Van As was one of Breda's star players until Ten Cate was appointed manager in 2000 and the defender chuckled knowingly when told of Ten Cate's latest row.
Van As told The Sun: "He's always looking for confrontation. He is a strange guy and likes to bully players to make sure they do what he says and think what he thinks. His philosophy is simple: Do things my way or leave. That's what he did at Breda, Barcelona, Ajax and now he's doing it at Chelsea.
"Now that's easy to do with kids who are seven or eight. And it's also a bit easier to deal with lesser players like that. He will scream and shout and the bigger the player the louder he becomes. But big players like Terry, Lampard, Drogba or Ballack have big reputations, have won titles and are entitled to have their own opinions on the game.
"The thing is that Ten Cate does not care for anyone's reputation and to him the bigger the player, the more you are going to have to do what you are told."
Van As has since spoken with Ten Cate and feels he now understands the coach better. Nevertheless, the pain of his experience is still vivid.
Van As added: "He told me that he didn't like me as a player and that he was going to replace me. When I got injured he brought someone else in and I never played again for Breda.
"But I have to say that every club he has coached have performed worse after he left. It is a very all-or-nothing way of operating and it only works for a couple of years.
"There's no doubt he's a great coach but he's also a strange guy."