Jason Puncheon blasts Neil Warnock after criticism of woeful penalty miss against Tottenham
Neil Warnock could take legal action against Jason Puncheon after the Crystal Palace midfielder launched a potentially libellous Twitter tirade against his former manager.
Puncheon posted a series of tweets – which he then deleted – about Warnock on Monday morning upon hearing the 65-year-old mock his penalty howler during Palace’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Warnock, who signed the 27-year-old on loan for Queens Park Rangers in September 2011, told Telegraph Sport he was “aware” of Puncheon’s astonishing claims, which cannot be repeated for legal reasons.
He added: “He’s made comments that I know nothing about and if it’s been suggested that I’ve done anything untoward then I can confirm that I most certainly have not.
“The matter is being addressed with him directly now on my behalf.
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Warnock refused to confirm whether that meant he would sue Puncheon or was simply seeking a retraction.
Now on a season-long loan at Palace from Southampton, Puncheon reacted furiously after Warnock, in his role as a talkSPORT pundit, criticised the midfielder’s wayward penalty miss against Spurs, which took place at White Hart Lane on Saturday while the game was still 0-0.
Blazed high and wide, it has been described by many commentators as one of the worst spot kicks in recent memory.
Puncheon was happy to accept criticism from former Southampton star Matthew Le Tissier but not from Warnock.
“In the wake of a bad penalty and people's opinions and banter which I accept @mattletiss7 on @talkSPORTLive this morning gets it right,” he wrote, before laying into Warnock.
He added of the former Palace manager: “Everything else is banter and opinions and as a man I will live with that which is fine but I will not live with his opinion.”
Warnock had earlier said: “There’s no way I would’ve trusted him with a penalty. You’ve got to have somebody a little bit more cool, and he’s not like that, Jason.
“He can whack a 35-yard free-kick in here and there but a penalty, with all the pressure on him at a place like White Hart Lane – not in a million years for me.”
He added: “I think a centre-half might’ve done a bit better! Obviously, he never meant to put it up there.”
Warnock tempered his comments by describing Puncheon as “brilliant” and praising his overall progress.
Le Tissier, a penalty expert who scored 47 times from 48 spot-kicks, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was watching when Jason’s penalty went so far off target – it was incredible.”
He added: “For me, that’s a pretty poor one and a high-risk technique when you’re taking penalties, to strike it like that. He’s gone for the big, spectacular one, into the top corner, at pace, and, yeah, there was always a risk of that happening.”
Puncheon’s only goal this season came from a penalty against Norwich City on New Year’s Day.