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Revealed: Steve Claridge explains why West Bromwich Albion's Graham Dorrans was left out of his team-of-the-year

By Andy Walker on May 18, 10 11:48 PM in West Brom

The BBC's Football League show's top pundit Steve Claridge was at Villa Park yesterday for the Pukka Pies England Band's World Cup launch.Pukka2.JPG

I popped down to quiz him on several football-related subjects but there was one question that I had to ask on behalf of all of those disgruntled West Bromwich Albion fans - why was Graham Dorrans not included in his Championship team-of-the-season?

The Scotland international's failure to make Claridge's final XI on the late night show has seen the ex-striker come in for plenty of flak on Baggies messageboards.

And, judging by his reaction, Claridge was already all too aware and a little embarrassed by the clanger that he'd inadvertently dropped in leaving out Albion's midfield star of the second-tier.

PM767034@TE020510ALBI-10.jpg

The former journeyman insists that his intention was to not include any players from the automatically-promoted duo of Newcastle and Albion, as he felt that their superior squads were incomparable to the rest of the Championship.

He picked his best XI accordingly, but it seems that some last minute meddling behind-the-scenes at the Beeb resulted in some Newcastle players slipping through the net and into the final selection, causing Claridge's popularity at the Hawthorns to fall even lower.

And here is Claridge's answer to that Dorrans question in full:

"This doesn't make a lot of sense but it was because I didn't want to include West Brom or Newcastle," he explained.

"The team I put together didn't include any of their squads because they were so much better and so much stronger than the others that I thought that they were incomparable.

"Then in the end, for some reason they (the BBC) included a couple that I didn't have in my side, so we fell between two stools.

"There were so many good players that missed out. Don't get me wrong, I could have filled it with West Brom and Newcastle players but I didn't want to do it because they were so superior.

"Of course, Graham Dorrans would get in the side, he'd get in anyone's side because he's had a fantastic year."

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