Opinion: On the ball, Gunners

Fan's voice

Gary Gowers, My Football Writer Norwich City

It may seem a tad odd to kick off a Norwich City column with a homage to Arsenal but that’s what I’m about to do. Forgive me.

It’s not a huge thank you to the Gunners for delivering us the services of one Ben Knapper, or even a belated one for granting us a brief (but not brief enough) audience with the Brazilian magic of Marquinhos.

Nor am I about to sidle up to a paid-up member of the ‘big six’ – one of that select band who deem the other 86 clubs to be unworthy and who would (I suspect), if the right circumstances prevailed, be off to the European Super League quicker than you could say ‘I’m alright, Jack’.

No, it’s unrelated to all of the above, but Arsenal have got something right, which is to unearth a heart-string-tugging and emotive anthem that, when played just before kick-off, unites The Emirates in a way that under the latter years of Arsene Wenger and, more recently, under Unai Emery, felt a million miles away.

You may have heard it. Said tune is called 'North London Forever' (or, more precisely, 'Norf Landan Forevvver') and is one that they kind of commissioned by a Norf Landan singer/songwriter called Louis Dunford. If you’ve not heard it, I recommend a trip to YouTube.

It ticks all of the boxes: gets the adrenalin flowing, the chests puffed out and brings together all the disparate factions of Islington.

But what’s that got to do with Norwich City?

I’ll go route one - I think we could do with something similar.

"But we already have On the Ball, City."

Well, yes and no.

Yes, we do have On the Ball, City, which is belted out in the same ‘slot’, but those who have read my column(s) will know my thoughts on the ‘oldest and greatest football song in the world’.

I agree it’s probably the oldest but in its current guise, I’m not sure if it’s in the conversation for the greatest – not when it’s sung at a hundred miles an hour and its last line has been virtually erased from history.

It still has its moments of course, and the recent rendition before Norwich 1 Ipswich 0 was something quite special, but I reckon to get the best out of it and for it not to rest on its ‘oldest and greatest’ laurels, it could do with some competition.

So step forward Sons Of Mark – duetting brothers from the fine city who are making their way in the music industry with an indie acoustic sound that lends itself nicely to a footie anthem. And guess what … they’ve delivered one. A corker.

Those who frequented the Lion & Castle on Saturday will have seen the lads perform a Norwich City-themed set, which included their latest offering entitled, appropriately enough, Our Fine City.

Listen to it here (external link)

As mentioned above, I’m not suggesting for a moment it replaces OTBC – nothing really could – but as an accompaniment, I’d say it’s just about perfect.

And if it can work in, of all places, The Emirates, then why can’t a new anthem work in Carrow Road?

Come on Norwich City, let’s make it happen.

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