Stoke can play a bit now and are not just the long ball and long throw in merchants that they were when they arrived in the Premier League, although they have had a certain amount of success with their style.
But United are one of the few sides they seem incapable of ruffling, having lost all five encounters since their return to the top flight. And the key may be the fact Sir Alex Ferguson's men are not just prepared for an aerial bombardment. They also recognise Stoke can play a bit too.
"Stoke can be physical at times," said the Scotland skipper. "They put long throws and free-kicks into the box and are willing to go direct.
"But that is not to neglect the football players they have. Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant like to get at you and dribble.
"Tuncay and Ricardo Fuller are good, attacking-style players who like the ball at their feet too, so they do have options and can cause problems on the ground."