Englishmen’s differing fortunes sum up Crystal Palace’s season
A mixed season at Selhurst Park would have had the Crystal Palace faithful flying high at times, and covering their eyes at others, as despite a trip to Wembley for just their second ever FA Cup final, a horrific form slump saw them finish a disappointing 15th in the Premier League.
Alan Pardew’s men took just 11 points following the turn of the year, ultimately just enough to scrape over the magical 40-point mark needed for survival, yet were perhaps unlucky to see an extra-time Jesse Lingard screamer win the famous trophy for Manchester United for the 12th time.
But whose magic touch could the shimmying gaffer have done with a bit more of, and who carried the bulk of that league demise on their back?
In Ladbrokes News’ Ace and Waste Of Space series, we take a look at who (of those with 15 starts in all competitions) carried the highest win percentage, and who Pardew is better off leaving on the bench next season, as they started the most defeats of any.
ACE – Jason Puncheon
The tricky winger provided the bulk of the Eagles’ luck this season, despite managing just three goals in 34 starts in all competitions.
The Englishman’s 78th-minute strike in the FA Cup final had Pardew dancing for joy, and it seems it wasn’t just in mid-May, but for the entire campaign, that Puncheon put a smile on his boss’ face, boasting a win percentage of 41.
Pape Souaré followed closely behind in second with 40%, his 34 league starts helping his side keep eight clean sheets through the season.
WASTE OF SPACE – Martin Kelly
It was an equally tight call for this one, with full-back Kelly taking the ‘accolade’ with a 47% loss ratio, just edging out midfielder James McArthur.
This dubious title is the latest in the Kelly trophy cabinet, his two-minute substitute appearance in Oslo against Norway in 2012 meaning he holds the record for ‘shortest England career ever’; oh, and an FA Cup runners-up medal of course.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.