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.

Gareth Southgate and John Stones

'B-list England given stark message'

Read full article on Russia World Cup 2018: What shape are England in with one year to go?

England are 12 months on from the debacle of Euro 2016 and 12 months out from the 2018 World Cup - but the manner of Tuesday's defeat by France in Paris will have caused old doubts to resurface.

Manager Gareth Southgate, appointed following the abrupt end to Sam Allardyce's 67-day reign, insists the job is exactly as he thought it would be.

Joe Hart

Is Hart's time as England number one over?

Read full article on Joe Hart's England place under pressure with replacements at the ready

Joe Hart may just have feared the worst as Scotland's Leigh Griffiths lined up a free-kick 25 yards out - three minutes to go at Hampden Park and England protecting a slim lead.

Hart's weakness at set-pieces aimed low to his left was exposed at Euro 2016 by Gareth Bale for Wales and Iceland's Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, the 30-year-old getting hands on both but failing to prevent goals, the second of which ended England's interest in the tournament.

Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate winning the Champions League

Real Madrid - in a league of their own?

Read full article on Champions League final: Real Madrid - in a league of their own

Real Madrid's status as Europe's most successful club was confirmed as their ruthless Champions League final win over Juventus gave them their 12th win in this competition.

And for all the plaudits applied to their great La Liga rivals Barcelona, the praise for the continuing excellence and endurance of Bayern Munich and Juventus and the continuing defiance over the odds of Atletico Madrid, they remain the continent's pre-eminent footballing force.

Arsene Wenger

Can Arsene Wenger write a new chapter?

Read full article on 'Wenger in' - can Arsene write a new chapter into Arsenal's history?

The Arsene Wenger era - a story that started at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers on 12 October 1996 - will extend further into its third decade after he agreed a two-year deal to stay as Arsenal manager.

Wenger has become an increasingly divisive figure among Arsenal fans in recent years but has agreed to remain at the club in the after-glow of an historic seventh FA Cup win at the club after Saturday's 2-1 win against Chelsea at Wembley.

Jose Mourinho

'A season-defining game in the shadow of tragedy'

Read full article on Manchester United's Europa League win: How important will it be?

Jose Mourinho's first season at Manchester United came down to one game at Stockholm's superbly appointed Friends Arena - a game played in the shadow of tragedy but still a game that would define how he and his team's season would be viewed.

If Manchester United had lost to Ajax in the Europa League final, sixth place in the Premier League and an EFL Cup win would count as a failure given expectations and expenditure after he was appointed as Louis van Gaal's successor.

Sam Alardyce

Was Big Sam a moderniser or firefighter?

Read full article on Sam Allardyce: Was Big Sam ahead of his time or just a relegation firefighter?

Sam Allardyce claimed navigating Crystal Palace's route to Premier League survival had helped him recover and look to the future after his humiliating tenure as England manager, which ended after only 67 days and one game.

And so it proved - just not in the way anyone could have predicted - as he resigned suddenly on Tuesday night after only five months at Selhurst Park before penning what was effectively his retirement speech.

Chelsea graphic

How Conte turned Chelsea into champions

Read full article on Chelsea are Premier League champions: How did Antonio Conte do it?

Antonio Conte's transformation of Chelsea from fallen champions to Premier League title winners inside 12 months was completed with victory at West Bromwich Albion - a remarkable success story in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

The 47-year-old inherited a squad that had declined from domestic superpower to mid-table mediocrity amid acrimony and the sacking of title-winning manager Jose Mourinho. But he has shown the personality, tactical brilliance and sure touch to put them back at the top of the English game.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

How City & United can challenge for title

Read full article on What Man City & Man Utd need to do to win Premier League title

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were brought to Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford this season to claim major titles - and the attritional goalless draw in Thursday's Manchester derby leaves their hopes of Champions League qualification via league placing still in the balance.

United have at least claimed the Capital One Cup and could reach the Champions League by winning the Europa League, with a semi-final against Celta Vigo to come. But Man City manager Guardiola has suffered the first trophy-less season of his managerial career after the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal.

Joey Barton

Flawed & controversial - the complex career of Joey Barton

Read full article on Joey Barton: 18-month ban adds more controversy to complex career

Joey Barton was never destined to leave football by going quietly into the sunset - so it should come as no surprise that one of the game's most complex, contradictory and divisive personalities has effectively been forced into retirement by an 18-month Football Association suspension for betting offences.

The 34-year-old has travelled a troubled and tempestuous road since emerging as a talented youngster at Manchester City, earning one England cap and a career full of headlines while also playing for Newcastle United, Queen's Park Rangers, Marseille, Rangers and Burnley.