Jose Mourinho says experience gained in five seasons away from the Premier League means he’s now a calmer manager than he was during his first stint as Chelsea boss.
In fitting with his new image of the “Happy One”, Mourinho gave a somewhat muted performance in a press conference to mark his return to Stamford Bridge this afternoon, at least when compared with his dramatic arrival in 2004 when he declared himself the “Special One”.
According to Mourinho, he still has the same personality but now has a different perspective thanks to his two years in Italy with Inter and three seasons in Spain with Real Madrid.
“I am better able to manage my emotions, calmer in victory, less depressed in defeat,” he commented.
“I just want to be calm, to be working every day and give the best I can. I am just so sorry the pre-season doesn’t start tomorrow.”
However, the jury remains out on whether Mourinho has changed as much as he says.
He has racked up a catalogue of misdemeanours during his absence from England, hinting the more combative Mourinho of 2004-2007 is still there behind the veneer.
This, remember, is the man who was sent to the sent to the stands during Real Madrid Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of Barcelona in 2011.
He also caused a storm in Spain when he poked Barcelona’s Tito Vilanova in the eye at the end of the second leg of the 2011 Supercopa de España, prompting Barca defender Gerard Pique to accuse him of “ruining Spanish football”.
In fact, he was given his marching orders as recently as May, when he was banished after constantly arguing with officials during Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey final defeat to local rivals Atletico.
Against this backdrop, it is no surprise to see bwin’s bookies have opened a market on whether Mourinho will receive a domestic touchline ban in the 2013-14 season.
While the Happy One will be pleased to see he is an odds-on shout to stay out of trouble at 1/4, the 5/2 that he receives a ban will surely tempt a few punters – regardless of Mourinho’s protestations.