Phil McNulty

Chief football writer

Analysis and opinion from our chief football writer

About Phil

Phil has covered football on regional and national newspapers since... Read more about Phil McNulty the late 80s and has been BBC Sport's Chief Football Writer since July 2000.

He has covered World Cups for the BBC in Japan and South Korea, Germany and South Africa as well as European Championships in France, Portugal and Poland and Ukraine.

Born in Liverpool, Phil attended De La Salle Grammar School which later had England striker Wayne Rooney as its most famous ex-pupil.

Phil's main brief is covering the Premier League, England and the Champions League and he can also be heard giving his analysis on BBC Radio 5 live, Radio Four and the World Service.

He has been included in the UK Press Gazette's list of the top 50 UK sports journalists.

Jose Mourinho

Is there a new Manchester United way?

Read full article on Manchester United's draw at Liverpool was 'vintage Jose Mourinho'

Jose Mourinho has played the part of killjoy at Liverpool before - and he had no hesitation in puncturing the optimism growing around Jurgen Klopp's side on his first Anfield visit as Manchester United manager.

It was in April 2014 when he oversaw Chelsea's 2-0 win at Anfield that caused Liverpool to stumble and lose the title almost on the finishing line - and he was cast in the role of villain again by The Kop on Monday.

Gareth Southgate

Why Southgate still has much to prove

Read full article on Gareth Southgate: England interim manager 'still has much to prove'

Gareth Southgate reached the midway point in his four-game tenure as England manager on a torrid night in Slovenia - still searching for the compelling evidence that will land him the full-time job.

The 46-year-old walked into a team and a Football Association in turmoil following the hasty departure of predecessor Sam Allardyce after just 67 days, one game and conduct regarded as unbecoming for his position.

Wayne Rooney

What next for dropped Rooney?

Read full article on Wayne Rooney: What next for England & Man Utd captain?

Wayne Rooney's stellar career has been a headline-grabbing story of highs and lows - but he is at his lowest ebb after being dropped by Manchester United and now England.

He was once the first name on the teamsheet on the way to collecting regular silverware for his club, becoming England's record goalscorer and being appointed captain at Old Trafford and for his country.

Pep Guardiola

How Guardiola was handed a reality check

Read full article on Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss handed reality check at Tottenham

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola knew this day would come but it was painful nonetheless - especially as his previously flawless Premier League side were so completely outplayed by Spurs.

Guardiola's run of six straight league wins at the start of his reign ended with a warm embrace for his victorious counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, the Catalan's smile and low-key touchline body language confirming he had no complaints about this 2-0 defeat.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

'Why the FA should wait for Wenger'

Read full article on Sam Allardyce departure: Why the FA should wait for Arsene Wenger

Sam Allardyce's departure after 67 days and one game as England manager has left the Football Association sifting through the fall-out before starting the search for his successor.

The FA chose the English option in the 61-year-old as successor to Roy Hodgson after the fiasco of Euro 2016 - with disastrous results.

Wayne Rooney, Sam Allardyce and Harry Kane

FA had to be strong and let Allardyce go

Read full article on Sam Allardyce: Why England manager had to be let go by FA

Sam Allardyce's elation at being appointed England manager - the job he had wanted and unashamedly craved throughout his career - was unconfined. The joy lasted 67 days until his departure.

As he sat in the July sunshine waiting to deliver his first message to England's fans as Roy Hodgson's successor after failure at Euro 2016, Allardyce said: "I can't stop smiling because I've got this job."

James Milner

Arsenal & Liverpool excel, Rooney outcast

Read full article on Arsenal & Liverpool excel, Rooney outcast and Moyes' nightmare goes on

Manchester City's flawless start to the Premier League season continued with a sixth successive victory at Swansea City - but the pursuing pack also made an impressive case for their title credentials.

Tottenham remain unbeaten in second place after winning at Middlesbrough while Arsenal and Liverpool dismantled Chelsea and Hull City. Manchester United, without dropped Wayne Rooney, thrashed champions Leicester City after two successive league defeats.

Pep Guardiola

Man City put Man Utd in their place

Read full article on Manchester derby: Man City put Man Utd in their place

Pep Guardiola delivered the first meaningful blow in a rivalry with Jose Mourinho that will become a central part of the Premier League's narrative as Manchester City recorded a well-merited win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The pair's history of animosity with Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain's La Liga meant their first Premier League meeting since assuming control on either side of Manchester provided a colourful backdrop to the build-up to this derby.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Tearful Ronaldo becomes true great

Read full article on Euro 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo becomes true great with Portugal win

Cristiano Ronaldo wept tears of despair then tears of joy as the Euro 2016 final took him on an emotional journey from his lowest low to the high of lifting Portugal's first major trophy.

The 31-year-old Real Madrid superstar carried his country's hopes into the final against hosts France in Paris not only as Portugal's captain but also the player who posed the greatest threat to Didier Deschamps' side.