I've seen John at a few matches and while everything is much easier these days - no Everest-like ascents up rickety, wooden ladders at the back of crumbling stands - with endless stats and notes and replays and camera angles, the game hasn't changed much.
His voice is still trusted on the radio and TV because people know he can deliver substance along with the style; he only wears the jackets to keep warm - the exposed commentary gantries are colder than anywhere else in the stadium and always catch a bitter, northern chill.
Worryingly for both men, despite taking some time to transform their squads, another manager has also completed his re-evaluation up the road and the battle to be top dog in the north-west may be a struggle in itself, let alone winning the title or Champions League.
But the confidence of both the club - whose billion euro and counting outlay has one League Cup in the last three seasons to show for it - and the manager, who failed to bring European glory to Bayern, is on shaky ground.
We haven't seen any elaborate technical innovations since he decided to plonk full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy into the middle of the park; a gambit that was abandoned after an uninspiring run of only one win in five matches.
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