Jose Mourinho rubs his hands together furiously. No stranger to icy stares or slippery conditions, right now he’s delivering one while surveying the other. He has no option: he’s standing on a frozen lake, whose expanse is solid underfoot to the depth of 50cm. Ten minutes down the road is another that’s apparently the size of Greater London. “I remember playing a match in Russia,’ he says. ‘It must have been -10˚C, so cold that some of the players were crying. We thought that one of the linesmen had died…”
This is Arjeplog, an outpost of Swedish Lapland 40 miles from the Arctic Circle, and a place whose hardy citizenship is swollen in number every winter by car industry engineers and test drivers pushing prototypes to the brink of mechanical oblivion. Top Gear was here a few weeks ago to help Jaguar sign off the F-Pace, and now Jose is here to try it.