Ruud Gullit insists Fabio Capello, the favourite for the England manager's job, is a winner but warned fans he does not play 'for the beauty of the game'.
Capello is reported to be flying into London today for talks with the Football Association with a view to succeeding Steve McClaren as national team boss.
Los Angeles Galaxy manager Gullit, who played under Capello at AC Milan in the 1990s, is confident the 61-year-old Italian will be a success as England boss but does not expect it to be easy on the eye.
'He doesn't play for the beauty of the game but to win,' the Dutchman said.
'You don't see him laughing much - he's moody. But he knows what he wants. You have to go his way or you will get in trouble. He screams at you.
'You need to be well drilled to play for him - very disciplined - and you certainly don't fool around with him, that's for sure.'
Gullit insists the initial focus for Capello would be making sure England are watertight defensively.
'Italians are all about looking good, defending your reputation. When you've got that you become very hard to beat. If you become that clinical, you don't even have to play well to win - that's how come they have won so many championships.'
AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf, who played under Capello at Real Madrid when they won the Spanish league title in 1997, concurs with Gullit that the Italian is a no-nonsense boss.
'He's a tough guy, very straight. He's very dedicated. Of course it has been quite a while since I worked with him in Madrid, but I think he has much more experience now than 10 years ago,' Seedorf said.
'He was then already one of the best coaches I've ever had.'
Seedorf confirmed Capello had told him he was very interested in doing the England job.
'I was talking with him only two weeks ago about this possibility and I know he sees it as a very interesting challenge,' he told Radio Five Live.
'England has quality players but results haven't really shown everybody the potential of the team. (Capello) knows that and it's a challenge for him, to go where the results are lacking and make those great players a good team.'
Seedorf admits the biggest test for Capello will be making the transition from club management to the more hands-off role of an international coach.
'It's going to be a challenge for him also because he has always been able to communicate and train every day with the players, so it is going to be very different,' he said.
'One of his best qualities is getting the very best out of each player, even if he is not playing well. He is very specific in what he wants and very clear on what he wants from each player and sometimes he will push you to your limits.
'He has always asked 100% of the players once you are on the field. He is very straight, very clear with the players. He will work with those who are committed and professional players.
'He would rather have less quality but committed players than quality players who are not committed. He has been experienced (in working with) great players and still being able to get the best out of them.'