He's gone greyer and there's a bit of a paunch, but in the week that he has been officially unveiled as Chelsea's new manager, it's easy to find 10 things to love about José Mourinho.
1 His hair Which used to be the very definition of salt'n'pepper in a way that even George Clooney's isn't (not quite), but which is now simply – deliciously – salt. In the five-and-a-half years since Mourinho was last manager of Chelsea, he has evolved into a fully fledged example of that fine archetype of male sexiness: the silver fox. This is a good thing, not least because it offers a delightful counterpoint to:
2 His eyebrows Expressively mobile. When in repose they brood, when downward pointing they suggest thrilling menace, when raised they are naughty, boyish. Generally potent.
3 The sharpness of his overcoats Not merely good in their own right (although, heaven knows, they are), Mourinho's winter-coat selection has provided middle-aged men with a template for an easy, accessible, modern kind of chic.
It's a service and one for which we should all be grateful, not least because it might finally convince middle-aged men to abandon their long-standing desire to "look a bit Mod". (See also the trickle-down effect of the accomplished flourish with which Mourinho knots a scarf.)
4 His hand gestures Expansive, extravagant, highly theatrical; perk up a dugout no end.
5 His metaphors For example: "Omelettes, eggs. No eggs, no omelettes. And it depends on the quality of the eggs in the supermarket. They are class 1, 2 or 3, and some are more expensive than others, and some give you better omelettes. When the class 1 eggs are not available, you have a problem."
6 His rapidly evolving paunch Like the all-over grey of his hair, this is a new aspect of Mourinho's look; it wasn't here the last time he was. And like the all-over grey, it's an improvement. Mourinho wields it with casual assurance; it is a power-paunch, the physical expression of his innate self- confidence, of his capacity to enjoy life beyond football.
7 His capacity to enjoy life beyond football He clearly has one. You can tell from the twinkling quality of his eyes. Also: the paunch.
8 He is the best-case-scenario alpha male Mourinho is alpha without trying too hard; so obviously, clearly alpha, he need not devote any time to showboating it, or to locking horns with other alpha males, none of whom is alpha in quite the same way, so what would be the point? Plus, he plays his own arrogance for laughs. Oh, and also he makes grown women swoon.
9 His accent Partly comic, partly beguiling, generally comprehensible. A "reverse Fergie", if you will.
10 Things are just better when Mourinho's around. He is so very easy on the eye, which gives otherwise profoundly uninterested people (or as they are sometimes known: women) an "in" on football. He generates controversy – fines, bans, that thing where he poked another manager in the eye – which is always promising. People up their game when Mourinho's around.
It's as if we've been languishing at a rather boring dinner party when – hoorah! –a devilishly handsome, somewhat roguish, highly entertaining guest has turned up, hilariously late, with a twinkle in his eye and a risqué parlour-game concept in his pocketbook.