Benali - let's make St Mary's a fortress

Francis Benali

Francis Benali

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

Saints icon Francis Benali wants St Mary’s to be a fortress this season ahead of the first home game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Benali, who made nearly 400 appearances for Saints, was impressed by what he saw in the 2-1 opening day defeat against Liverpool.

And now, he wants Ronald Koeman’s new-look side to make St Mary’s a fearsome prospect for any team to come to.

“Home form is going to be important,” he said.

“We want to make St Mary’s a fortress again.

“Seeing the performance away at Anfield, I’m really looking forward to seeing them play at home.”

The ex-full back, who will be embarking on an 1,000 mile run between the 20 Premier League clubs to raise money Cancer Research UK on Sunday, admired how the new summer signings, Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle, Ryan Bertrand and Fraser Forster – with Florin Gardos and Saphir Taider yet to play – have quickly embedded themselves into the team.

“I thought they were great,” Benali said. “Especially given that some of the players have only worked to together for a short period of time, it was good to see.

“Things can only get better.

“There’s some good understanding and relationships building already.

“A lot of promise has been shown and there’s a lot more to come from them.

“They just need knit together a bit more.

“The more they work together the more they will gel together.”

Benali was pleased to see Saints prove many wrong with their performance at Anfield, after many tipped Koeman’s side to struggle.

Despite coming away from Merseyside with a defeat, Benali is optimistic for the rest of the season.

“It’s almost like a new era for the club,” he said.

“There are a lot of players here from the old regimes but this is very much a new-look squad under Koeman.

“There was a lot of quality here already but the new quality that is coming in means it’s an exciting mix and I can’t wait to see them fulfil their potential.”

Comments (13)

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7:02am Thu 21 Aug 14

saint christopher says...

Amen
Amen saint christopher
  • Score: 14

9:56am Thu 21 Aug 14

Saint Viking says...

Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate. Saint Viking
  • Score: 7

9:58am Thu 21 Aug 14

Saint Viking says...

Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
[quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right! Saint Viking
  • Score: 3

10:31am Thu 21 Aug 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
You can say arse though.
[quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]You can say arse though. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 6

10:39am Thu 21 Aug 14

Saint Viking says...

Positively4thStreet wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
You can say arse though.
haha....I was surprised when that came up. Don't know what the thinking behind that is? Arse!
[quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]You can say arse though.[/p][/quote]haha....I was surprised when that came up. Don't know what the thinking behind that is? Arse! Saint Viking
  • Score: 3

10:43am Thu 21 Aug 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Saint Viking wrote:
Positively4thStreet wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
You can say arse though.
haha....I was surprised when that came up. Don't know what the thinking behind that is? Arse!
:0). Yes we should all say it,just because we can ! Arse arse arse!!
[quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]You can say arse though.[/p][/quote]haha....I was surprised when that came up. Don't know what the thinking behind that is? Arse![/p][/quote]:0). Yes we should all say it,just because we can ! Arse arse arse!! Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 4

11:33am Thu 21 Aug 14

Pikey Pete says...

Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway?
Arse just for the sake of it...

But **** is three stars not 4?
[quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway? Arse just for the sake of it... But **** is three stars not 4? Pikey Pete
  • Score: 2

11:34am Thu 21 Aug 14

Pikey Pete says...

**** Pete wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway?
Arse just for the sake of it...

But **** is three stars not 4?
Heh I am wrong....I spelt it like Viking must have and it gives 4 stars strike outs...Sorry Viking.
Pete
[quote][p][bold]**** Pete[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway? Arse just for the sake of it... But **** is three stars not 4?[/p][/quote]Heh I am wrong....I spelt it like Viking must have and it gives 4 stars strike outs...Sorry Viking. Pete Pikey Pete
  • Score: 2

11:37am Thu 21 Aug 14

Positively4thStreet says...

**** Pete wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Saint Viking wrote:
Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday,

Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.
I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right!
With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway?
Arse just for the sake of it...

But **** is three stars not 4?
That's the DE for you..always trying to build up,and sensationalise.
[quote][p][bold]**** Pete[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Saint Viking[/bold] wrote: Don't we all Francis! I think you've summed up how the majority of us feel after the performance on Sunday, Good luck with your run, pretty inspirational stuff. I'm in the same age bracket as you & you've inspired me to get my lazy **** running again! It's for a great cause & I'll be visiting the website today to donate.[/p][/quote]I didn't' realise the alternative word for a donkey would be censored! My lazy bum doesn't sound right![/p][/quote]With the letters stared out you had 4 how were you trying to spell it anyway? Arse just for the sake of it... But **** is three stars not 4?[/p][/quote]That's the DE for you..always trying to build up,and sensationalise. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 1

12:41pm Thu 21 Aug 14

sarfhamton says...

what does Flash think?
what does Flash think? sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Thu 21 Aug 14

footballfan123 says...

We all talk about Lambert being so special. The one who deserted us for his beloved Liverpool. Well here we have a true legend who genuinely loves the clubs. A player who stayed with the club like Le Tiss the whole of his career. He now continues to watch from the stands. A genuine Saints legend. And he is right. Lets make St Marys a tough place to go.
We all talk about Lambert being so special. The one who deserted us for his beloved Liverpool. Well here we have a true legend who genuinely loves the clubs. A player who stayed with the club like Le Tiss the whole of his career. He now continues to watch from the stands. A genuine Saints legend. And he is right. Lets make St Marys a tough place to go. footballfan123
  • Score: 11

2:30pm Thu 21 Aug 14

SaintJD says...

footballfan123 wrote:
We all talk about Lambert being so special. The one who deserted us for his beloved Liverpool. Well here we have a true legend who genuinely loves the clubs. A player who stayed with the club like Le Tiss the whole of his career. He now continues to watch from the stands. A genuine Saints legend. And he is right. Lets make St Marys a tough place to go.
With all due respect, because Frannie is a club legend, I'm not sure you can compare his loyalty to that of the players we lost this summer because I don't think the big clubs were ever in for him. He's a legend though because he got the very best out of himself by working hard and 100% commitment every time, even when he sometimes got stick from the home support. He grafted through it and won them round though.

Loyalty, even in Frannie's day, was a bit of a myth. Le Tiss was loyal to us of course in the face of interest from the big clubs, but let's face it, that was more because he was totally content with what he had and liked the lifestyle down here. Some people would call it lazy, but I think he just appreciated family ahead of medals and high wages.

I'm not sure that's loyalty, but it's refreshing and admirable and both he and Frannie are rightly club legends because, in different ways, both had attitudes that buck the norm of professional footballers.
[quote][p][bold]footballfan123[/bold] wrote: We all talk about Lambert being so special. The one who deserted us for his beloved Liverpool. Well here we have a true legend who genuinely loves the clubs. A player who stayed with the club like Le Tiss the whole of his career. He now continues to watch from the stands. A genuine Saints legend. And he is right. Lets make St Marys a tough place to go.[/p][/quote]With all due respect, because Frannie is a club legend, I'm not sure you can compare his loyalty to that of the players we lost this summer because I don't think the big clubs were ever in for him. He's a legend though because he got the very best out of himself by working hard and 100% commitment every time, even when he sometimes got stick from the home support. He grafted through it and won them round though. Loyalty, even in Frannie's day, was a bit of a myth. Le Tiss was loyal to us of course in the face of interest from the big clubs, but let's face it, that was more because he was totally content with what he had and liked the lifestyle down here. Some people would call it lazy, but I think he just appreciated family ahead of medals and high wages. I'm not sure that's loyalty, but it's refreshing and admirable and both he and Frannie are rightly club legends because, in different ways, both had attitudes that buck the norm of professional footballers. SaintJD
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Dave Juson says...

Yes chaps: man the barricades!
Franny went on to say: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he against the Baggies that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint ...”
Hmm it’s John McGrath’s birthday. In the circumstances, this might be carrying the metaphor too far.
Yes chaps: man the barricades! Franny went on to say: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he against the Baggies that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint ...” Hmm it’s John McGrath’s birthday. In the circumstances, this might be carrying the metaphor too far. Dave Juson
  • Score: 4

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