Gutierrez thankful after return

first_img The former Real Mallorca man, without his trademark ponytail, captained Peter Beardsley’s side and played for 88 minutes before being replaced by Dan Ward in the closing stages. And, after the game, the 31-year-old took to Twitter to send a message to those who he felt had helped him over the past year – singling out his family, as well as fiancee Alejandra Maglietti and team-mate Fabricio Coloccini. “Thanks to all the fans for the support that you give through my illness, I am proud to be back. Good game and really happy. Thanks,” Gutierrez said. “Especially thanks to my grandma, mum, dad, Cristina, more, @Eushiguti @el_guti6 @Aye_Chache, coloccini, fermoreno and my love @alemaglietti.” West Ham also sent a message in support of Gutierrez’s comeback – tweeting during the game: “Great to see Jonas Gutierrez back playing for @NUFC today. Wishing him all the best, hopefully see him back in the @premierleague soon.” Gutierrez made only two senior appearances for Newcastle last season before a January loan move to Norwich, where he again linked up with former Magpies’ boss Chris Hughton, where he featured in four games as the Norfolk club fell out of the Premier League. But, despite moving on loan to Carrow Road last year, Gutierrez has been assured of a role in Newcastle’s first-team by manager Alan Pardew. ”We’re pleased to have him back,” Pardew said of the midfielder of last week. ”Jonas is one of those people who livens up the training ground just with his personality, and obviously his illness has magnified that fact. He hasn’t been around much but he’s in pretty good shape and we are hoping that in two or three weeks he could be back in and around the first team. ”He’s keen to earn his right to play but, like any player here, I have to give him an even keel in terms of access to the first team. It’s now up to Jonas but it will certainly be emotional for us and for him when he returns, and we will look forward to it.” The Argentina international was diagnosed in 2013 and underwent surgery before moving to Norwich on loan for the remainder of last season – with his last appearance for the Canaries back in April until the game on Monday. Gutierrez did not make his health issues public until September and since then he has been discharged from hospital and has resumed training – making his comeback as Newcastle beat West Ham 4-1 to advance into the quarter-finals of the Under-21 Premier League Cup. Jonas Gutierrez has thanked friends, family and football fans for their support after the Newcastle man made his comeback having battled testicular cancer.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Kielan Whitner’s transition from defensive back to linebacker gives Syracuse a more balanced defense

first_img Published on August 29, 2017 at 11:45 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+ Kielan Whitner may have been the starting strong safety last season, but the Syracuse coaching staff feels like the secondary is a lot deeper this year.This season, Whitner must compete against multiple players to try and see the field in the secondary, but the coaches still wanted him to be on the field. Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brian Ward approached him after spring ball and suggested a switch to outside linebacker. Whitner’s versatility should help bolster and make the Syracuse’s defense more dynamic this season.“There’s certain guys that we want to get in the game because they can help us win,” SU head coach Dino Babers said. “And if he’s one of those guys, then we’ll get him in the game. … I think it was a good move for him, and I think he’ll contribute in 2017.”The starting linebackers have been fairly consistent for SU. Parris Bennett and Zaire Franklin, who started every game and Jonathan Thomas — who started nine of 12 games last year — will start again this season. Bennett and Franklin finished in the Top 10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackles per game a year ago.Whitner played both strong safety and free safety in his two years at SU, including starts at each position last season. As of now, Whitner is pegged as backup strong-side linebacker, behind Thomas. And although he is technically playing a new position, he said he already feels comfortable there.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“At strong safety, they had me roll down to the box,” Whitner said. “It’s very similar to playing outside linebacker.”Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorWhile Whitner was a defensive back in high school, he said he had a little bit of experience playing outside linebacker. His task was usually to guard the opposing team’s best receiver. If that player happened to be a slot receiver, then Whitner would drop down and match up.The skillset Whitner brings could also help with disguising the defense. Last season, on nearly every third down, there was a nickel package in which Whitner would come in, he said. Now, with him at linebacker, SU could conceivably keep him on the field for third downs. This would make it tough for defenses to tell whether Whitner would be acting as a nickel defensive back or whether he would just be playing his standard outside linebacker role.While Franklin knows that changing positions can be a challenge, he echoed Whitner in saying that switch should not being too difficult and praised his improvement. Franklin is in charge of communicating with the rest of the defense on the field, telling players where to move or how to disguise a certain look. He said Whitner consistently asks questions if he’s unsure about a certain play or look, which has made the transition run smoothly.“He’s one of those guys who prides himself on knowing everything,” Franklin said. “He already had a kind of decent knowledge of the SAM anyway. I think he’s made a really good transition.“He’s going to be a baller.” Commentslast_img read more