I want to write about Gary Gardner, but I've imploded and it's all gone Benteke

Pre-season is under way and well, it's important for the players and the team, but I struggle to write about it, because it is just pre-season and it isn't competitive and it doesn't really matter.

And because the only thing that is getting written about everywhere else is about Benteke. And I'd absolutely love it if the club said he isn't for sale and he's going nowhere, but we sort of all know he's going.

So, then we have to think about who is coming in for him ... if anyone.

Then, to make matters worse, Nicklas Helenius scored in the pre-season match against SV Rödinghausen and that will have some thinking that we don't need Benteke and that we're okay.

The good old days

And because it is pre-season and I'm transported back to 1984 when I was playing in the park all summer, knowing that we had a chance of winning the league, I'm optimistic that we could have unearthed ... the next Benteke. I secretly believe it too. It's a vicious circle of hope and optimism.

And we're a business. If someone comes in and offers us £20mn for Benteke, we'd accept it, because it would be a great return on what we spent and paid out for him last season. So he's going. But I'd bloody love it if we just said no and made it clear as hell we were not selling him because he signed a four year contract last summer and we intend for him to see it out, or at least one more season anyway.

See what I've done .. I've gone from taking a stance to desperately hoping that we have him for one more season. I really think he's that good that if we can make him happy to stay for one more season, we could see something special from him and well, if we do well next season, it might make him want to stay.

Talk about grasping at straws, this break is driving me mad and I'm close to just switching everything off until August 17th, which is when it really does begin again.

Sorry, there's nothing else from me and I don't want to write about Demba Ba, because that will just make things worse. But I do want to write about Gary Gardner, but then it's just pre-season and I'll just be writing about hope again and I'd get all optimistic. But, if there was one player I was looking forward to getting a proper run next season, it is him.

So, I'm not going to. Instead, I'll write about something when something happens. But then, I'll probably be back on later, after Helenius scores three against SC Paderborn suggesting we've found the next Benteke and that the current Benteke can bugger off.

I'm back in that circle but it's nearly lunch, so I'm going to have a beer instead. I bet you never thought you could read a blog post about Aston Villa and be more confused about Aston Villa than you were three minutes ago.