I know I left speculation alone a while ago and only really delve in on transfer deadline day, but there is a lot of talk today that Benteke is off after this season and well, it deserves a mention, as do the new rules brought in yesterday, but that is for another post and when I've had time to properly understand them.

So, to the speculation and my first thoughts were that this didn't surprise me and for a lot of reasons. First, ambition. He is in the inside and from the outside it looks like the club isn't actually that ambitions. If it were, he'd know about it. The thing is, we're not. We all know this.

Then, it's about getting a better offer. Nobody knows what money he is on with us, but I'd guess something around the £20,000 a week mark. Now, you might think that low, but try to imagine what he was on in Belgium. He probably more than doubled his salary coming to us. It was an easy decision.

Cash is king

I might be wrong, it might be £30,000 a week, but I'd be quite surprised if it was. And, he knows after having a somewhat successful season, scoring ten goals to date (in 22 appearances, so I'm calling it 'somewhat' because Van Persie has 18 in 23 and that is successful), that he can get more and he probably also doesn't want to be playing in the Championship next season or, if we manage to stay up, fighting relegation again.

That last bit is linked to the ambition. We have none of that, so even if we do stay up, it's going to be another tough season. Unless we're sold that is and I still think Lerner is actively looking for a buyer, but that is gut and nobody has told me anything.

But then, the manager as good as confirms he is for sale. It just doesn't feel right. Lambert probably already knows. Hell, he does know. We all know.

Banging my head now

I wish I never started a post around speculation, because it just turns into a post that isn't about speculation. We all know Benteke is off, even if we stay up. We're a selling club. We're a club with no ambition. We're a club going nowhere. We are the next Bolton; no real ambition. Look around at all the other teams in the Premier League and you'll see ambition.

Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • joe hart.... why can't these keepers make mistakes against us...

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer


  • Guest - vancouvervillan

    We have to take advantage of today's results.

    We have to start with the same front four in a 442 formation, delph & kea/sylla ? to start in midfield (westwood is ill), starting bent would be a mistake, like starting with only 10 men, however if we have a lead into the last 15 mins i do like yesterday's suggestion of benteke to drop deeper and play in midfield this could be the time to bring on bent ?, one thing for sure we have to do all we can to keep the ball and not give possession away too cheaply, our midfield must step up against nolan & diame.

  • Guest - belcs

    Southampton playing fantastically well, the appointment of Pochettino looks like a masterstroke from their pro active board.
    Lerner should take note, anything other than a convincing win tomorrow and lamberk must go. No manager can survive the prospect of 5 consecutive home league defeats.

  • Guest - vancouvervillan

    If PL dosen't keep starting benteke, gabby, wiemann & n'zogbia playing in a 442 we are down.

  • Stays like this at St. Mary's and we're 6 points behind southampton with a gap starting to form between the bottom 4 and the rest..

  • YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS 2 - 1.... come on man city !!!

  • Guest - B6 villa

    We have to give it our all tommorow and for the rest of the season. Every player has to do thier job and stick to it for the full 90 minutes. You ain't going to get results going for you every weekend, show you are hungry for it from the off

  • What the hell 3 - 1 southampton

    barry massive blunder cooly side foots into his own net for the 3rd.
    joe hart drops the ball between his legs for a massive blunder for the 2nd.

    Do man city actually want to send us down ?

  • Guest - B6 villa

    That's the kind of luck we need:D, agent Barry you are scoring an own goal in the wrong game, it was the villa game you was supose to do that:D:D

  • Guest - Ftkv

    But the are better than us
    Lerner the cu£t has seen to that

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    Rodriguez and Lallana (i know not playing today) are better than any of our midfield by a country mile

  • Guest - jules

    cant believe how bad city are playing?

  • southampton look the team in 2nd place, it's too easy, man city not doing anything

  • Guest - jules

    yes s,ton are a better team than us so is every other team on paper! when you look at are team who would get in another premiership team bar bentekie?

  • Guest - jules

    that's when you rely on a manager to get the best out of hes players!! lets hope so far we haven't seen the best out of ours or else we are well ****ed?

  • Guest - Az

    Another reason to hate Man City. Surely Mankini will get sacked after this.

  • southampton will go up to 15th above newcastle on goal difference.

    southampton 27 pts
    newcastle 27 pts
    reading 23 pts
    wigan 21 pts
    aston villa 21 pts
    qpr 17 pts

    that gap is starting to open up. it's a must win tomorrow !

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Gareth Barry won the game for Southampton

  • who would have thought southampton would have beaten man city... man city's make mistakes against the worst possible opposition..

  • Guest - expat007

    Southampton 3 Manchester City 1; If Villa do not win tomorrow there must be the possibility of only four sides in the dog fight against for the dreaded drop.
    A draw will put us 5 points, which in truth is 6 given the goal difference with 12 matches to go. Lose and that is the equivalent of eight points and then there were four!
    So again it’s a must win situation against West Ham. Given both teams track record this season for draws, 15 from 50 matches between them the odds are in favour of a drawn game. Villa and the Hammers have managed 51 goals in those 50 matches so put your money on a low score draw, but these are stats and if they will count for nothing.
    If the worst comes to the worst and its Reading, Wigan, QPR and Villa battling it out till May, you must still give Villa a chance to survive as none of the others are world beaters.
    How I dread tomorrows game.

  • Guest - jules


    im actually looking forward to tomorrows game with most results going are way today i think the players will be up for this more than west ham tomorrow and can see us winning 3-1 tomorrow!!

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    Seen Southampton a few times this season and theyre a decent side.
    As said Rodriguez and Lallana are much better players than anyone we have at our club in midfield.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Saying that Southampton played well and pushed city into thier own half which led city into mistakes. Every player gave it thier all and kept the ball wen they needed to. Something we need to start doing which keeps the pressure off the defence. Can't remember boroc making much saves

  • Guest - expat007

    If you read my Blog of yesterday I said that Southamptons' recent record was up there with the best and it would come as no surprise if they got a result against Man C. Also bear in mind they have done the double over us and Fergie said that their last Saturdays' performance at Old Trafford was the best by any side this season.
    I have seen on ESPN today and SKY repeats recently and they look like Swansea and shows the opposition we will meet if we drop into the Championship. We must win tomorrow.

  • Guest - Az

    I honestly thought Southampton's season would fall to pieces. Perhaps Pochettino will prove everybody wrong? I realise the criticism was more for the sacking of Adkins than his appointment but it did make me think back to when Chris Hughton was sacked at Newcastle. Not many gave Pardew a chance and he's done pretty well (assuming he turns things around).

  • Guest - paulb

    We should ignore other results its what we do that counts, and we MUST improve otherwise what other teams do is unimportant. And its home form that needs to be addressed to save us. Our home form is nothing short of deplorable. Its all down to PLs tactics. He tries to sit back like he does in away games and hopes to hit them on the break. It may work away from Villa Park but on our own pitch we have to be more adventurous. It has to be 4 4 2 tomorow. Another home game without a win is simply not acceptable. Games are running out this is one we should expect to win, come on Lambert at least go for it !!!!!

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Hope man city are still playing like that when we play them but knowing our luck they will improve by then

  • Guest - expat007

    God bless you and I will be delighted if you are right. I might be happier is we were playing away given our recent home performances.

  • Guest - expat007

    I just realise something if we don't win tomorrow we will still be in the drop zone.
    Its nail biiting, that if any Villa fans have any nails left to bite!

  • Guest - jules

    agree mate cant sit back and got to attack, 4-4-2 all the way! zoggy, gabby, bentekie and wieman all to start
    plus no place for bannan! (cant stand watching him play)

  • Guest - expat007

    Does anyone have any information on the injury front?
    Can we strengthen the back four for the West Ham game?

  • great results today!! A win would be massive today,had a bit of banter today with Gavin Henson,good crack! A win would be massive tomorrow cmon Villa!!!!!!!!

  • Guest - jules


    Collings is out for them if that helps?
    Dunne isn't gonna be back until Ireland's next game!! fact?

  • Guest - stevieh

    I think QPR have gone so perm us, reading & wigan for other two relegation places. We need win against Hammers

  • Guest - expat007

    Yes that does help because Collins would have played a blinder against us!!!
    As for Dunne is that Stephen Ireland or the National team:D:D:D:D

  • Guest - expat007

    sjh sorry but did you miss the Southampton result. As for the rest surely they were as expected.

  • yep the gaps there now,3 out of 4 are going,we need to win tomorrow nothing less!!!

  • considering the past 2 weeks expat when every team down the bottom got points i would call it a great week!!!

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    The "Lerner Out" banners need to come out
    i know the stewards are ******s and Villa park is becoming worse than a communist state for censorship but its about time those banners come out

  • Guest - jules

    if i had my way neither would play for the villa again, they both don't deserve to wear the shirt ireland is a lazy player(and not a team player) and in dunne case he should take a page out of carlos cuellar book and do a professional job, just because hes contract is up!!(joke)

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Bobby 6 killer

    Wrong time to bring the banners out, the team are nervous enough playing at home, don't think the banners will help, we should be backing our team not helping the opposition

  • Guest - greg

    re: the post:

    VAn persie 18 in 23 no that is successfull, well lets be fair to benteke, van persie is playing in a successfull team top of the league and benkeke who you say is somewhat successfull is playing in a woefull relegation championship headed team, so i think his somewhat success is more than equal to van persies

  • correct greg!! Benteke would score a ton at a decent club!!!

  • Guest - jules

    dont think he wants to be here anyway!
    agreed, its all about getting the 3 points tomorrow!!

  • Guest - greg

    great the way the results went for us today, if we can win we will be out of the relegation spots for a bit.

    Benteke has been class, so has andi weimann, charles nzogbia is definetly up for it, gabby was great last day out.

    If our midfield could be strong and play keep ball when we are ahead wed be flying it

  • Guest - B6 villa


    I'm with you on irland is too lazy and guess we got rid of the wrong defender, atleast cuellar would of been commuted to the cause, not. Forgetting we would of got some playing time out of him. Both here just to pick up thier pay packet.

    There are players out there who are putting thier bodies on the line and sweating blood for the cause, who are fighting for the shirt. We have some useless t**ts who are on big money, these so called experience players who were soposed to help the younger players can't even do that

  • Guest - expat007

    There you go again, always looking for the negative to help us out.

  • Guest - George

    All of our experienced, high earners who had the mentality to help the younger players have gone, what we are left with is the lazy posers who offer pretty much nothing on the pitch and have a negative effect in the dressing room - who would want to work alongside people who get paid a hell of a lot more that you do and do fukc all - it'd piss you right off!

  • Guest - jules

    lowton-- baker-- vallar--stevens
    gabby-- delph-- alamende-- zoggy
    -------- wiemann-- bentekie---------

    i think clark needs a rest so doe's bennet!!

  • Guest - B6 villa


    These players should be ashamed to called them selves footballers. Blame the club that allowed them to come here for thier easy ride

  • yeah thinking about the **** stirrers and the lazy players etc.Swap Collins and Cuellar for Ireland and Bent and would we be any worse off or better? Mmmm!!

  • Guest - B6 villa


    good line up, can't see PL dropping Clark and Bennett

  • Guest - jules


    no doubt about it, a LOT BETTER Ireland and Bent dont play for one!

  • Guest - expat007

    Apart from those two games when he kept getting caught offside, Benteke has been a colossus every other match he played in this season.
    I know I have been a severe critic of Lambert but the buying of Benteke was inspired.
    I regret that you and me are not the only ones that have noticed him and I can’t see anyway The Villa will be able to retain him.
    There are times now when you cannot but notice his attitude towards some of his teammates when the quality of their game is not up to the standard he was expecting when he joined a so called Premiership Club.
    Just think of him in a team with Young, Dowling, Barry, Milner and of course Stan. With Warnock, Dunne, Collins and Cuellar at the back we could be up there fighting for a Champions league place. The bench would have look good as well.
    Full houses. top place money and Champions League the mind boggles as we were so close only a couple of seasons ago.

  • Guest - jules

    B6 villa

    nor me mate! we can only hope?

  • Guest - greg

    great to see a villa player gettin the winner v millwall today, delfouneso is grabbing a goal here and there, still have hope for him

  • Guest - jules


    i said that before if only M,O,N would of brought Bent instead of Heskey?

  • i saw it Expat,it was there within reach then MON bought Heskey!! Out of all the mistakes our club have mad lately that was by far the biggest!!!

  • Guest - B6 villa


    That has been our problem over the years, if we have a good defence we will have a crap strike, if we have a good strike we will have a crap midfield and defence. Never good all round

  • lads just a bit of fantasy but if our team was
    cuellar dunne collins warnock
    young milner barry downing
    who was the other striker??;););););)

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    i never understood why Lerner spent £24 million on Bent alone under Houllier yet he wouldn't even give Martin O'Neill £4 million for Scott Parker a few months earlier.

    Everything about us has been just weird and bizarre under Lerner.

  • Guest - JULES

    BIG JOHN CAREW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest - jules

    probably because he just wasted £50,000 a week on Sidwell?

  • yh Carew was a legend!!! Loved him

  • Guest - jules

    bobby 6

    thinking about it how good would it be to have scott parker?
    him and lescotte this transfer window would of done it for me! zzzzzzzzz (time to wake up now)

  • Guest - B6 villa


    Hope, luck, rub of the green, desitions. We need everything for the remainder of our games.

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    But we sign Stephen Ireland and put him on 70K a week when we had no manager !
    Basically - Our club are shambolically run

  • Guest - jules


    i agree mate! nothing makes sense to me this season?


    fingers crossed tomoorrow!!

  • Guest - expat007

    Guest (George)
    I regret that the attitude of some of the senior players has not been help by the inadequacies of the manager to manage them in an appropriate way.
    At Norwich and the other small Clubs he's managed he never had players who had played for some of the finest clubs in the land and were current internationals.
    Of course you would hope for better from the senior players, but he is the manager and it is his responsibility to get the best out of every one in his squad. You bring them on side and do not alienate them to become ‘barrack room lawyers’ and cause problems.
    Is it possible that both parties have been throwing their toys out of the pram and trying to show who was boss.
    A good example of his lack of managing skills was informing the media that if the players used mobiles and Ipads at Bodymoor Heath they would be fined, was IMO very poor judgment. I had no problem with him stopping the use of them, but it showed is lack of his management skills by trying to prove who was boss, who was the teacher and they were naughty boys. It should have been kept within the confines of the training ground. No man likes being treated like a child, even if he deserves it.

  • Guest - expat007

    You still in the Pub you drunken old sod:D:D

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Bobby6 killer

    also irland cost twice as much as Parker

  • Guest - jules


    good post!

  • Guest - jules

    good night lads nice chatting with you's, of to the pub!!
    3-1 tomorrow
    come on you villians!!

  • Guest - expat007

    Thats me lads.
    Had enough 'alcofrol por le day' Now for a cup of English tea and the telly.
    One nil and a crap game will do me tomorrow, that's for Villa of course.
    On the whole a very enjoyable day, thanks for your company and have a good night.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Anyway hoping for a win tommorow because we need it more, us fans know it, we will see if the manger and the players show it

  • Guest - Villain1

    Looks pretty ominous that its now 1 team to stay up out the current bottom 4 as a gap is emerging. I still fancy us to finish ahead of QPR and Reading, but Wigan are a real worry. They always come good around March and if they go on a winning streak like last year we are doomed.
    None of the other sides will get dragged in, they all have either too much quality or enough points already. Quite simply we have to go on a run ourselves, starting tomorrow. Anything other than a win with Arsenal away up next, and we could be cut adrift. Time for the talking to stop, win or bust against West Ham and if we lose, then lambert should resign as a matter of dignity and intergrity (as we all know Lerner lacks the ambition or bottle to sack him) . To lose 4 home games in a row against bottom half teams would be unthinkable.

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    We need to start winning games and quickly. current goal difference is a handicap as well.

  • Guest - joevilla

    Yep, now is the time to use 'must-win' - we are running out of games and 3 points tomorrow keeps us in the game. But I just don't see it, I really don't.

  • Guest - joevilla

    Yeah, damage has already been done this season, at home. Southampton look very good, a few games ago I would have winced watching their result on MOTD, but now I just think well done. It really is no longer about the teams around us, it is solely about us, we can stay up if we want to.

  • Guest - joevilla

    We are in no position to do this but I am quietly glad that QPR are looking relegation bound, purely for redknapp, I remember him saying he wouldn't sign anyone in jan because he thought it could be a lost cause, then he goes and signs samba. I feel very sorry for their owner, he looks like a dick now.

  • Guest - dingbat

    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow!
    Come on you Lions!

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    Although i find it a bit sad when see likes of Ramirez playing for them and thinking "**** this guy is better than any of our midfield by a country mile !"
    Same when Sissoko was giving us the run around in Newcastle game or when Wigan were doing us over. That's the disturbing thing.

    Anyhow lets just hope for a big win tomorrow.

  • Guest - avfcwoody


    lowton vlarr baker lihaj/stevens.. give benefit and clarke a rest

    gabby ireland sylla nzgobia

    wiemman benteke

    Looks good to get 3 points for me!

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    No offense afcwoody but that looks like a side whod get murdered
    whilst Clark should normally be rested / dropped due to his poor current form dropping him for Baker is a no IMO.
    And Ireland and Sylla in the middle?
    Looks like a side who'd get absoultely torn to pieces to me

  • No suprise to see this headline this morning.

    Sunday People

    "Christian aid: Man City line up £20m bid for Aston Villa striker Benteke"

    'Mancini knows he might need to replace Dzeko and the Belgian would be a less expensive option than Cavani.'

    Manchester City are lining up a £20million bid for Aston Villa strike sensation Christian Benteke, writes the Sunday People.

    Roberto Mancini is planning a swoop for the Belgian star who he sees as the man to fill the gap left by Mario Balotelli.

    And with Edin Dzeko’s City future in doubt Mancini knows he needs a physical threat in attack next season – if he survives as manager.

    Benteke has shone for Paul Lambert’s strugglers since joining from Genk in a deal worth up to £9 million – and City would have to at least double that fee.

    But City banked a fortune selling bad boy Balotelli to AC Milan and have funds and a hole in their squad for an old-fashioned number nine.

    City chief scout Gary Worthington saw Benteke score twice at Everton last week and he also notched a double at Liverpool.

    Napoli’s Edinson Cavani is in Mancini’s sights but Benteke has emerged as a serious option and while the Villa man is not angling for a move the lure of Champions League football would prove hard to resist.'

  • We might have to start adapting Benteke's song.

    'Oh 30m for Benteke...Oh 30m for Benteke..Oh 30m for Benteke'

  • expat.

    re: southampton. I remember a few weeks ago when many people were laughing on here saying that southampton were definitely down now that have got this unheard of manager, and they have gone and shot themselves in the foot, and should have kept adkins.

    Well I wasn't laughing at the time, and i'm sure that some of us could see what was trying to be achieved, southampton have done their homework, their new manager had already won at the nou camp barcelona.

    And as you have pointed out fergie praising southampton for their efforts. May well have been because they were due to play man city in a week or so but they have started to become better unit under this new manager.

  • It's a must win game today.

    We have been saying it's a must win game for the last ten games. If you take a look at the graph on sky sports on the Aston Villa page. Since Chelsea away our basement struggle has become more apparent.

    We had been bouncing around the 15th 16th mark occassionally dropping into the bottom three and then bounced out of it. Now we are constantly in the bottom three. No more bouncing around.

  • Guest - Bobby 6 Killer

    i dont think anyone was 'laughing' at Southampton when sacked Adkins and appointed Pochettino were they?
    more like it was most ppl were HOPING it just would have a bad effect on Southampton and disrupt their players. It clearly hasn't at moment.
    Ive said a few times that Southampton actually have much better players than we do in midfield

  • Guest - Talkoftheterrace.net

    The Benteke sale money is key to us bouncing back up, but he worth more thn 20m..

  • Guest - Brett


  • Guest - John

    give it a rest pal

  • Guest - David

    Theres always one who spoils the fun

  • Guest - adam raster

    Whos this Brett, get a life stop spamming

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