Ace/Waste of Space: Long-serving Everton left-back a liability
A new Everton era is already underway after the club replaced Roberto Martinez with impressive Southampton boss Ronald Koeman this summer, but that won’t stop our hugely successful Ace and Waste of Space series looking back at the Spaniard’s final campaign.
During an alphabetical tour around the Premier League to find which clubs’ players, who have made 15 or more starts in all competitions, have been involved in the highest proportion of wins and losses, it is now Everton’s turn:
ACE – Aaron Lennon
There can be no better example of just how mediocre Everton were in Martinez’s third-and-final season at Goodison Park than the fact that no regular squad member won half of the matches they started. By the same token, only two players won less than 30% of their starts.
For that reason, Lennon’s position as the club’s ace during 2015/16 isn’t so much a celebration of his excellence, rather a sombre reminder of another lost season for a vaunted young squad.
The former Tottenham winger took the coveted Ladbrokes prize with a 43% win percentage. In fairness, this was a hotly-contested race, with no less than seven players finishing on the diminutive wide man’s coattails.
In the end though, goalkeeper Joel Robles and centre-half Ramiro Funes Mori took a share of silver with 42%.
WASTE OF SPACE – Leighton Baines
If the tussle to be Everton’s ace was sardine-tin tight, the tag to be the team’s Waste of Space was only ever heading in one direction.
Sadly, Leighton Baines is a comfortable leader in the losing-percentage stakes, having lost 45% of his starts in all competitions last term.
He was the only qualified Toffee to lose more than 39% of his outings and, even more miraculously, perhaps the sole player in the Everton squad not singled out for effusive praise by a gushing Martinez during the season. Sad times.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.