Nzonzi has been accused by fans and pundits of slowing the play down whenever he is on the ball in midfield.
"Different players have different styles," said the Stoke boss.
"Some have a frenetic style, some more of a pitter-patter style.
"Steven is more laconic because he's a big, elegant player and people sometimes misinterpret that as slowing the play down.
"He certainly has the ability to quicken it up, but sometimes you also need somebody to have the capacity to slow things down when it's needed."