There are times when it's clear Jose Mourinho is at ease.
The smile returns, he enjoys the back-and-forth jesting with the media and he jokes. A lot.
Facing the press ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash with Arsenal, it was one of those times when the Portuguese was relaxed enough to share a chortle.
"Me against Arsene Wenger? I have never had the pleasure to play one against one with him," he laughed after being asked about his record when facing the Arsenal boss.
"Beach soccer or something, I have never had that pleasure. It's always between Chelsea and Arsenal, and even that doesn't play an important part of Sunday's game."
Mourinho's record against Wenger is impeccable. They've faced each other 11 times during his two spells as Chelsea boss, and Mourinho has never lost.
Six wins and five draws speak for themselves.
Whatever it is, Mourinho has it over his old adversary.
He may try to suggest otherwise when speaking publicly, but Mourinho knows. It's why he's so willing to fire the insults and retorts Wenger's way at the slightest sign of an uprising.
It's almost like he's controlling him, playing the role of master puppeteer.
Indeed, it was interesting when the Portuguese discussed that unbeaten record against Wenger. Suggesting the pair have never met one-on-one, he forgot to mention how often he has left his opposite number battered and bruised in public.
Take his comment to reporters in February about Wenger's record at Arsenal this past decade.
"He's a specialist in failure," was Mourinho's response after the Frenchman had suggested he was scared of failing in the title race.
It was perhaps a harsh summary of his legacy, but then if we're judging by silverware, it was a statement that carried an element of truth given that Arsenal were on a nine-year trophy drought at the time.
Mourinho's logic was simple. If Wenger was going to step into his arena and use the media to push an agenda, he would knock him back down. He would remind him of the rules of engagement.
Inevitably, Mourinho was asked if he regretted what he said ahead of their latest meeting.
"What I said was a consequence of something," he said. "It was not a deliberate attempt to say something."
There was no apology, nor was there an attempt at one. Why would there be? It would show weakness, and where Mourinho is concerned, that wouldn't be acceptable.
In Mourinho, Chelsea have a man who is a rare breed of manager.
Wenger is the statesman, the man willing to allow his work to do the talking for him while he remains quiet, observing from the background without offending anyone that often.
In contrast, Mourinho's approach is like that of his team. They play the game relentlessly, are brash and when the final whistle blows, that's his cue to take over, seamlessly moving to centre stage.
He embraces that side of his work—the dark arts, shall we say—always ready to make a headline and challenge the resolve of his rivals. Mourinho manipulates situations and isn't embarrassed to do it.
He utilises every aspect of football, turning it into power for his own gains. Whether it be the media, his players, his team talks, the riches of his owner—Mourinho blends it all together.
Sir Dave Brailsford calls it marginal gains. In football, it's often cited as something very different: mind games.
Where Wenger is concerned, Mourinho facing him has always been akin to a heavyweight facing a lightweight.
On the surface, it appears interesting. Here are two managers with significant reputations who have made a significant impact on the game in the modern era. They've won trophies, league titles and set records, but the billing is far more wholesome than the actual event.
When the punches are thrown, Mourinho's always land whereas Wenger's barely register.
In every area, Mourinho shows his superiority. If Wenger challenges it, he's reminded who the boss is around here.
"The 6-0 result is once every 50 years. It's not year after year, it's something that happens occasionally," Mourinho reflected when asked if the humbling of Arsenal in March would have any bearing on this weekend's result.
"Sunday's game is out of that context. What happened in the past happened in the past and this is another match."
It's true. The scoreline in March is irrelevant. What isn't, though, is the fact Chelsea won. Mourinho beat Wenger. Again.
That record alone hangs like a noose around the Arsenal manager's neck. Whenever he faces Chelsea, it's dragged up. The questions are asked.
His players will change, the team selection will be altered from March. The record remains, though. Mourinho remains and Wenger cannot escape him.
"I always expect [to win] every game, against every opponent. Nothing changes in relation to that. I always expect," Mourinho concluded.
There's an argument to suggest Wenger thinks the same.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Vote for Garry Hayes as the best established football writer in the 2014 Football Blogging Awards: http://bit.ly/1tYctFi
Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes.