Phil Neville was criticised for his "monotone" style

Phil Neville was criticised for his “monotone” style

The BBC has announced that Phil Neville, Ruud Gullit and Rio Ferdinand will become regular pundits on flagship football show Match of the Day.

With Alan Hansen having retired from 22 years on the sofa after the World Cup, the channel announced the former England pair and Dutchman will join Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage and Danny Murphy.

“Following on from an amazing World Cup that saw a huge audience appetite for football, BBC Sport is excited about delivering more content than ever before,” said Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport.

The BBC also announced the addition of the Football League show being shown on a Sunday morning on BBC Two, while the FA Cup returns to the channel after a six-year absence.

There will be 16 live matches, including the final at Wembley, as well as highlights of every round.

Nevill’s appointment comes despite the former Manchester United and Everton star having been panned on social networking sites for what was deemed to be his “monotone” speaking voice.

On Twitter, his soporific contributions were compared to the computer HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a robot and a “Dignitas satnav”.

His performance generated more than 400 complaints to the BBC but he said today he was delighted with the appointment.