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Jose Mourinho calls out football's "Einsteins"

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Manchester United's manager is not impressed that he's been criticised so strongly, so soon.

Northampton Town v Manchester United - EFL Cup Third Round Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

One of the great unwritten rules of football is that if the press spend a few days questioning somebody's abilities or character, and that player or manager then swipes back, then whatever that player or manager has said, however plain or easily understandable, will be described as "bizarre".

The ultimate example is Eric Cantona's seagulls analogy, which wouldn't confuse a GCSE English student but was variously described as enigmatic, mysterious, gnomic and, yes, bizarre. More recently, we wake up to this:

Now, call us contrarians, but we don't think this ...

We had a bad week. I know that the world is full of Einsteins, I know that they tried to delete 16 years of my career, they tried to delete an unbelievable history of Manchester United Football Club and to focus on a bad week with three bad results. But that’s the new football, it’s full of Einsteins.

... qualifies as even vaguely bizarre.

If he'd said new football was full of translucent kangaroos juggling dreams while debating politics with sculptures made from frozen teardrops ... yes, that would be peculiar. But "Einstein" as shorthand for "clever person"? Seems fairly straightforward to us. It's almost — almost — as though the persistent accusation of bizarreness is designed to undermine the sentiment rather than describe the content.

All that said, if you'd told tBB before the Northampton game that Energy = michael carrick², we'd have called you bizarre as well.