JOSE Mourinho has promised there will be far fewer tantrums and fireworks during his second spell as Chelsea manager after he heralded the dawn of a successful new era at the place he calls home.
In front of 250 accredited media, flash bulbs and camera lenses followed Mourinho’s every move as he was officially unveiled as Chelsea’s new manager, but anyone expecting a repeat of the famously fiery “Special One” press conference when he was appointed by Chelsea the first time around was disappointed. Yesterday afternoon, Mourinho cut a strangely diplomatic figure.
Only on one occasion – when he was asked about Andres Iniesta’s claim that Mourinho had damaged Spanish football while he was at Real Madrid – did it feel like the Portuguese was ready to morph back in to the uber-confident figure that stoked up so much controversy during his first spell at Chelsea.
“I believe I’m a calmer person now,” said Mourinho, who has signed a four-year contract at the club. “Nine years is a big difference. When I arrived here in 2004 you pushed me a lot in that first press conference to have a strong approach, and in this moment the situation is different.
“You know me. You know my history in the British game, and the European game, so I don’t think I need that approach. I just want to be calm. I’m in the best moment of my career in terms of knowledge and experience. I feel very calm and comfortable.”
Whether Mourinho’s persona will change once the heat starts rising in the Premier League pressure cooker remains to be seen. He has espoused controversial comments wherever he has gone. Mourinho engaged in spats with Sir Alex Ferguson, Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger during his previous spell at Chelsea and he has not shirked from battles with his contemporaries in Spain, Italy or Portugal either.
For now, though, he appears more diplomatic than ever
before, making respectful comments about Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez yesterday. The
reason behind Mourinho’s contentment is because he has been granted his wish of being at a club where he is loved.
“If I have to choose a nickname for this period, I’d choose ‘the Happy One’ because I’m very happy,” Mourinho said.
“This is the first time I arrive at a club where I already love the club. I want to be respected for what I did in the past for this club, but I want to be loved for what I can do from now.”
Mourinho’s pedigree points to the idea that his second coming will be a successful one. He did, after all, win back-to-back titles during his first two years in charge and also lifted the League Cup twice and the FA Cup once.
Despite his success at the club, Mourinho left Chelsea under a dark cloud in 2007 following speculation that his relationship with club owner Roman Abramovich had turned sour.
Mourinho insists that was not the case and he is adamant that he has a good relationship with the man he calls “the boss”.
“That’s not true, for a start,” Mourinho said when asked about the reported breakdown in the relationship between him and Abramovich six years ago.
“I read and I kept hearing that I was fired, that we had a complete break of relationship. That was not true. Many people didn’t believe that, but it was mutual agreement. At the time we thought it was best for both of us, me and the club. That’s why it was possible for me to be here today. We are ready to work together again.”
The Portuguese sees no reason why he cannot go on to match or improve his efforts from last time around, when he won five trophies. “I want to believe it’s possible,” he said. “I always trust my work. I know many of the people that belong to the club, and I know the kind of mentality and ambition people have.
“My career was built and based on success, and I was able to reach success and to win trophies so I have to believe in that.”