment.
As expected, attempts to lure new players to SE25 are proving increasingly difficult and at the time of writing the only transfer of note stems from Jimmy Kebe’s loan departure to Leeds.
The likelihood of completing any deals this month is bound to be hampered by Steve Parish's decision to jet off to the Caribbean on a family holiday.
The chairman’s honesty, charisma and commitment to the club is unparalleled and strikes me as a potentially decisive factor for players being courted by multiple clubs.
His 10-day absence places a weight of expectation on sporting director Iain Moody, who will be tasked with replicating the deals that secured the surprise arrivals of Steven Caulker and Gary Medel during his time at Cardiff, albeit with a drastically inferior budget.
In the wake of the defeat to Spurs, Pulis once again presented the press with his post-match speech which outlined the desire for more quality.
I sincerely hope this determination does not lead to desperation as it did with Holloway.
Hull are supposedly lining up a combined £14m deal for strike duo Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, which is further evidence that the January sales exist everywhere but the winter transfer market.
There is very little value on offer, with managers keen to maintain a balanced squad while the standout performers in the Championship will command vastly inflated fees based on form rather than fact.
Pulis has stated he wants players ‘with something to prove...who are going to roll their sleeves up, work hard and make a difference’.
But I am struggling to conjure up any inspirational names who would be interested.
I would love to see the club approach Manchester City striker John Guidetti, a player with endless potential who has only just fully recovered from injury after a fantastic loan spell in Holland.
But alas it seems as though he is close to joining Stoke, who happen to be our next opponents at home in the league.
Pulis will be desperate to trump his former employers and restore the feel good factor at Selhurst Park, which blossomed during back-to-back wins over Cardiff and West Ham.
Victory could propel the club off the bottom to as high as 15th, while defeat for the Potters would drag them into this relegation battle of Royal Rumble proportions.
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