Journalist Luke Hatfield believes Rangers' defensive record during their title-winning campaign last season is a key reason behind Aston Villa wanting Steven Gerrard as their next manager.
What was Rangers' defensive record last season?
After watching Celtic win nine league titles in a row prior to the 2020/21 season, Rangers wanted to make a statement by moving back to the summit of Scottish football for the first time since 2011.
They managed to do that in spectacular fashion, as they went the entire term unbeaten, amassing 102 points from their 38 games to finish 25 points ahead of Celtic.
Gerrard's men scored 92 goals, 14 more than any other side in the division, but their defensive numbers were arguably even more impressive.
The Gers shipped just 13 goals, as they kept a staggering 26 clean sheets in the top-flight.
What has Hatfield said about Gerrard?
With Gerrard seemingly on the verge of arriving at Villa Park, Hatfield has claimed that the 41-year-old's ability to organise Rangers' defence will have attracted the Villa owners, Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, to him.
Speaking about the former Liverpool midfielder, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he’s someone who probably reached out to the owners in terms of his record and the defensive stability that Rangers have shown. When they won the title, they didn’t concede many, did they?
“So, he’s clearly someone who knows how to manage a football team.”
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Can Gerrard tighten up Villa's defence?
If he does get the Villa job, that will surely be Gerrard's primary focus.
From an attacking perspective, Villa have not had too many issues this season, as they have scored 14 goals in their 11 league fixtures to date.
It has been a different story at the other end of the pitch, though. Villa have conceded 20 times - only Norwich (26) and Newcastle (24) have shipped more goals in the top-flight.
If Villa want to start climbing the league and improving on their 11th-place finish from last season, they will need to improve their defensive record quickly.
The backline has been all over the place over the past five weeks, and that ultimately cost Dean Smith his job. Gerrard must figure out how to get the best out of his defenders or Villa could be dragged into a relegation battle.
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