JOSE MOURINHO has professed himself ready for a period of greater stability in his career after six years of wanderlust away from Stamford Bridge.
The Special One – by his own admission more like The Happy One these days – emerged from a frothing mass of flashbulbs in his first press conference back at Chelsea to declare himself calmer and wiser than when he left in 2007.
He also tried to re-write history – or at least overturn accepted wisdom – about his departure first time around, denying there was ever a serious breakdown in relations with Roman Abramovich.
“Yes I want more stability and now I'm prepared for that. Before, I wasn't,” said Mourinho on the day of his official unveiling.
“I am where I want to be and now it's for me to show my club that I deserve to be here for a long time. We have a contract for four years, which is the first stage. I hope we can go to the last day of this contract. If the club then wants me to stay, I'll be more than happy.”
And is he calmer? “I believe so,” Mourinho said. "I have a different approach and a different way of looking at things. I'm the same personality, same nature but a different perspective.
“You have to learn from experiences. I analyse myself every day and try to learn and try to improve.
“In 2004, maybe you [the media] pushed me to have a strong approach, but now the situation is different.I think I'm in the best moment in my career in terms of knowledge, experience, and I feel very calm and comfortable. I'm just sorry that pre-season doesn't start tomorrow.”
Looking back on his departure six years ago, Mourinho said: “I read that I was fired, I was sacked, and we had a breakdown of relationship, but that's not true.
“Many people didn't believe it, but it was a mutual agreement. At the time, it was thought it was the best for both of us – for me and for the club. It was a sad moment, but I don't regret that decision.
“I went to Inter where I had probably the best moment of my career and after that I was in Madrid where still we had the best record for a team in Spanish history and for Chelsea, things went well.
“Chelsea were for the first time European champions, so I think at that time it was difficult for both of us, but the decision was mutual.
“Only because there was never a breakdown in relations is it possible that I'm here today. It wouldn't be possible for me to be here if we had no relationship.”