Thierry Henry explains why Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been performing so poorly

by Leo Nieboer

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s poor run of form at Manchester United has been compounded by the side’s general ineptitude in front of goal.

The Swede, after scoring five goals in his first six games under Jose Mourinho, has failed to find the net in seven games.

Mourinho’s men currently sit in seventh spot, eight points off the top, after managing just one goal in their last four Premier League matches.

Speaking on Sky Sports earlier this week, Henry noted how the side’s failure to find the net has heaped more unwelcome pressure on Ibrahimovic in recent weeks.

“All the questions have been about Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney but now they are about Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” Henry said.

“It’s the first time he’s found himself in this situation in his career.

“Sometimes it’s okay if you don’t score but your team still wins but he knows he’s had great opportunities to score goals in important games. Yes, it does affect you but I would still back him to deliver for United because of the player he was and he is still.

“It hasn’t happened for him recently for United, but he needs to find a way to score goals because they need that.

“Does it affect him? Yes, he’s a human being but he has the right tools in his mind to recover from that.”

One suspects that Ibrahimovic has never felt this level of pressure during his 17-year career. This is, after all, a man who only knows how to succeed. Goals have flowed easily and unfailingly throughout his career, with various major honours following as a result.

His current predicament at Old Trafford, however, is an example of the beautiful game’s harsh reality, where a dry patch can merit worldwide criticism. Zlatan, however, is about as mentally formidable as it gets, and United fans will expect to see the Swede firing again after a period of reflection and rest.

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