Brian Talbot was famed for his stamina and courage, attributes that endeared him to the Highbury faithful and team-mates alike. But his impact on the Arsenal side of the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s stretched beyond his own gifts.
His tireless work in the midfield engine room complimented gloriously the artistic merits of Messrs Brady and Rix. Without the sturdy foundations implemented by Talbot behind them, the flair pair would have enjoyed significantly less freedom on the front foot.
|Arsenal Career||1979 - 1985|
|Appearances||327 (316 starts, 11 as a sub)|
However, that isn't to say Talbot couldn't produce magical moments of his own in the opposing half; his time with the Club ended with him just one short of a half-century of goals.
Arguably his finest moment in the red and white came in yellow as Arsenal took on Manchester United in the 1979 FA Cup Final. He played a key role in the showpiece, opening the scoring with a typically well-timed run to the penalty box. Victory that day saw the Suffolk native become the first man for over 100 years to scoop an FA Cup winner's medal with different clubs in consecutive years - his triumph in 1978 had come when he orchestrated Ipswich's victory over Arsenal!
A year later his taste for the world's oldest knockout competition came to the fore again when he headed the decisive goal in the Semi-Final win over Liverpool. That season he set a club record as an ever-present in the Gunners' marathon season, playing a total of 70 matches during the campaign.
The trend continued throughout his time in London as Talbot missed, at most, a handful of games until his departure in 1985, joining Watford. His renowned industry, duly supplemented by a redoubtable skill, had earned him the respect of all those at the Club. He was 32 when he moved on having given his prime years to Arsenal.