Ace and Waste Of Space: Cherries man a regular source of wins

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A 17th-place finish on goal difference would have been considered a triumph for Bournemouth in their first ever campaign in the Premier League. But things turned out even better than that.

The Cherries ended the season five points clear of the relegation places and just eight shy of the top half after settling into 16th place. Considering there were long-term injuries to key men like Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel and Callum Wilson, that achievement was certainly reason to celebrate.

As you’d expect from such an impressive showing, individual performances decorated the campaign. However, only one man can be singled out in Ladbrokes News’ latest series.

For dedicated early followers of the Ace and Waste Of Space collection, the results of both Arsenal and Aston Villa’s seasons would have provided some shocks.

But for any latecomers to the newest sensation in online sports writing, a quick explanation:

Ace and Waste Of Space looks at the winning and losing percentages of every Premier League squad from last season.

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. Got it? Good.

ACE – Adam Smith

With a win percentage of 38, right-back Smith was the Cherries’ lucky charm during the 2015/16 season.

The former Tottenham Hotspur youth took the honour quite comfortably in the end, with goalkeeper Artur Boruc his closest competitor having won 34 per cent of his starts in all competitions.

Midfielder Dan Gosling claimed bronze with a win percentage of 33, but Smith, who started 22 league games during the season, proved key to Eddie Howe’s plans having started 10 of Bournemouth’s 14 all-competition triumphs.

WASTE OF SPACE – Marc Pugh

There was no contest when it came to finding Bournemouth’s biggest liability, with winger Marc Pugh cantering to victory with a losing percentage of 65 during the season.

Bournemouth lost 11 of the 17 starts Pugh made in all competitions this term, including each of the final five the former Burnley man started to end the campaign.

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.