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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Keane hits back at 'clown' Warner in Yorke row

Sunderland boss Roy Keane has fired a withering blast at FIFA vice-president Jack Warner by branding him ''a clown''.

Warner, a special advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, wrote to Keane this week to accuse him of ''insensitivity and disrespect'' after midfielder Dwight Yorke was withdrawn from the squad to face the United States in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

But the furious Irishman, who was unhappy that the letter had been leaked to the media, called him to tell him exactly what he thought, and his contempt has apparently grown during the ensuing days.

Keane, who revealed Warner has never tried to contact him about striker Kenwyne Jones, who suffered knee ligament damage playing for his country in a friendly against England in June, said: ''It's just ridiculous. This clown is writing letters through the media.

''I spoke to Yorkie, who has officially retired a number of times. He is 36, and if they are depending on a 36-year-old to get them through to the World Cup in two years...

''I spoke to the man on Wednesday myself and I told him exactly what I thought about him. He has not once called or dropped a letter about Kenwyne.

''Carlos Edwards was over and has played a couple of games for them - Carlos was selected last year when he had a broken leg.

''He is probably a small man and he has got this 'Small-Man Syndrome'. The world is against him.

''If he is writing a letter representing Trinidad, why is he putting it under FIFA? If he is vice-president - and remember, he is vice-president, he is not president yet - God help us.

''People worry about the game and agents and directors of football and managers losing their jobs - we should be worried about people like him.''

Yorke, who can also expect a rocket from his club manager, captained his country in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Guatemala in Port of Spain, but was missing when they lost 3-0 to USA in Chicago four days later.

However, Keane, who insisted he has never prevented a player from linking up with his country, was adamant he has an arrangement with his former Manchester United team-mate.

He said: ''Kenwyne got injured playing in a friendly. I don't know what deal was going on with England that time, obviously a deal for (World Cup) votes or whatever.

''Kenwyne injured his knee even though he had broken his wrist in the last game for us and I was pretty sure he wasn't available.

''Then I saw Yorkie coming on for a 20-minute cameo appearance. Yorkie is 36 bloody years of age - I'm blaming him anyway.

''He's a clown as well. You retire and then go on an ego trip...

''He has not played in the Premier League since he busted his cheekbone [in pre-season], and he goes over and he played the first game, 90 minutes.

''He couldn't play Saturday, Wednesday and then try to get involved for us on Saturday, no chance, absolutely no chance. If I had known that, he probably wouldn't have got another year's contract from me. You have got to prioritise certain things at his age.

''All my other eight or nine players who were away, no problem. They have all been selected for every friendly match - I have never, ever once spoken to one of my players about missing a game, never.

''Certain managers do - certain managers look after certain national teams, I know that. The man (Warner) is a clown.''

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