We said last week that there were bound to be a number of things happening at the club over this week, and we weren’t wrong.
By all accounts Darren Bent was booked in for his medical, only to have a change of heart and opt for Fulham instead. Ian Holloway made his feelings bluntly clear at the Premier League launch, something which the Cottagers’ Martin Jol did not appreciate.
Unfortunately for Jol, Holloway has a tendency to tell it how he sees it, which in this sort of situation he has every right to do. Whilst many supporters were annoyed at the failed transfer, it was Bent’s decision and it shows how much he wanted to play for Palace. It could be argued that Palace were used to get the deal he wanted from Fulham, and it’s important for this team to only have players who want to be there so overall it is not such a big loss.
With one rumoured deal falling through, another has surfaced in the last couple of days. Southampton’s Jason Puncheon today completed a season-long loan move to the Eagles.
Puncheon had been a target of the previous management regime and has found it difficult to cement a place at Southampton, despite seeming to be generally well-liked by Saints fans. The experience he brings will be very important to the team’s development and Palace have done well to pull this deal off.
Speaking of deals pulled off, at the end of last week both Neil Alexander and Florian Marange were confirmed as new additions to the squad, both providing extra depth that is needed.
Off the field, the 12Bet situation was finally resolved as the betting company were confirmed as stadium sponsors, but importantly did not include naming rights in this deal. The extra revenue will be welcome to the club, although many fans will feel there is an over-saturation of the company around the ground now, with every available advertising board brought.
An advertising deal throughout the stadium is much better than a renaming and will keep the majority of the supporters happy.
They can also be happy with the performance of the team in Sunday’s opening day defeat to Tottenham. Although they lost 1-0, there were plenty of positives to take from the game and build on throughout the rest of the season.
It is early doors but if they can continue that form then there is no reason why they cannot win the battle against the drop. But we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, after all it has only been one game. What it showed is that Palace are more than capable of holding their own, and no matter what happens the fans can be proud of the team.
Unfortunately the performance was slightly overshadowed by Ian Holloway venting his frustration to the media about the refereeing decisions. This of course led to an FA charge and looking back at the game on the balance of play, it did not seem there was all that much to be that worked up about. A similar feeling seemed to be around many supporters after the game.
However, it is done now and the manager must move on to getting the team ready for Stoke on Saturday. By then there could be even more new additions, as the Croydon Guardian have reported that a selection of players from the French Ligue 1 side Sochaux are on the Palace radar and the Croydon Advertiser has revealed AS Nancy has been the subject of some scouting. Whether anything comes of these and any other rumours only time will tell, the transfer window after all still has a little bit of time left and transfer stories always get attention.
Rather like the Bent deal, it would seem the best thing to do is to wait for official confirmation before assuming players are coming in. But if these potentials and rumours come off, it’s going to be another busy week between now and next week, and there’s a tough game at Stoke in between!
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987