Bradley calls for vintage performance

IRENE, South Africa - The student will try to beat the master when Bob Bradley's United States take on Fabio Capello's England in the Group C opener at the World Cup on Saturday.

The pair first met, over 15 years ago, when the American was coaching a University team and the Italian was in charge of one of the greatest sides of all time - the AC Milan team of the early 1990's.

"I watched AC Milan a great deal during their great years - the years when Arrigo Sacchi was there and then Capello took over. That included taking a college team, Princeton University, to Milan," Bradley told reporters on Wednesday.

"We played against the Primavera (youth team), we were at the Milanello training complex and we watched the Milan derby.

"I have certainly seen his work over the years, whether it was with Milan, Real Madrid, Juventus or now with England. His career speaks for itself," said the U.S coach.

Bradley, who has travelled widely over the years to study tactics and training methods in Europe at close-hand, said Capello gave him a piece of advice.

"His quote to me, his coaching advice was: 'When you make wine the grapes aren't always the same.'

"The first few times he said that to me I thought he was actually talking about wine but since then I've realised that he was trying to tell me a little something about football," said Bradley.

"For me the most impressive thing when you look at his career has been the way he has, at times, adjusted the different teams to the talents on his squad.

"He took over from Sacchi, whose team were 4-4-2 and all about pressing. He put a lot of demands on players physically. Capello tweaked it a little bit to make sure that with the amount of games Milan were playing that part could be managed.

"I remember years later when he was at Roma it became more of a 3-4-1-2 - he has the ability to tweak things," he said.

There have been common themes, though, to Capello's teams over the years and Bradley said he expected to see them in the England side on Saturday.

"What you expect is that the teams will be well prepared, tactically they will be right, the mentality will be right.

"He certainly sets a good tone with his team in terms of how they need to play and how they go about their business and I think that (his influence), certainly when you look at the qualifying, for England has been positive."

Follow on Twitter Join on Facebook