Queens Park Rangers were unable to continue their rich vein of form on Saturday afternoon as they slumped to a home defeat to lowly Huddersfield Town, and one man badly let Mark Warburton down.
The Terriers were the better side throughout the encounter, but it may have been a different match had Todd Kane converted an absolute sitter with it still all-square before the break.
Ilias Chair teed up the right wing-back from seven yards out and he still missed – many will blame him for the result, but it was the Rs’ inability to control the match from midfield that ultimately proved to be their downfall.
Fulham loanee Stefan Johansen endured, perhaps, his worst game since joining the club in January – as described by West London Sport in their post-match ratings:
‘Probably his least impressive display since his arrival from Fulham. Loose in possession with too many over-hit passes and struggled to get on top against the excellent [Lewis] O’Brien and Jonathan Hogg.’
Indeed, he was graded as their worst starter and it’s easy to see why.
The Norweigan veteran played the full 90 minutes, and recorded the second-most touches of anyone on the pitch (95). Therefore, his influence in the match should’ve been far greater as he’s clearly meant to be pulling the strings from the engine room.
However, Warburton got very little in return.
Johansen also lost possession 17 times, meaning he handed the ball back to Huddersfield once every five minutes – or once every 5.5 touches, as per SofaScore.
The £1.8m-rated 30-year-old was also weak in his battles, winning only one of five duels (20%), which merely reinforces the view from WLS that he struggled to combat the energy and aggression from O’Brien and Hogg in the middle.
By comparison, midfield partner Sam Field only lost three of 11 duels in the middle, whilst no other Hoops player was as ineffective.
So, much of the fault may well lie at Kane’s feet but that was merely one chance in 90 minutes of football and thus, Johansen’s performance must be criticised just as much – if not more – especially given his vast experience.
Warburton would have surely wanted better from the £8k-per-week promotion winner.