ANALYSIS: Gunn returns to City with hunger to prove Saints wrong
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Gunn is a surname synonymous with Norwich City and so it feels somewhat of a homecoming that once again City will have that name amongst their squad again.
Despite the romantic subplots and feelings of comfort associated with his surname, Angus arrives at Carrow Road under different circumstances to his loan spell back in 2017 and will be determined to prove his worth to City's Premier League survival mission.
The 25-year-old won't be one to ride on the coattails of his father's success nor will he allow it to be the dominating factor in his City journey. As he proved during 2017-18, he is his own man.
Bryan Gunn is one of the pivotal figures in Norwich City history. A mere mention of his name will cast minds back to the 90s and a golden period for the club as they travelled Europe and famously toppled Bayern Munich.
For many, he is one of the very few who can be considered as 'Mr Norwich City'. His legacy at the club is well-documented and his affiliation with it eternal.
That success could prove difficult for anyone looking to forge their own career at the same club where their father is considered a legend. For Angus, that hasn't impacted his career or left him in the shadow of his dad's achievements.
His maturity is illustrated by his decision to return to Norwich despite the guarantee of immediate first-team football appearing unlikely.
As a character, Gunn is one who subscribes to City's philosophy and is rated highly by Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber.
- 1 Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 2-0 Everton defeat
- 2 Paddy Davitt verdict: The wait for City's big bang theory
- 3 ‘We will turn this around’ - Normann’s passionate Canaries defence
- 4 Six things you might have missed after City's sixth successive defeat
- 5 Krul asks City fans to keep faith with ‘long project’ after latest loss
- 6 Reader letter: How Roy Hodgson can save Norwich City
- 7 Farke on Everton loss and key penalty call
- 8 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 2-0 defeat at Everton
- 9 'Everyone is expecting you to win' - Benitez on Toffees' triumph
- 10 'Beyond painful' - City fans top-flight woe continues after Everton loss
Being a second choice keeper is a unique position, one that Orjan Nyland struggled to grapple with during the few months he was at the club.
The Norwegian international quickly realised that an immediate opportunity to showcase his ability as a number one was limited at Carrow Road. Ultimately, the break-up was mutual, with both parties deciding to head in separate directions.
Gunn was available. Southampton were willing to do a deal and City made it happen.
In many ways, the former England Under-21 international has been a victim of circumstance at St Mary's. Signed for over £10million, the intention was always for him to solve their goalkeeping troubles in the long term.
When Ralph Hassenhuttl arrived, he handed Gunn his Premier League debut and described his performance as 'fantastic' as he kept a clean sheet against Chelsea in January 2019.
A run of fixtures followed, and Gunn impressed the Austrian enough to begin the new campaign as the first-choice keeper. The infamous 9-0 drubbing against Leicester City saw him scapegoated and blamed in some quarters. He would never play for Southampton in the Premier League again.
Gunn wasn't the sole factor behind that defeat. NoR was he free from blame. But after such a defeat, something has to change and he took the brunt of the blame.
His omission and regression at Southampton wasn't solely down to ability. For all his criticism during his time on the south coast, this is the same goalkeeper rated highly by Pep Guardiola and Gareth Southgate.
It's the same keeper that played his way into a big-money move to Southampton. It's the same keeper who made tremendous saves during his loan stint at Norwich.
Gunn is viewed as a modern goalkeeper, one who is capable of distributing the ball and able to act as an auxiliary outfield player in possession. But at 6ft 5ins, the former Manchester City keeper has the stature to combine that with conventional skills required to be a top keeper.
There is some nurturing that will need to take place. But City's goalkeeping department have proven they can develop and improve players. Tim Krul being the prime example, he has gone from footballing wilderness to back in the Dutch set-up.
Gunn returns to a place where his ability is appreciated and now he can finally work on getting his career back on track without being thrust into the intensity of a top-flight campaign.
In the right environment, Gunn can rediscover his confidence and form. Stoke was supposed to be that destination but his time in the Potteries was scuppered by injuries.
Now, he has found his way home. Some will say it was inevitable, given the family history and romantic aspects, but this is a deal Norwich have sanctioned because of Angus' ability rather than genetics. Webber isn't a man who operates using sentiment as his major currency.
In the back of his mind will be planning for the mid and long term. With both of City's senior keepers being over 30 and the gap to the young cohort developing beneath them being so stark, Gunn acts as a stopgap between experience and youth.
It is a position City have sought to fill for three or four transfer windows, very few options presented themselves.
In terms of mindset, ability and character, Gunn possesses all the relevant qualities to offer support to Krul and has the quality should an opening present itself or he be required.
But he does arrive at Norwich as a different goalkeeper compared to four years ago, the challenge for all parties is to ensure he recaptures the form he displayed whilst in yellow and green.