Has Gary Neville unwittingly revealed England’s “strategy” for their World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday?

Several British newspapers have published photographs of the former Manchester United defender carrying detailed training notes, with the instructions clearly visible. Nothing earth-shattering was revealed but it does give some indication on how the Three Lions will intend to play in Manaus.

The most prominent information gleaned from this mishap revealed “when the ball goes into control zone – team must make at least three passes before hitting the CF” and “once the ball is played into the end zone – 2 MFs try to get in and support for a 3v2.”

Hardly the details that will have Cesare Prandelli scrambling to alter his side’s game-plan so close to the match itself. The Italians will perhaps be most surprised by the news that England will attempt to pass the ball THREE times consecutively before Steven Gerrard inevitably launches a seventy yard pass forward.

Neville responded to the developments on his Twitter account last night, suggesting that the whole episode has been grossly exaggerated.

Is it a case of self-sabotage, or are these newspapers just desperate for any World Cup gossip so close to the big kick-off?

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Gary Neville

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