Two early first-half goals were enough to see ten-man Queens Park Rangers to victory this weekend, but it could’ve been a different story thanks to the sorry display of one struggling Hoops star.
Defensive duo Rob Dickie and Lee Wallace – who scored his first-ever goal in the Championship – had the west London outfit two-up inside 20 minutes before Middlesbrough grabbed one back before the break.
Mark Warburton then saw his goalkeeper, Seny Dieng, sent off on the hour mark as he brought down Ducan Watmore with a rash and late challenge, though he can be forgiven as it was his bravery and impressive shot-stopping that had kept QPR in the match until that point
Warburton can count his lucky stars that they walked away with three points, let alone one – or at worst, none – because young defender Osman Kakay proved to be a liability in the back three.
Indeed, the 23-year-old was graded as the Rs’ worst-performing player on the afternoon, as per SofaScore ratings, where he was given a 6.1 and that was lower than Dieng (6.5), too.
Something that would be backed up by West London Sport in their post-game review. ‘Started at right centre-back and was given the runaround on occasions by the wily [Yannick] Bolasie,’ they wrote.
Kakay struggled immensely with the threat of Bolasie and Watmore, losing four of his five duels (80%), both on the ground and in the air. He also earned a yellow card for his troubles – the only other player to receive a booking besides the sent-off goalkeeper.
In addition to that, the Loftus Road academy graduate was hugely wasteful in possession, losing the ball 20 times, which was the most of anyone that featured and six more times than any other visiting Rs star, as per SofaScore.
It means the right-sided defender lost the ball once every 2.5 touches and once every 4.5 minutes, so it’s no wonder that Boro edged possession (51%) as the QPR ace regularly gifted the ball back to the home side.
Kakay was also poor in the passing game, making just 57% of his 37 attempts, comfortably the worst of any QPR starter besides Lyndon Dykes, but strikers aren’t supposed to be outstanding in possession compared to a centre-back who needs to play the ball out from the back.
All in all, Warburton is lucky that Boro didn’t punish this shocking display further as it could have certainly seen them drop a valuable three points.
Kakay’s performance very nearly cost QPR and his place in the starting XI must be questioned going into Tuesday’s game with Swansea City.