Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea older, wiser, richer... but still hungry

The manager insists he is older and wiser than his first time at Chelsea

From the inside of his jacket pocket, Jose Mourinho pulled a pair of reading spectacles. Not his big heavy designer sunglasses, or, for that matter, the mock glasses he sometimes essays with his finger and thumbs to indicate to the referee – in moments of high tension – that he might have missed something crucial. These were the plain old glasses he said he needed to read the newspapers, and proof that he had well and truly hit middle-age.

"It's a different moment of my career. My kids are older. I have more grey hair. I have these glasses," he said. Later he returned to the theme after a demolition of what he regarded as the Spanish press' slavish attitude towards Iker Casillas. "The only thing that affects me is the glasses, man. I don't adapt. I need these to read a newspaper. It's the only thing. After that, I'm happier than ever with my family, to see my kids reaching fantastic ages."

He is 50 now, and nine years after he arrived at Chelsea for the first time, the attitude that Mourinho attempted to project was that of a man at ease with the world. He was no longer a man in a hurry. More grey hair than first time? Certainly, but this time he was sure that he would not get sacked even if he ended the season without the league title. He was older, he said, but just as hungry for success and not counting the "pounds in his contract".

It is an intriguing idea, whether it works in practice, we will just have to see. In many ways it was a variation on the message in his last summer as Chelsea manager in 2007 when he claimed on tour in America to have discovered the word "mellow" and applied it enthusiastically to his outlook on life. But by then Avram Grant was already peering over his shoulder, Chelsea's appetite in the transfer market had waned and by September he was gone.

He walked into the Ron Harris suite on Monday like the groom at a wedding, walking down a line of television reporters, shaking hands and patting shoulders. Later, when he briefed newspaper reporters in the club's Dolce and Gabbana suite (heavy velvet drapes, low lighting, chunky furnishings) he shook everyone's hand as if to make the point that - in case you had not noticed - this was him in non-combative mode.

In the background the backroom entourage arranged themselves on the sofas drinking coffee. The old loyalists who were here first time, like Rui Faria and Silvinho Louro. Jose Morais, who first worked with him at Inter Milan, and Steve Holland, the Englishman kept from the previous regime. Even Jorge Mendes, a "super-agent" to Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo among many others turned up for the coronation.

Bruce Buck and Ron Gourlay, the Chelsea chairman and chief executive were there. The only one missing, aside from technical director Michael Emenalo, was Roman Abramovich, and of course, he is all that matters. Is his new relationship with Mourinho one of long-term stability and faith in youth without the need to spend excessively to achieve success? We will just have to take Mourinho's word for it.

As usual, everyone was talking about what Roman wanted - without Roman being there to tell anyone. Asked whether he had to win the league in his first season, Mourinho said that was not an absolute requirement.

"I don't need anybody to push me to have that ambition. I have enough motivation and self-esteem myself, enough desire to do it. But if we don't do it but show an evolution in the season, show we're moving in the right direction, I think we'll be champions in the second season. I don't think it's a drama.

 "It has to be analysed in the proper way, part of a process of formation, that 75 per cent of the guys will be better next season. When you have this profile, you can't think the best will come next year. It has to come in two, three, four, five, six years time. We are speaking about boys with 10 years to play football. I'd expect to be here to win it in that second season. Of course."

Last time, when he won back to back league titles in 2004 and 2005, a feat that is unmatched by any Premier League manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson, he said, was different. "If you have a team with John Terry, William Gallas, Ricardo Carvalho, Claude Makelele, Michael Essien and Dider Drogba in the best period of their careers, you cannot ask for time. You have to win."

This time at Chelsea, they say it is about the long-term, on the agreement of two men who have made it their trademark to pursue relentless change in the time they have spent in football. All those bitter disagreements he left behind in Madrid? "Many of the things you read were not true," Mourinho shrugged with a dismissive wave of the hand.

This time he says it is different, but then even he seems to acknowledge that the rest of us will wait for the proof that this really is a new departure for him and Chelsea.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones