Some of you may be pleased to know and for many it will be of no interest, but I've actually found a copy of my old database before the site was copied over the that failed OleOle venture. It's over 2,000 blog posts and means the site can get almost all of it's original content back. The bits that happened when on OleOle will be lost forever I'm afraid, but so much can come back.
But none of you want to know the reasons why merging two databases is going to be a fun geeky summer project for me, you want some Aston Villa opinion and here it comes and today, it's all about Benteke.
And to set the mood, this came to me last night. I was supping on a very nice single malt from Glenmorangie called Signet and it was like a wet fish slapping me in the face; Benteke isn't going to sign for Liverpool because if he did, it would only be for the money and quite possibly removing any chance of Champions League football.
And Benteke has more sense that that. I mean, he'll know they're not a top four side and he'll also know that with Brendan Rodgers, they have a manager with no real pedigree; it's quite literally only a matter of time before he gets the sack (he's joint favourite at the moment). So why would Benteke go to a club with potential, it's ultimately a sideways step, in the context of where Benteke could be playing.
We've had an American owner longer than you
And before a Liverpool fan jumps in and says anything, they should remember one thing; we've had an American owner longer than them and we know what they do to make you just accept mediocrity. Think back just a few years; you were the mighty Liverpool and now you accept the challenge and the fight to break into the top four and you accept Brendan Rodgers, a manager from Swansea that has won nothing, as the messiah.
Sure, Liverpool fans can easily argue that it's a step up from Aston Villa and they'd not be wrong in the context they'd have to put it in, but it's hardly a big leap, it's not even a stretch, in that context. Liverpool are a long way off top four and even though we all know a scouser that can argue why they'll be challenging for top four, as eloquently as the finest politician can argue for a vote, it will sort of be confirmed by November that it's not going to happen.
And yes, there is the potential, but if you were to ask ten so called football pundits to predict who will finish in the top four this coming season, the vast majority would say Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea. I'd be surprised if Liverpool actually got a mention. And if one of the pundits top four came in for Benteke, I think it's fair to say that most Aston Villa fans would thank Benteke for his service, for signing the new contract with the £32.5mn release clause and wish him well on his way.
But the step up to Liverpool for European football ... I mean, if Benteke thinks that is a good career move, then surely there must be someone at the club that can convince him the trip to Swansea each season classifies as European football? But, I could be wrong and Liverpool could convince Benteke that he's the missing piece of the puzzle and that with him, they'll challenge for the title and European success. But I don't think even Benteke will believe that.
Bottom line, I think there is an element of common sense that will come into the equation when he speaks to his agent and I think what will fundamentally happen is this; he'll stay with us for one more season, have a blinder and then the offer will come from a proper top four club and every one at Aston Villa will wish him well.
Let's be honest, even if we have a great season and finish close to Europa League or even in it, we all know Benteke can be playing Champions League football and if we do have a very good season, it's almost guaranteed that a Champions League club comes in for him and then we go back to the not begrudging him the move to play Champions League football.
Which is why I can't see him going to Liverpool because he's almost assured of two seasons and possibly even three before they'd let him leave and by then he could be 28 years old and knackered after all those extra games in Europa League. One more good season with us and it's nailed on. Or three seasons flirting with it.
What would you do, honestly?
I'd even go so far as to say while Liverpool have potential to finish in the top four, there is even more potential that if he goes to Liverpool, that his career could turn into one big missed opportunity. Benteke could become the modern day Matt Le Tissier if he joins them.
Don't get me wrong, he could still move to a top four club after two or three seasons, but that's wasted opportunity for him. He'll weight things up and come to the conclusion that if it's Liverpool or Aston Villa; one more season in a familiar setting to show the world once again what he can do, is what he needs. The change and upheaval and all those extra games isn't going to help his chances and he could get stuck.
And that above people is why I think Benteke is going nowhere but I could be wrong and if he does end up at Liverpool, I think ultimately, we'll just all end up feeling quite sad for the player. Happy for the £32.5mn but sad for the player. And now, with that written ....