Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday June 9 2009
Stoke skipper, Andy Griffin may be one that could be on his way out of the Brit this summer.
Griff rejoined the Potters 18 months ago amid much talk of staying with the club until he retired. All seemed ok until the infamous incident at Upton Park at the end of December when Ricardo Fuller was sent off for slapping his captain. At the time, Stoke were on a poor run that had seen them lose three and draw two in December and we all feared the worst, not helped by an embarrassing FA Cup exit a few days later at the hands of lowly Hartlepool. Thankfully, the downward spiral was eventually halted with a 1-0 win against Man City at the Brit at the end of January but Griff was by now all but history and relegated to reserve appearances.
There were some stories of a bust-up between Griffin and the manager, in fact I was told by a club insider at the Portsmouth match in February that Griffin had 'stormed out and gone home' after being told that he was not in the squad to face Pompey. Griffin has now confirmed in interviews with the media that he has fallen out with Pulis and unlikely to stay but, to give him due credit, he didn't make these public during the season.
There is now talk of Newcastle United coming in for the 30 year old defender. The new Championship club are in turmoil both on and off the pitch and look certain to have to offload most of their highly paid, under-performing stars and replace them with some grafters just to stand a chance of not ending up in League 1 by this time next year. Griff could just be the sort of person that would suit a new look Magpies and do a good job back on Tyneside.
Date:Tuesday June 9 2009
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