Ace and Waste of Space: Chelsea right to offload leading liability

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Chelsea to win 2016/17 Premier League

It was a season of much bemusement down the King’s Road as Chelsea surrendered their Premier League crown more limply than any champions before them, while their most successful manager was sent packing halfway through it.

While the ‘Jose Mourinho show’ invariably ended up stealing the limelight as results became more catastrophic week by week, the players perhaps escaped with far less blame than they really should have done.

A few such as stalwart defender Branislav Ivanovic did take a fair bit of heat and the Serbian was certainly an early contender for chump of the season.

However, there were many more stars, not least the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, who simply seemed to vanish in a style Lord Lucan perfected.

Willian was a rare success story. His exceptional performances in the face of such adversity will forever endear the Brazilian free-kick wizard to the Stamford Bridge faithful.

Statistically speaking, there were two who really stood out for villainy and heroism respectively.

Ladbrokes News enthusiasts keeping tabs on our Ace and Waste of Space series may yet again be left wide-eyed by the leading protagonists though. For all the plaudits sent his way, not least
Chelsea’s Player of the Season, Willian is not the ace.

For those slow to the pump…the aim is to find the player(s) that started the biggest proportion of wins, while also revealing the unlucky lad that had the most losses. A minimum of 15 starts in all competitions is needed to qualify for consideration.

ACE – Baba Rahman

Chelsea’s Ghanaian left-back is certainly a surprise ace in Chelsea’s dysfunctional pack, having only skimped over the 15 starts threshold with 17.

Nevertheless, the man regularly turned to in the Champions League and who grew in confidence thanks to a run of Premier League games towards the end of the season boasts an unrivalled win percentage of 53 when on the teamsheet.

Divisive striker Diego Costa was the next highest on 44 per cent.

WASTE OF SPACE – Ramires

This really isn’t a moniker many Chelsea fans would have attached to this industrious, if bit-part player no doubt.

However the scurrying Brazilian midfielder perhaps had half an eye on the mega bucks being offered in China even at the outset of the campaign.

Ramires scraped in with exactly 15 starts, but with Chelsea the wrong side of the result on eight of those occasions, the former Benfica man can’t hide, giving him a 53 per cent losing ratio.

It now looks as if the £25m the Blues took for his services from Jiangsu Suning in January, was shrewd business indeed.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.