Jose Mourinho revealed the last 11 months were spent in the managerial wilderness while he updated himself from the Special One into the Special 2.0.
A new, more “humble” and “relaxed” version of his former self, “emotionally stronger” and “happy”.
But it was soon clear in a 42-minute unveiling at Tottenham’s training ground that the same old version is still very much there at the heart of it all.
Even Mourinho himself said so.
“You never lose your DNA, you never lose your identity, what you are,” he said.
“It was the first summer I didn’t work and it wasn’t easy. I felt a little bit lost during that pre-season period but before that and after it was a learning process. I even learned how to be a pundit!
“I had time to think about many things. Don’t ask me what the mistakes were, but I realised that during my career I made mistakes.
“I am not going to make the same mistakes, I am going to make new mistakes.
“But I’m stronger. From an emotional point of view I’m relaxed, I’m motivated, I’m ready and I think the players have felt that in these two days.
“I always thought that these 11 months were not a waste of time. These 11 months were months to think, to analyse, to prepare and anticipate things.”
With his unseemly departure from Manchester United still so fresh in the mind, not least the gigantic clash of egos with record signing Paul Pogba, one thing Mourinho should have anticipated was that he was not going to be let off the hook that easily.
When pressed further on those mistakes, he admitted: “One thing I have to learn is that sometimes you have to work with people that don’t love you. And you have to work well.
“The other thing is that people who work for you and around you have to learn to share your principles. I have principles that I will keep for the rest of my career and I cannot change. One of these principles is I don’t like to lose.
“I read one quote from the basketball player Kobe Bryant where he says: ‘People say that I’m difficult but I’m only difficult for the ones that don’t share my principles.’
“With me it’s basically the same. For me everything is about the team, it’s not about selfish people.
“For me, everything is about the group and professionalism and commitment and respect for the club, respect for the mates, respect for the fans.
“To be a big player, you have to make others big. If I have player that think they are big and they just care about themselves, and forget to help others to be big, we are always going to have a problem.”
Mourinho’s first analysis is that there are not too many problems at Tottenham. ‘Big’ players like Harry Kane have all the qualities the 56-year-old could wish for.
He sees his role as tinkering with Pochettino’s work at the club, not overhauling it.
The key ingredients are there – Mourinho knows that because he has tried to sign a number of them over the years, he admitted.
It is simply that the club has lost its way since reaching the Champions League final to Liverpool in Madrid.
“I can imagine it’s not easy,” he said. “You reach one of the biggest moments that you can achieve in football… You are one step away from it, you cannot do it.
“But then you have the example of Liverpool. One year they lost the Premier League by one point and the next season, which is the current season, they are very strong.
“Then the season before that, they lost the Champions League final by one goal and they became very, very strong and they won it.
“I don’t think there is something we can say where there is a rule on the way people react.”
Then, deep within the twinkle of those mischievous eyes, the original Mourinho was back.
He presents this new revision of himself as the “humble” one. But the odd flash of arrogance will always make the Portuguese what he is.
“I don’t know,” the two-time European champion grinned when asked if Pochettino’s squad were still suffering from their Liverpool defeat in the Spanish capital five months ago.
“I never lost a Champions League final.”