Date: 9th September 2006 at 7:18pm
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Pompey defender Andy Griffin has left Fratton Park to return to his first professional club Stoke City, in what will initially be a one-month loan move.

Griffin would start his career with Stoke in 1996 and two impressive seasons would soon bringing him to the attention of Newcastle, for whom he signed in 1998 for a fee of £1.5 million. England recognition would come at U18 and U21 levels however regular football at St James’ Park was never really assured.

His arrival at Fratton Park would come in 2004, signed by Harry Redknapp on a free transfer after his contract had expired. I think it is fair to say that Griffin hasn’t always been a fans favourite, maybe at best there is a 50:50 split on the opinion of the 27-year-old.

It is always good to have cover and experienced cover at that, and although Griffin isn’t a favourite of mine if he had to play I have no doubt he would have given his all, whether or not this would be good enough is open to debate.

Redknapp is certainly of the opinion that he has sufficient cover to let the right-back return to Stoke after a ten-year absence. I’m not so sure that he will return, if he does with first team action highly unlikely, other than possibly the Carling Cup then it will only be a matter of when and not if he will leave for good.