Since assuming the role of club captain, it’s fair to say that Jason Puncheon has taken his responsibilities as the on-field leader of Crystal Palace FC extremely seriously, a statement backed up by his appearance on the Five Year Plan Podcast on Tuesday.
Whilst plenty of football clubs, particularly at Premier League level are often quick to shy away from offers for their players or directors to appear on club-run podcasts and shows, Palace have, since 2010 at least, always been open to the idea of interacting directly with the fan-base. Having regularly heard from Steve Parish and Stephen Browett, there have also been occasions when we’ve heard from players too but yesterday was Puncheon’s first such appearance on the FYP platform.
Although some supporters have openly questioned the midfielder’s form this season, (a topic he is more than happy to discuss during the interview) no one can deny that he has the best interests of the club at heart when listening to him talk about what it means to wear the armband each week. Having lost Mile Jedinak in the summer, I am more than happy to see Punch being given the role of our squad’s “leader” from game to game.
Whenever you hear other players musing on the difference supporters make to them and their teammates, it’s easy to take it with a sizeable pinch of salt but in Puncheon’s case, it’s easy to tell that his words come from the heart. Whilst the memory is still incredibly raw for all of us, you only need to think back to Jason’s face in the seconds after he put us in front against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final to be sure of how much the Palace badge means to him; with that same passion coming across loud and clear in the interview attached above.
The South Londoner’s troubles in front of goal have been well documented this season but it would be incredibly poetic for him to bag the winner against Hull sat Selhurst this coming Sunday. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a triumphant end to the season in SE25 for both Punch and the team.