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Jose Mourinho Answers Journalist's Phone at United-Liverpool Press Conference

Jose Mourinho, once the darling of the English press, has that twinkle in his eye again.

by Brian Blickenstaff
Jan 13 2017, 4:35pm

Here we have a bemused Jose Mourinho, noted manager/grump, answering a journalist's phone during a press conference. The journalist, from Talk Sports, had apparently put his phone in front of Mourinho in order to record the mind games Mourinho was no doubt going to drop before tomorrow's crunch meeting between Manchester United and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool. Does Mourinho snap at the journalist? No. Does he act like a dick? No, not really! Instead, he answers the guy's phone and makes a couple jokes. It is a kind of nice moment. Vintage Mourinho, the English might say.

In 2004, when Jose Mourninho joined Chelsea, he was known as a media darling. In his first press conference, he declared himself "the special one." It was the kind of cheeky, joking/not-joking wit he would become known for. When he returned to Chelsea in 2013, like a clever callback at an improve show, he told the press he was no longer the special one. "I am the happy one," he said.

That turned out to be true at first—the team won the 2014 Premier League—but the happiness was short lived, and Happy Jose was fired in December 2015 with the club in turmoil. The team had lost 9 games and the locker room seemed divided, possibly over Mourinho's controversial decision to fire club doctor Eva Carneiro. After Jose left, Carneiro sued Chelsea over her dismissal, and the team later settled and apologized.

At the beginning of this season, with Mourinho becoming Manchester United coach, the question was whether he had somehow lost something at Chelsea. Perhaps he wasn't the manager he used to be? Publicly, he still seemed angry. And this fall, he has been sent to the stands several times after altercations with referees.

But the team is performing well of late, and with it the old twinkle seems to have returned to Mourinho's eye. So is Happy Jose back? Maybe! But let's wait for the post-game press conference.