Phil McNulty

Chief football writer, BBC Sport

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 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 was recently included in the UK Press Gazette's list of the top 50 UK sports journalists.

Diego Costa

Is Costa becoming a divisive figure?

Read full article on Chelsea v Liverpool: Rivals serve up a classic at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Liverpool served up a Capital One Cup classic at Stamford Bridge - with every ingredient in the mix to keep a packed house on the edge of their seats for 120 minutes.

The plot had an arch-villain in Chelsea's short-fused striker Diego Costa, two managers who were once master and apprentice in Jose Mourinho and Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers, helped along by a decade of antipathy and rivalry between the two clubs across the whole range of domestic and European competition.

Is this the most open FA Cup ever?

Read full article on FA Cup: Is this the most open competition ever?

After a weekend of FA Cup shocks and upsets the list of Premier League casualties lies at 10, leaving Monday's fifth-round draw wide open and those left with a 33% chance of avoiding a top-flight team.

There were 11 Premier League exits in 2005 and 2006 but this year all the clubs remaining will be dreaming of Wembley.

Man Utd twitchy, Cambridge terrific as two worlds collide

Read full article on Man Utd 'dismal' as Cambridge defy odds to earn FA Cup draw

Louis van Gaal demonstrated a colourful command of the English language this week to illustrate just how nervous some of Manchester United's performances this season have made him feel - and it was very unlikely he was sitting comfortably in Cambridge.

On a freezing, rain-soaked night that provided trademark conditions for an FA Cup shock, a dismal United allowed League Two side Cambridge United to deservedly bridge a 76-place gap between the clubs to earn a fourth-round replay at Old Trafford.

'Austin on track for England call'

Read full article on Charlie Austin: Is it time England called on QPR striker?

England manager Roy Hodgson's focus has been on the defensive arts this week after his contentious nomination of Argentina's Javier Mascherano for the Ballon d'Or - but he had a striker on his mind at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney may have captured his attention after Hodgson took his seat in the directors' box to watch Manchester United beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 but there is little new to learn about the man he made his captain.

How much damage has Evans saga done?

Read full article on Ched Evans: 10 big questions facing football

Oldham Athletic's decision to pull out of a deal to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans ended a tumultuous few days of legal and moral arguments about the Wales striker's right to return to the game following his release from prison.

While this episode in the story is now at a close, the chapter is not over for football - with the game still left facing crucial questions.

Gerrard 'impossible to replace'

Read full article on Steven Gerrard shows Liverpool what they will miss

When Steven Gerrard suffered a rare blemish in the middle of his latest masterclass, AFC Wimbledon's fans pounced on the topic that will dominate Liverpool's agenda between now and the day he takes his leave.

"You're not wanted any more" rang around Cherry Red Records Stadium in Kingston as the home supporters put their own twist on Gerrard's decision to decline a new Liverpool contract and move to the United States next summer.

FA Cup magic on show at misty Yeovil

Read full article on FA Cup: Yeovil v Manchester United had magic but no upset

Louis van Gaal called Manchester United's meeting with Yeovil Town in misty Somerset a case of "death or gladioli"- an indicator of what can be won and lost on these special FA Cup days.

And from the moment hundreds of Yeovil fans gathered outside Huish Park's main entrance three hours before kick-off to await the arrival of Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and company, this was an occasion giving the lie to the claims that the FA Cup has lost its lustre.

'Gerrard a true Liverpool great'

Read full article on Steven Gerrard: Liverpool captain deserves status as Anfield great

When Kenny Dalglish concluded his playing career in 1990, Liverpool's fans were almost unanimous in their view that this was the greatest player they had seen, and were possibly ever likely to see, in the red shirt.

The most accurate measure of the sheer scale of Steven Gerrard's contribution to Liverpool Football Club - which will come to a close when he leaves Anfield at the end of the season - is that he has made so many of those same fans think again.

Why Pardew would leave for Palace

Read full article on Why Alan Pardew would swap Newcastle for Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew leaving Newcastle United to take over as Crystal Palace manager may be seen by some - when placed in the context of scale, potential and Premier League placing - as a step down into a relegation fight.

And yet it seems clear that Pardew can barely wait to pack his bags and leave Tyneside for Selhurst Park once the call came from his former club following the sacking of Neil Warnock.

Premier League mid-season verdict

Read full article on Premier League: Phil McNulty’s mid-season verdict

The Premier League season has hit the halfway mark and moves into 2015 with Chelsea at the top of the table and reigning champions Manchester City in hot pursuit.

But anyone tempted to condemn the second half of the season to a predictable procession near the top may just hold back after Chelsea dropped points at Southampton and City were left even more frustrated as they lost a two-goal lead at home to Burnley.