Gary Neville accidentally revealed England’s strategy and secret plans to photographers in Rio on Wednesday. The former Manchester United legend and current assistant coach was pictured holding a sheet of paper which contained instructions from a training session.
The scribbles on the paper was readable to any curious onlooker however it by no way reveals Roy Hodgson’s plans for the Three Lions against Italy in their opening encounter at Manaus. The handwritten tactical notes was captured as the England squad left the Royal Tulip Hotel near Ipanema.
“When the ball goes into control zone – team must make at least three passes before hitting the Centre Forward. Once the ball is played into the end zone – 2 MFs [midfielders] try to get in and support for a 3v2. However, if the defending team win the ball back they counter straight away.”
The Daily Express suggests that one onlooker said: “Neville walked out with the paper in his hand which showed a roster of players along with tactics and team formation. It is the sort of sensitive information you’d have thought opponents would be desperate to get their hands on.”
A source close to Italy’s team said: “It’s a very generous gesture. “It’s a shame they did not give us the starting line-up too.’’
The FA however declined to comment. It is also believed that England players were also photographed carrying I-Pads which have been reportedly given to them to study opponents.
Please Note: Neville’s scribble courtesy Daily Mail. Readers might also note that we in no way would publish details of England’s strategy ahead of their pursuit of reclaiming the crown they won in 1966