Milan plan to take game to Tottenham
He has spent the last 18 years playing for the world's biggest clubs in the top echelons of the European game, so these days it is safe to say it takes something special to surprise AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf.
But even the 34-year-old Dutchman was taken aback by the pace of Tottenham's Aaron Lennon - or "the man on the motorbike" as he calls him - when their teams fought out an electric first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
It was a typically rapid raid down the right by Lennon that led to Peter Crouch scoring the only goal of an intriguing encounter at the San Siro on 15 February, giving Spurs a crucial advantage in their quest for a quarter-final place.
"I told Lennon that the police would stop him for speeding," Seedorf said with a smile. "I told him he was not allowed to go this fast."
Lennon's pace was only one sub-plot of an absorbing match that demonstrated the tactical flexibility of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri. But the England winger could again have a big role to play when the sides do battle in Wednesday's return leg at White Hart Lane.
One thing is already certain. Milan will approach this game in a very different fashion to the way they did that first meeting, when Allegri said beforehand: "Our objective is not to concede a goal." This time, the opposite is true: Milan have to score (at least) one goal to have any chance of progressing.
When I spoke to him last week, Seedorf told me that Milan must take the game to Tottenham and play more like they did in the second half at the San Siro than the first, when a combination of their own cagey approach and their opponent's pressing game resulted in the Italian side being pinned back in their own half and struggling to impose themselves on the game.
"What we didn't expect at the start of the game was for Tottenham to be waiting for us on the halfway line and then coming at us so strongly," said Seedorf, who was operating in the hole behind Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but was subdued by the constant attention he received from Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios.
"But I think Spurs gave so much in the first half that in the second they could not do it with the same intensity. That's why I would say that if we can add more speed to our game on Wednesday, especially with how quickly we move the ball, then we can create the space we didn't manage to find early in the first game.
"The main thing, though, is that we are a little bit more attack-minded and have enough players looking to do some pressing up front like we did later in the game."
Milan retained their 4-3-1-2 formation for the entire 90 minutes of the first leg but the average position of their players before and after the break (when Seedorf was substituted) demonstrates how dramatic Allegri's change in initiative was when it became obvious his side were being outplayed. It had to be.
But Spurs are adaptable, too. Arguably, Milan's switch actually suited them. It meant Redknapp's men defended far deeper in the second half - as they will if they are under pressure at White Hart Lane. They continued to keep the Italian side's frontmen quiet, while using the speed of Lennon to counter-attack quickly down the right.
That might be a recurring problem for Milan on Wednesday, especially if Gareth Bale is fit enough to start on the opposite flank. The Welshman twice destroyed Inter Milan in the group stages of the competition.
Seedorf recognises the threat that Bale poses but says he has seen enough of him to know there are ways of keeping him quiet. That said, his own side have often struggled to deal with width and pace this season.
"Those were two excellent games from Bale against Inter," Seedorf said. "But I have also followed how he has been doing in the Premier League. In Europe, that type of player can give his side a big advantage against teams who don't really know how to defend. They find more space. Bale can make a great difference, not only with his speed but because he has great feet, too. However, we know how to defend."
Contrary to the approach that characterised their route to the last 16, Tottenham clearly know how to defend, too. Redknapp may like to encourage the belief his side are simply a gung-ho outfit but we saw at the San Siro that there is far more to his approach than that - even if, unlike Allegri, his instinct is to look for goals.
Going forward, even if Bale is not fit enough to start the game, we can expect Spurs to use their widemen as much as possible and try to find Crouch with high balls into the box from the wings, much as they did in the first leg.
But, whether they attempt to push Milan back or sit deep themselves, Redknapp will demand defensive discipline from Spurs, who will again attempt to starve Robinho and Ibrahimovic of possession and chances by working hard from the midfield backwards. And that includes the wingers, who must track back as well as attack.
I put it to Seedorf that he will not come across players like Crouch, Lennon and Bale too often in Serie A, where Milan are five points clear at the top of the table after wining at Juventus on Saturday. He disagreed, saying that it is not Tottenham's players that are different, only the way they are utilised.
To back up his view, Seedorf turned to MIlan right-back Ignazio Abate.
"In England, games are much more open, with teams going for the win and being less tactical," said Seedorf. "In Italy, you won't find that sort of space to do the damage. Abate has the same kind of speed as Lennon but he does more work defensively than offensively. It is down to a different way of thinking."
Wednesday's meeting offers us a teasing reversal of both those tactical stereotypes - the English manager's inclination to attack and the Italian's to defend. Much of the outcome will depend on how well each man operates outside his comfort zone. As for Seedorf, he will hope there are no more surprises in store for him or Milan.
You can read the second part of my interview with Seedorf - about how much European football has changed during his career - next week.
Follow me throughout the season on Twitter @chrisbevan_bbc