During the reign of Tony Pulis, the Britannia Stadium became something of a fortress as opposing sides struggled to deal with the physicality of the hosts and the aerial bombardment they would invariably face.
A visit to Stoke City has become no easier under Mark Hughes, but the Potters have altered their philosophy somewhat.
Greater emphasis is being placed on keeping possession and outplaying rivals, rather than outmuscling them.
Hughes’ men still now how to get the job done, though, when they have to knuckle knock and grind out results.
A 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Saturday allowed Stoke to show both sides of their game, as they raced into a three-goal lead and then dug in to secure the points.
Experienced frontman Peter Crouch was delighted with the overall showing, with ‘a nice blend’ between dogged and destructive found against the Gunners.
The former England international said in the Sentinel: “We are trying to evolve, get the ball down and play but there are still a few of us old people here from before and we still have determination and desire to win games. It’s a nice blend.
“I know from being an away player at the Brit before that it’s not a very nice place to come! I’ve been here with Spurs and Liverpool and as a big club you might be thinking, ‘Oh, do I have to go to Stoke?’ That’s something we have to maintain.
“We have to keep that going. It’s all right to play good football but we still have to have that fear factor for when the big teams come here to make sure they don’t like playing against us. I think we’ve still got that
“We try to play on that, of course. It’s enjoyable. It’s great to see big clubs coming to our place and getting beat. That’s what the Premier League is all about, I know it’s a cliché but there are no easy games.”
Stoke certainly enjoy their home outings against Arsenal, with the Gunners boasting a miserable Premier League record at the Britannia.
Saturday’s success was the Potters’ fourth in seven meetings with the Gunners since stepping back up into the top-flight in 2008/09.
Two of the other three fixtures have ended all square, with Arsene Wenger having taken three points back to north London with him on just one occasion – back in February 2010.
If Stoke can find a way of producing that level of performance on a consistent basis, against other opponents, there is nothing to stop them from becoming a solid top-half side for many years to come.