Sacked by Manchester United on 18 December 2018, Mourinho has not exactly disappeared from public life.
There were a number of interviews, a few sponsorship commitments and those compelling appearances on Sky Sports’ football coverage.
Only now, back in management and able to reflect on a satisfying 3-2 win for his new club Tottenham in a potentially tricky London derby at West Ham, can Mourinho admit he sometimes wondered during that time: “What am I doing here?”
He has never felt like that in the technical area. Not even when it was going wrong at United or, previously, at Chelsea when answers proved so elusive.
Once Son Heung-min had scored the first goal of Mourinho’s Tottenham reign to put his new club on their way to a victory at the London Stadium that was far more comfortable than the eventual scoreline suggests, life was just fine again for the 56-year-old Portuguese.
“I was back where I belong,” he said. “This is my natural habitat.
“Was I extra emotional? No. Was I nervous before the game? No. But I just love it.
“To confess, the most difficult moments for me in this 11 months was the part of the summer when, for the first time, I didn’t have a pre-season. I was looking at other managers and clubs doing things. It was a weird feeling.”