Monday 10 June 2013
Jose Mourinho has spoken of his excitement at returning to Chelsea and said that pre-season and the chance to work with his players in preparation for the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League cannot come soon enough.
At his first press conference after his return to Chelsea was confirmed a week ago, Mourinho called himself “the happy one”, where nine years previously, it was the “Special One".
"I'm in the best moment of my career in terms of knowledge"
The Portuguese said that compared with 2004, he was a calmer figure now with a wealth of greater experience. "Time flies, it looks like it was a couple of days ago but it was nine years ago when I first became manager [at Chelsea] and since then a lot of things happened in my professional life,” he told a packed press conference of more than 250 members of the media. "I have the same nature, I am the same person, I have the same heart and the same kind of emotions related to my passion for football and my job, but of course I am a different person.
"If I have to describe myself I would describe myself as a very happy person. You have to learn with experiences. Sometimes people speak about people in a negative way. I haven't arrived there yet but experience is vital if you use it well. I analyse myself every day as manager, leader and member of a club and I try to improve.
"Nine years is a big difference and you pushed me a lot in that first press conference for a strong approach – now you know me after my success. I'm in the best moment of my career in terms of knowledge. I'm sorry the pre-season doesn't start tomorrow."
The former Real Madrid coach talked of his excitement about a return to the Barclays Premier League and the greater level of competition it presents compared with La Liga.
“I look forward to what the Premier League is,” he said. “In the last two years I was in a two-horse race. This time I move to a league where you lose more, and the competition is more open.”
"I move to a league where you lose more, and the competition is more open"
Mourinho said that he would look to bring in a couple of new players, but more than nine years ago, when his appointment was accompanied by a number of signings, his ambition this time was to get more out of the existing group of players, young and old.
"There are still a few boys from my previous time here, which is always good to go back and see these people who gave me absolutely everything,” he said. "It is important for me to tell you that there is no privilege for them. They know that already as they know my nature as a manager.
"We always have ambition to add a couple of new players, to give different qualities and increase the competitiveness. The most important part of my job at the moment is the improvement of the youth here. They have big potential and I think I have the conditions to help improve them."
Mourinho felt that rather than his past success at Chelsea, and then at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, making a return to Stamford Bridge an easy option, the pressure was even greater upon him to deliver silverware to the club.
"I didn't choose a comfortable position because I'm returning to a house where I was happy and successful and where fans loved me,” he said. “I'm coming from the opposite way. The expectations are higher because people know what I can deliver.
"I want to be respected for achievements in the past but I want to be respected for what I achieve now."
You can find out who Mourinho's first opponents in the Barclays Premier League will be when the fixtures are released on 19 June at 9am BST.