With the bravado toned down and the swagger subdued, Jose Mourinho presented himself as the “Happy One” on Monday and promised a calmer second spell as Chelsea manager.
Facing the media for the first time since returning to Stamford Bridge, the 50-year-old Mourinho stressed he is “calmer” figure transformed from the fiery incarnation who hastily left six years ago. “I am better able to manage my emotions, calmer in victory, less depressed in defeat,” Mourinho told more than 200 reporters inside Stamford Bridge. “I’m humble. Sometimes it doesn’t look like I am, but I am.”
When Mourinho was first hired by Chelsea in 2004, he described himself as a “Special One,” and immediately produced two Premier League titles.
On Monday, he simply declared: “I am the Happy One.”
The Portuguese feels like he is back among friends, having spent recent months declaring his enduring affection for Chelsea as fans demanded for his return while jeering interim manager Rafa Benitez. “It’s the first time I arrive in a club where I already love the club,” Mourinho said.
“Stability” was a word repeated several times during a 50-minute exchange with the media, and Mourinho has a four-year contract to back it up.
There also appeared to be a partial re-writing of history Monday over the terms of his split with owner Roman Abramovich in 2007. “I read ... we had a complete break of relationships. That was not true,” Mourinho said. “Many people didn’t believe in that, but it was mutual agreement. At the time we thought it was best for both of us - me and the club. It was a sad moment.”
Jose hits back
Responding to claims by Barcelona star Andres Iniesta that his combative managerial style harmed La Liga, Mourinho said: “I damaged Spanish football by being the manager that broke Barcelona’s dominance.”