IT did not take much to get him going. Just one question — and then he was off.
Jose Mourinho had just told TV and radio crews at his pre-match press conference he would not swap the Spurs manager’s job for any other in the world.
So when it was the turn of us scribblers to quiz him, the first question was always going to be: “Why?”
And Mourinho, who took charge ten days ago, did not have to be asked twice, as without hesitation he launched into an impressive monologue Shakespeare would have been proud of.
He said: “You know how much I like the Premier League, that’s the first point. You go back to Porto, my first opportunity to leave my country I had lots of options. But it was England I chose.
“Then I was at Real Madrid, probably the dream club for the majority of us. I left to come to the Premier League.
“Now, I’ve stayed in the Premier League which I always say is my natural habitat. So many years, I like it a lot. So that is a point.
“The second point is this club. You know what the club are showing me.
“They have a vision for the future and everything they are as a club in terms of structure organisation and feelings. They are a big club but with the concept of a family, working together with people. I see that everyday, everybody is around me.
“Mr Levy is next door to me, his office is next door to me. Everyday I need him he is there.
“If he needs me, I’m there. Then the chief scout is the next door. I meet him everyday.
“If I want to speak, he’s there. If he wants to speak with me, I’m here.
“Then the academy boss three doors down. Everything is close and that shows commitment.
“We all arrive here early in the morning, we leave late in the afternoon.
“I like this kind of empathy very much and the way we are working.
“And, again, very, very important, I like the players. Very important.” It was vintage Mourinho.
Talking up his current club while having a thinly-veiled pop at his former ones.
Quite what they will think about his comments in the corridors of Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge when they read them this morning will be interesting.
His previous club Manchester United used to scoff: “C’mon lads, it’s only Spurs!”
The praise from such a widely-travelled manager shows how far Tottenham have come since then — even if their trophy cabinet has remained bare.
Mourinho added: “I just know the difference in the stadiums.
“One was a fantastic stadium to play football in but an old generation stadium.
“While this one is brand new and is the best stadium in the world. The facilities in this one are the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been at big clubs.
“It’s not like I arrive here from small clubs and think ‘Wow’.
“I’ve been at big, big clubs with very good conditions. Chelsea, very good conditions, United the same, Madrid, the same, Inter the same.
“It’s not like I’ve been in bad conditions but here it’s fantastic.”
It certainly has been so far, so good for Mourinho with victories in both of his first two games — a 3-2 win at West Ham in the Premier League last weekend and a 4-2 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Spurs host Bournemouth this afternoon[Saturday], looking to close the gap on the top four.
Their first two performances have been largely entertaining and attacking — and in stark contrast to the club Mourinho once accused of “parking the bus” at Chelsea.
He said: “They did it once. But for me to play against Tottenham was always difficult.
“I never had the feeling that I was going to play Tottenham and it was going to be easy.
“They always had good players. They always had good managers. White Hart Lane was always very very difficult.
“OK, they have not been champions for many, many years but that’s the way it is in this country — it’s not easy to win Premier Leagues.”
After 11 months out of the game following his sacking by United, Mourinho has returned with that old twinkle in his eye.
But after Unai Emery’s departure from Arsenal yesterday, he is under no illusions his latest love affair will not last forever. Mourinho certainly ruled out the chance of any manager doing an Alex Ferguson or an Arsene Wenger by spending two decades at the helm again.
Mourinho's first ten games at Spurs
Nov 23 – West Ham (A)
Nov 26 – Olympiakos (H)
Nov 30 – Bournemouth (H)
Dec 4 – Man Utd (A)
Dec 7 – Burnley (H)
Dec 11 – Bayern Munich (A)
Dec 15 – Wolves (A)
Dec 22 – Chelsea (H)
Dec 26 – Brighton (H)
Dec 28 – Norwich (A)
Mourinho added: “That is why as managers we have to try to prove every day we are the man for the job. We have to fight for our job every day.
“We can no longer say the job is going to be mine for ‘X’ amount of years, we have to fight for our job every single day.
“Not just with the results but with everything at the club.
“It’s not just in football, either, you guys in newspapers and radio cannot afford to sleep on what you achieved five years ago, you have to work hard and prove yourself every day.
“It’s life.”Jose Mourinho praises Manchester United cancer survivor Max Taylor
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