All of the time: Puncheon above his weight

Croydon Guardian: Whoops: Jason Puncheon's penalty at Spurs begins the long trip into orbit Whoops: Jason Puncheon's penalty at Spurs begins the long trip into orbit

Jason Puncheon's penalty is surely already being worked into cheap, petrol station football blooper DVDs, just as surely as the shot is already unwatchable for those of us that witnessed it in person.

I’m fairly sure I saw the ball kill two nesting pigeons in the White Hart Lane rafters, blast a hole through the roof and head off towards the Midlands.

The thing about that horrendous miss, and ensuing Twitter/libel row with Neil Warnock, is that it detracts from how good Palace were in the first half against Spurs.

Admittedly, the second half was a different story. But, ever the optimist, I'll focus on giving our first half of football the attention it deserves.

For a start there’s enough nonsensical negativity around – “Why IS Steve Parish on holiday?!” – and I don’t want to add to it by dwelling on one miss or the disappointing second period of a game we never expected to win in the first place.

I also don't want to get an aggressive message from Warnock's lawyers asking me to desist or face ferocious legal action.

Yannick Bolasie looked electric; not overcomplicating things but still taunting defenders.

Marouane Chamakh’s mercurial dribbling and passing was a sight to behold, casually evading tackles and bringing others into flowing moves with his class and vision.

Then there’s Joel Ward’s composure and link-up play, Mile Jedinak’s typical battling and dominance or Jonny Parr’s exchanges down the flank.

I’d go as far as to say that in the first half only Cameron Jerome looked like a really weak link and worryingly detrimental to the team.

The quick, three-pronged counter-attacking by Bolasie, Puncheon and Chamakh always seemed to come unstuck when the big centre forward received the ball to his feet, got muddled up and won a corner at best.

However, my biggest criticism is aimed at Tony Pulis' tactical approach. Specifically, that his moves to combat the obvious second half lethargy came far too late to get Palace back into the game.

Dwight Gayle, Adlène Guedioura and Jonny Williams revitalised the team, but it was already over and a shame that it took so long to bring them on for some of the Eagles’ obviously fading players.

Croydon Guardian:

Too little, too late: Dwight Gayle's introduction made a difference, but why did it take so long?

So now we find ourselves in a strange position, just past the season's half way stage.

Yes we're bottom of the table, which is never positive, but at the same time we're six points from 11th and nowhere near adrift in a constantly fluctuating league.

Stoke next weekend is crucial, as are all of our imminent fixtures because lose once or twice and suddenly we might look done for; but win a game or two and we'll be full of confidence for handling the more intimidating ties.

Let's pray it's the latter.

Let’s also pray Parish gets back from sunning himself pronto, swaps his flip-flops for his snakeskin loafers and gets some transfer business done…

Well I’m joking, but let’s genuinely pray Iain Moody or Pulis has a surprise up their sleeve because January’s nearly half done now.

And there’s still absolutely no hint of signing the players we need to ensure Saturday’s second half trough can be stopped from reoccurring.

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