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.

Sergio Aguero

Aguero reignites European campaign

Read full article on Sergio Aguero: Man City striker reignites European campaign

Manchester City have had their noses pressed up against the glass while the Champions League festivities went on without them - despite the riches, they were all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Europe's elite tournament has provided little other than disappointment as well as the mystifying failure of expensively assembled City teams to look anything but strangers in the competition.

England 'on road to rehabilitation'

Read full article on England 'on road to rehabilitation' after victory in Scotland

Scotland's plan was, in line with the words of their pre-match anthem that echoed thunderously around Celtic Park, to send England homeward to think again.

Instead, on England's first visit north of the border since 1999, the "Auld Enemy" outclassed Scotland to take another step on the road to rehabilitation after the misery of the World Cup in Brazil.

Is Wayne Rooney an England great?

Read full article on Wayne Rooney: 99 caps, 43 goals, is the striker an England great?

When Wayne Rooney's entrance as a full England international was announced over the tannoy at Upton Park on 12 February 2003, it was welcomed in the manner befitting a superstar in the making.

Rooney was then England's youngest player at 17 years 111 days when he came on at half-time in the 3-1 friendly defeat by Australia.

Chelsea and Liverpool 'poles apart'

Read full article on Chelsea and Liverpool 'poles apart' in Premier League race

While Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was fending off inquiries about whether his side could be the latest "Invincible" to go a Premier League season unbeaten, Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers was handling an inquisition about a third loss in seven days.

The mood swings could not have been more different as Chelsea's 2-1 win at Liverpool kept them in pole position in the early title running and left last season's runners-up struggling to halt a slide.

Man City 'lost in fog of failure'

Read full article on Man City v CSKA Moscow: Manuel Pellegrini's side at 'new low'

As the Bonfire Night fireworks designed to set the mood faded away and a heavy mist descended on Etihad Stadium, Manchester City and manager Manuel Pellegrini were lost in the fog of failure and uncertainty that engulfs them in the Champions League.

The last time the pyrotechnics flew over this stadium in celebration of 5 November, City were experiencing one of the few real joys they have had in this tournament as a 5-2 victory over CSKA Moscow secured a place in the last 16.

Was Rodgers's team selection right?

Read full article on Was Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers right to rest star players?

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers's contentious decision to field a weakened team in the Champions League defeat by Real Madrid will only be judged when phases two and three of his masterplan unfold.

In what many saw as a move that flew in the face of Liverpool's great history in this tournament, Rodgers rested A-listers such as Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling in favour of sending the undercard out at the Bernabeu.

Ratings & analysis from Old Trafford

Read full article on Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea: Ratings and analysis from Old Trafford

As Robin van Persie shaped to shoot through a crowd of players at the Stretford End four minutes into stoppage time, Chelsea's title rivals might have been starting a sharp intake of breath.

It is too early in the season to suggest the outcome of the Premier League hinged on Van Persie taking a win away from Chelsea and earning Manchester United a point - but not too early to say manager Jose Mourinho was only seconds away from a victory of huge significance.

Liverpool face Balotelli conundrum

Read full article on Mario Balotelli: Real Madrid shirt swap is least of Liverpool's worries

Liverpool's rich European history was no shield against the chill blast of Champions League reality as holders Real Madrid rode into Anfield and left them badly beaten and embarrassed.

The strains of "You'll Never Walk Alone" swirled around Anfield long after the music stopped in an attempt to create the atmosphere that has been the catalyst for so many European glory nights - but once the final note of the old anthem faded away it was all downhill at an alarming rate.

Is Rooney world class or a worry?

Read full article on Wayne Rooney: Is England striker world class or a worry?

Mark in Durham, on 6-0-6 on BBC Radio 5 live after England's 1-0 win over Estonia:

"Wayne Rooney is not worth his place in the starting line-up. People talk about him in the same breath as someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, but that miss tonight in the 93rd minute could have cost us a goal that could cost us qualification. Rooney's confidence is shot. He's trying to be the best man around, but he's playing the worst of anybody. If Roy Hodgson's picking a team of players in form then Wayne Rooney should not be in the team. He scored the winning goal, but that's all he's done in two games."