Jose Mourinho has received hundreds of plaudits over the years. He's the man whose Inter stifled Barca, whose Porto won the biggest prize in club football from nowhere; a man whose tactical acumen is beyond compare; a man who takes all the flak and charisma for himself, allowing his teams to be really dull and really effective.
This season he has been his usual charming self. On occasions one is almost fooled into believing that he is being alarmingly frank. But this is the man who Barca fans still call The Translator - and you need to have just such skills available for every sentence that leaves his pursed little Thunderbird lips.
Jose: We have no strikers.
Translation: It's not my fault we can't score goals.
Truth: It is. He could've kept Lukaku and/or bought someone.
Jose: Et'oo is a pensioner.
Translation: He's not the young and ruthless player he once was, but that's not my fault.
Truth: It is; you brought the bloke in.
Jose: The team is too young to be successful just yet.
Translation: it's not my fault if they don't win anything, but if we do, well Jeez, we'll just have to accept that I'm a genius.
Truth: Chelsea still have oodles of money and talent, both of which should be sufficient to win something every year, regardless of who's in charge. (cf Di Matteo, Avram Grant, Rafa Benitez)
Jose: Wenger is a specialist in failure.
Translation: Wenger is a specialist in failure.
Truth: Wenger is a specialist in failure.
Whatever Jose says, its meaning always comes back down a mixture of extraordinary self-regard and a desire to spare his players the flak. To be fair Ferguson was exactly the same (only with all the suavity of house-brick).
And while no one can deny that he's good value as a gobshite, it helps to detach his eminent charm from the teams he puts out on the pitch. His most successful campaigns are invariably typified by a pragmatic hard-nosed approach to winning football games and last night's triumph against PSG was a case in point.
While it's lovely to have these twinkle-toed midfielders knocking it this way n that, PSG (which sounds to me like something bad you get in Chinese food) weren't really struggling to hold them out. Indeed for the last 25 minutes they looked far more likely to score and, with a bit more composure, would have done.
I just hope Cavanni displays the same finishing prowess against England in the summer. You'd think with a name like Edison he'd be a little more inventive.
Jose, desperate for that winning goal, ditched any pretence at elegance and threw on the Three Amigos - Scuffy, Puffy and Huffy - to somehow wrestle a goal from its least likely source. We were then treated to a display of footballing effluence from the Happy Special One as he resorted to Allardycean Prehistory for a way to unlock the French defence.
And as so often with a Big Sam or a Pulis, the plan only went and worked. Football from another century it surely was, but then sometimes we can learn from the past. I'm not sure there's a chalkboard at Stamford Bridge on which the gaffer puts three centre-forwards in the box and says "Roll it back to JT and let him hump it so hard it could be a team-mates's missus."
I've seen more creative ploys in a pre-pub Sunday league fixture. But given its success, why criticise? The manager left it to Lady Luck and the Blessed Woman came up trumps. In the myriad methods of Mourinho, the one constant seems to be Good Fortune.
Those people (myself included) who argue that Andy Carroll might just be a good option on the bench for Hodgson over the summer have been vindicated by this sophisticate's latest move. Your average central defender these days doesn't like it up 'em and Carroll isn't capable of much else.
Demba Ba claims in this morning's papers that Chelsea do have three good strikers. What apart from the one at Everton, you mean? I don't think so. Torres is like this ghost-like parody of his Liverpool self. Et'oo creaks along without truly threatening and Ba himself needs a team that plays to his strengths and this one ain't it. Route One isn't Option One, even if it worked last night.
None of which should detract from Chelsea's achievement, or Mourinho's wonderful touchline sprint. Another example of ego - 'ooh look at me!' - combined with cold-eyed ruthlessness - 'Nando get your backside into defensive mode, you goal-shy Jessie, we've got five minutes to hold out'.
In the meantime, the shakedown at the foot of the Premier League is suddenly becoming clear. Sunderland, woefully, have ground to a halt. Cardiff, 'lucky' red shirts looking ludicrous when watched by miserable blue-shirted fans, never were good enough, but Mackay would surely have had them a little higher.
The last spot seems like a straight fight between Fulham and Norwich. I was all for Norwich hanging on if only because they still had the same manager they started the season with. Until Sunday. A win at Craven Cottage would make them safe. If they fail, they're getting nowt from their last four games and Fulham will catch 'em.
In other words, it's utterly pointless changing the manager now. Every one of the bottom seven has changed their boss this season. Only in the case of Pulis has it made any bleeding difference. I tell you what even bleeding Merlin wouldn't last more than half a season in this country.
In other news the FA make a good decision. Hull City FC stays intact. It won't stop me pushing through with my plans at the Riverside, mind you. Middlesbrough Muggers, anyone?