Ian Holloway lamented his team on Sunday following their 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
For many people, Crystal Palace had given a good account of themselves but Holloway felt his side were lacking belief, pace and a cutting edge.
So he’s done something about it.
On Wednesday Palace signed Southampton winger Jason Puncheon on a season-long loan deal, with the 27-year-old attacker direct and forward thinking. Exactly what an exasperated Holloway said he needed in a typically animated post-match press conference, following the opening day loss to Spurs.
It is perhaps a surprise that Southampton have let Puncheon leave, as he only signed a new three-year deal back in March and scored seven goals in 34 appearances for Saints last season.
Holloway and Puncehon have history, as the Saints winger joined Blackpool on loan when Saints were in League One and Blackpool were in the Premier League under Holloway. The talented winger added goals and attacking impetus to Holloway’s side then, and it’s hard to not see that happening this time around.
Puncheon is a loan specialist, with the season-long jaunt to Palace his seventh loan spell during his ten-year career. For most of his time at Southampton, Puncheon was an outcast after falling out with owner Nicola Cortese. However the pair made up and Puncheon helped the Saints to PL survival last year, scoring the goal that sealed their safety in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland late in the campaign.
But with attacker Pablo Osvaldo joining for a club record $22.5 million earlier this week, Puncheon was falling down the pecking order. He should be relishing the chance to play regularly at Palace and under a manger who trusts him and knows what he can do.
An added bonus is that Puncheon is returning home. He was born in Croydon, which is the area adjacent to Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park home.
With Holloway wanting goals and more purpose, Puncheon can deliver that. A shrewd piece of business by the Eagles manager.
Expect plenty more new faces to arrive at Palace in the coming days, after the Eagles added some ‘Punch’ to their attack…