Canaries legend Gunn so proud of Premier League debut for Angus
PUBLISHED: 10:49 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 January 2019
Norwich City legend Bryan Gunn has spoken of his pride at seeing son Angus make his Premier League debut for Southampton – as the keeper continues to follow in his father’s footsteps.
The 22-year-old was a big success while back with boyhood club Norwich on loan from Manchester City last season but was subsequently signed by Southampton in a deal worth £13.5million.
However, Angus has had to wait patiently for his chance, staying on the bench as cover for Alex McCarthy throughout this season, being restricted to three League Cup appearances.
However, the recent change of Saints manager which has seen Ralph Hasenhuttl replace Mark Hughes led to Gunn making his Premier League debut on Wednesday night – keeping a clean sheet in a creditable 0-0 draw at Chelsea.
Born in Norwich, Angus was with the Canaries as a youngster but moved to Manchester City when the Gunn family moved to the north-west in 2011, following Bryan’s short stint as manager at Carrow Road in 2009.
From there he became an established England youth international – he has 11 under-21 caps to his name so far – and was named as a substitute by Pep Guardiola for three Champions League games and five Premier League matches.
His career kicked up a gear when making 51 appearances for Norwich during Daniel Farke’s first campaign, but when that finished in 14th place in the Championship it was unlikely a return would be possible.
City fans have watched on enviously as ‘one of their own’ sat on the bench for Southampton – but finally his chance came, making saves from the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata to thwart Chelsea.
Saints boss Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports after the game: “The main thing is the first clean sheet since I came here, that is maybe also because Gunn was in goal for the first time and he did a fantastic job.
“He was as brave as we wanted him to be because he was defending forward and we spoke about the chipped balls behind the last row and it was important that he was always on line and trying to be defending forward.
“I am very happy with him. It was important for me to see what we had in the goalkeeper position and that was an amazing step for him.”
However, Angus has a long way to go before he matches the excellent career which makes his dad an undoubted Canaries legend.
Bryan made his debut for Aberdeen at 18 but was restricted to 21 appearances for the Dons, as he largely provided cover for Scotland keeper Jim Leighton during Alex Ferguson’s successful reign.
After joining Norwich for £100,000 in October 1986, Bryan made his English top-flight debut 44 days ahead of his 23rd birthday, as Norwich beat Tottenham 2-1 at Carrow Road in the old First Division.
Angus was 20 days short of his 23rd birthday when making his English top-flight debut and has quite a way to catch his dad, who holds the record for top-tier appearances for Norwich on 304 and sits fourth in the club’s all-time appearances list.
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That’s from an overall total of 477 for City in a spell which extended through until January 1998 – during which time Norwich finished in the top five in the country on three occasions, reached two FA Cup semi-finals and went on a Uefa Cup run in which Bryan starred as Bayern Munich were beaten in the second round.
There were also six caps for Scotland along the way and it seems that talent for goalkeeping is in the Gunn genes, with Angus on course for a top career himself.
It’s still early days of course but for a young man who has already been on the bench for the England senior team – during a 0-0 friendly draw with Brazil at Wembley in November 2017 – but it’s looking good for a player who Canaries fans will be keeping a close eye on.
He’s 55 appearances into his senior career, and still faces tough competition from fellow England keepers McCarthy and Fraser Forster, but the former Framingham Earl High School pupil has certainly made a fine start.
Bryan posted on his @MrGunny1963 Twitter account as Angus made his Premier League debut, mentioning his late father, Jimmy, on an emotional evening.
“We are very proud of @AngusGunn01 making his @SouthamptonFC @premierleague debut v @ChelseaFC tonight at Stamford Bridge! This man would also have been very proud as well #JimmyGunn #Papa #16years
“And now I know how my dad felt when I made my @AberdeenFC @NorwichCityFC @ScotlandNT & @HibernianFC debuts!! #Proud #Dad”
Saints boss Hasenhuttl did also make clear that the battle to be his number one is far from settled after the game, telling the Press Association: “He did an amazing job today. He’s a very talented goalkeeper.
“I wanted to give him two games. This is the first, and then against Derby County in the FA Cup.”
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