Mourinho targets stability at Chelsea
Jose Mourinho has claimed he is returning to Chelsea with more humility, six years after his first stint as the club's manager ended amid acrimony after an alleged fall-out with club officials.
Insisting he has no doubts that he will work in harmony with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and denying he had a 'major argument' with the Russian oligarch when he left the club in 2007, Mourinho stated his intention to shed his image as something of a firebrand on the touchline.
Cutting a calm, composed figure as he as he faced an expectant 250-strong media throng in the Harris Suite at Stamford Bridge, the coach who has failed to stay at a single club for more than three years was a vision of contentment as he vowed to bring stability to a club that has changed managers more than most in the last decade.
"Of course we look for stability," Mourinho stated. "I look, the club looks for new challenges. I am completely in another direction. The profile of the sport is asking for what is best for players, they need stability.
"The club is stable, it has a fantastic structure. I find a club with great stability, improved. The only way we can reach success again is with stability. I am humble. Sometimes it doesn't look it, but I am.
"In my time in 2004-05, Arsenal were the power. They won the league without any defeats, an absolutely fantastic team. Now the picture is different. Manchester United are champions, Manchester City before that. During my first time, Manchester City couldn't do that. And Brendan [Rodgers] is trying something with Liverpool.
"I look forward to what the Premier League is. In the last three years, I was playing in a league with a two-horse race. Now I move to a league where you lose more times, lose more points, but I am happy to be here."
Mourinho went on to clarify the circumstances surrounding his departure from the club in September 2007, as he suggested the nature of his exit was exaggerated in the media.
"I read I was sacked, we have a fall out, we have a complete break up of our relationship," he said. "No. It was a mutual agreement at the time. It was the best for me, for the club.
"Of course it was a sad moment, but I don't regret that decision. From there I went to Inter, where I probably had the best moment of my career. From there to Real Madrid, where we still have the record of the best team in Spanish history. For Chelsea, it went well too. For the first time, European champions.
"It was a difficult decision, but it was a mutual agreement. If there was no relationship, real problems, I wouldn't be here today. I'm back because we are in a moment of our professional life, and in the case of the owner, the best moments of our careers.
"Roman bought the club [in] 2003, we were champions in 2004-05. This was the best thing that could happen to a new owner. The fans were waiting for that for around 50 years. For me, a young manager arriving for the first time in a country like England, it was fantastic. We had a mutual decision [to leave] no regrets.
"Now we are ready to work together again, with much better conditions this time to succeed again and have what this club wants, which is stability."
Mourinho suggested he is returning to Chelsea as a better manager, after his experiences at Inter Milan and Real Madrid broadened his horizons.
"I am still very young as a manager and this feels like the beginning of a new period, where I can have a different approach, a different perspective," he added. "I think experience in life is something very, very important, especially if you use it in the right way. I analyse myself every day.
"As a manager, a leader of a club, I try to improve. After nine years there is a big difference from when I arrived in 2004, you pushed me a lot in that first press conference to have a strong approach.
"Now it's different. You know me. You know my history. I just want to be calm and give my best every day and in terms of my knowledge and experience, I feel I am at the best moment of my career. I just wish pre-season could start tomorrow."