It's been at best a difficult few weeks for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United.
His 12 unsuccessful shots at Tom Heaton's goal at Old Trafford yesterday means his last 42 efforts have not found their target, and he is currently experiencing his worst goal drought since 2007. Meanwhile, his former PSG teammate Edinson Cavani is the top scorer in all of Europe.
And it may get worse for dear old Zlatan following a hardly controversial incident in United's EFL Cup win over Man City on Wednesday night. Ibrahimovic was booked essentially for acting the bollocks after City won a free-kick on the right-hand side of their own box; he stood over the ball and insisted it be moved forward to the spot of the foul, all the while delaying City's attempts to restart the game. Having received a yellow card from the eternally ridiculous Mike Dean, the big Swede grabbed his own little Swede and made an 'obscene gesture' of some description to City centre back Nicolas Otamendi.
You can view the incident here, if you so wish.
Zlatan le muestra sus pelotas a Otamendi pic.twitter.com/zj50yt0k1j
— Balls for cats (@ballsforcats) October 28, 2016
French football journalist Julien Laurens provided a beautiful account of the incident in Zlatan's former local paper Le Parisien, and indicated that the FA will indeed look into the incident, which could result in Zlatan being suspended:
Not flawless in the field, Zlatan has crossed the yellow line in a field where the English know how to be ruthless: the discipline. Until then, he had taken care not to especially nourish the English tabloids. And his life rather tidy with his family sheltered in a beautiful 6 bedroom house equipped with indoor swimming pool, a gym and a cocktail bar near Altrincham on the outskirts of Manchester, he would rent for the modest sum of €18,000 per week, greatly helped.
But first, he let go against City, touching the private parts fairly aggressively after an altercation with Nicolas Otamendi, the Argentine Citizens defender.
The league disciplinary committee will look more closely at this incident, the first of Ibra in his new adopted country, and he could be suspended. After enjoying its good sides, the English discovered his dark and provocative.
It's a rather romantic way of describing a 35-year-old man grappling his own ballbag in public, but one which we greatly appreciate all the same.
Using the time Jack Wilshere flipped the bird at Man City fans in 2013 as precedent, the ban for such a gesture would likely be two games. But if Ibrahimovic, who is currently just a single yellow card short of a one-game suspension regardless of this incident, is ruled out for a moment of such misguided testeccentricity, you'd fear for all staff members at José Mourinho's Manchester hotel.
Mind you, considering the big man's recent form in front of goal, it might not be the worst thing for United.