Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has likened giving quotes to the media to doing work for charity.
Mourinho disparagingly referred to his critics as “Einsteins” after Wednesday’s 3-1 EFL Cup win over League One Northampton, a result that ended a run of three consecutive defeats.
Friday’s pre-match news conference before the visit of Premier League champions Leicester City to Old Trafford was similarly terse, with the former Chelsea boss mockingly referring to himself as “the worst manager in the history of football”.
The news agenda has been dominated by quotes attributed to Mourinho in a new book by Rob Beasley, alleging the Portuguese privately threatened to “break” the face of Arsene Wenger after publicly criticising the Arsenal manager in 2014.
But the 53-year-old has declared himself to be “a man of goodwill” in his exchanges with those who question his players.
“I am such a lucky guy,” he said. “I can’t be upset with anything. The only thing that upsets me a little bit is the kind of criticism for my players.
“I would love to protect my players, but from you [the media] I can’t. It is completely out of my control. That gives me a feeling that it is hard. That is frustrating.
“The Einsteins need money to live. They can’t coach, they can’t be on the bench, they can’t win matches. They can speak, they can write.
“They can criticise the work of other people. But I am a good man. I am a man of goodwill. I do lots of charity work. I am helping so many people. Why not also help feed the Einsteins.”
Alex Ferguson’s United and Chelsea under Mourinho are the only teams in the Premier League era to retain the title and he acknowledged the difficultly facing Claudio Ranieri and his Leicester team, who stunned the football world by finishing first last season.
“I think it is obviously very difficult to retain the title – not for Leicester, for everybody. History says that,” Mourinho said.
“Not many teams during the Premier League could do that. One of the teams was of course Man United.
“Another one was some team managed [by] the worst manager in the history of football.
“It’s really difficult. The reality is I look at them and they are very good.
“They won the Premier League because some of the big teams were not good enough last season.”