You couldn’t make up Villa’s Ace and Waste Of Space this season

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Aston Villa to win 16/17 Championship

By the time readers have scrolled to the foot of this page, Aston Villa could well have hired the man tasked with getting them out of the Championship.

Confirmation that another new Villans era, this time under former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, is reportedly imminent.

Should the Italian take the reigns as expected, he’ll have a sizeable job rebuilding the fallen club’s squad.

As he weighs up which players to keep and who to axe, it may help to know who played the biggest part in Villa’s rare wins and all-too-regular losses during the recent campaign.

That’s where Ladbrokes’ Ace and Waste Of Space series comes in.

We’ve already covered Arsenal in the inaugural post, combing through the win and loss percentages of every squad member to have started at least 15 all-competition games.

The man with the highest win per cent is the Ace, the dud with the biggest losing percentage is the Waste Of Space. Shall we meet Villa’s?

ACE – Gabby Agbonlahor

Yes, you have read that right.

This is the man who resigned as club captain after partying on the night relegation was confirmed. He was also suspended and fined while a review of his conduct was carried out and contributed just one goal to the league cause all season. Yet he was involved in the highest percentage of Villa’s wins.

Agbonlahor started three of Villa’s five triumphs during the campaign, giving him a win percentage of 20 and placing him above all of his teammates. Micah Richards was his nearest rival, on a measly 15 per cent.

Anyone of the opinion that Agbonlahor contributed nothing to the season will clearly have to think again now, especially as the ousted skipper bagged his only league goal in one of those victories; the 2-0 win over Norwich in February.

WASTE OF SPACE – Gabby Agbonlahor

Well, well, well, isn’t this ironic?

In failing to start a single draw during Aston Villa’s season, Agbonlahor gets to play the hero and the villain in the perfect summation of a shambolic season.

Along with his three wins, the 29-year-old was also picked for 12 losses during the tumultuous campaign, giving him a whopping losing percentage of 80.

That mark edges him ahead of Aly Cissokho, who collected silver in the Waste Of Space stakes on 79 per cent, while two players – Brad Guzan and Alan Hutton – shared third on 75.

A special mention goes to the Scottish full-back, though, who arguably has a claim on Agbonlahor’s unwanted crown as Villa’s Waste Of Space, having not started in a single victory over the season either.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.