Jose Mourinho truly announced himself as “back in the Premier League” in his first press conference as Tottenham Hotspur manager. You really can’t keep a good man/b*stard down.
A delayed start didn’t surprise. One can imagine him waiting in the wings, deliciously licking his lips, ready to take centre-stage in his third club of the Premier League.
Having already purportedly spurred his new Tottenham crew on by telling them “back me and I’ll make you winners,” Mourinho sashayed his way into the glare of the world’s media, perpetual smirk adorned (apparently for “the last two days”), looking like he had indeed won the Paddy Power daily jackpot he was passing his time advertising a couple of months ago.
The stage was set, the Tottenham Hotspur press conference room couldn’t have been more packed out than if Tupac and Elvis Presley were set to announce that they were indeed alive and having Kim Kardashian’s baby.
The last time Mourinho was in a presser relating to Spurs, he was demanding ‘respect’ following a 3-0 thrashing of his Man Utd side at Old Trafford at the hands of the Lilywhites.
The Portuguese may still need to regain that respect following the ignominy of his dismissal from Manchester United, but he is certainly self-aware that he is dynamite.
No other manager is as universally recognisable and attractive to the headline writers. Mou knew. Mou knows.
Facing the mass of microphones and camera, Mourinho had seemingly been given style tips by a former Spurs gaffer, having been gifted Tim Sherwood’s gilet. But Jose was far from ‘ain’t never felt this bad, ever’ and looked on top of the world.
Is this really a different Jose? Has the man who helped define the first decade of Premier League football this millennium recaptured that old devilish spark, that punky spunk that garnered two Champions League trophies and a plethora of titles across the continent?
In preparation, the man may have been playing Kendrick Lamar on loop judging from his new onus. "I am humble. I am humble enough to analyse my career, and the problems. There was no one else to blame. I went really deep in that analysis.
It’s not about myself at all.
Forget The Special One. Forget The Happy One. We have now been apparently granted ‘The Humble One’.
Mourinho did of course inevitably have to address historic comments that declared he would never manage Tottenham because of his love for London rivals Chelsea, to whom he guided to three Premier League titles.
"You never lose your identity or DNA… I think I am Mr Porto and Mr Real Madrid and other clubs as well, I am whatever club I am at. I wear the pyjamas of the club and sleep in them. I am a club man, but I am a many club man".
First a gilet, now Spurs’ PJs! We sincerely hope a new wardrobe was written into his bumper £15million-a-year contract. Spurs speedos anyone?
And what has Mourinho learnt in the not-yet-a-year since his previous job in management?
“You are what you are but I had time to think about many things. I realised that during my career, I made mistakes and I’m not going to make the same mistakes. I’m going to make new mistakes.”
And he was true to his word, new mistake number uno was his dodgy purple and blue attire.
This is only the second time Mourinho has entered a club in mid-season, after Porto in 2001.
“I had a feeling I was going to get a club mid-season. I knew I would be in a situation where I would get only one or two days before my first game. I cannot come here and think it is about myself. It is about the players and going from a base of stability.”
Mourinho graciously had positive words to speak about his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, “He knows he gave everything and he leaves with a sad feeling but knowing that he did great work. He will always be welcome here.”
Six months ago Pochettino led Spurs to their first-ever Champions League final, which they lost to Liverpool. Mourinho was probed as to whether he thinks that loss did in fact affect the Spurs squad.
"I don't know because I never lost a Champions League final".
Glad to see that humility lasted...
Welcome back Mr. Mourinho, we’ve missed you.