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.

The questions Van Gaal must answer

30 August 2014

Louis van Gaal has extended the scale of his Manchester United reconstruction to suggest it could be a year before the rewards of his work are witnessed.

No-one was challenging the former Netherlands coach's assertion after an uninspiring afternoon in Lancashire brought a goalless draw against Premier League newcomers Burnley - who more than merited their point.

Read full article, Man Utd: The key questions facing Louis van Gaal after Burnley draw

'Man City can overcome tough draw'

28 August 2014

The Champions League draw was made amid the glitz and glamour of The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco - and as usual threw up games to match the occasion.

Europe's elite gathered in the principality as the Premier League's four qualifiers mixed with the likes of holders Real Madrid, a Barcelona side now boasting former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich as the great Catalan coach tries to win his third Champions League.

Read full article, Champions League: 'Manchester City can overcome tough draw'

'Rooney the right choice to lead new England era'

28 August 2014

Wayne Rooney's appointment as England captain is the right choice by manager Roy Hodgson - not least because of a glaring lack of obvious alternatives for a post that still retains great significance and prestige.

England's World Cup captain Steven Gerrard and deputy Frank Lampard have vacated the international stage, while the claims of goalkeeper Joe Hart and defender Gary Cahill could not come close to someone of Rooney's status and importance.

Read full article, Wayne Rooney 'the right choice' as England captain

Lampard departs but his legacy lives on

26 August 2014

Frank Lampard, who has announced his England retirement, will forever be remembered as the catalyst for a revolution in the world game.

Sadly for the player and the national team, it was not via tournament success or delivering on the promise of the so-called "Golden Generation" of which he - and the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard - was a part.

Read full article, Frank Lampard retires from England but his legacy lives on

Man City deliver statement of intent

26 August 2014

If Manchester City wanted to send an ominous message that it will take something special to remove their status as Premier League champions, Sergio Aguero took 23 seconds to deliver it.

City - without needing to be anywhere near their best against the team that took the title race to its final day last season - were already cruising with a two-goal lead when Aguero made his 69th-minute entrance as a substitute for the limping Edin Dzeko.

Read full article, Man City deliver statement of intent with Liverpool win

Will Liverpool get Super Mario or Stupid Mario?

25 August 2014

Brendan Rodgers could not have shown more conviction - or been more convincing - when he stated in the strongest possible terms in Miami that Mario Balotelli would not be signing for Liverpool. There was no room for doubt or argument.

Throw the ever-changing world of the transfer market forward three weeks and 24-year-old Balotelli was boarding a plane in Italy bound for Merseyside ahead of completing one of the summer's most surprising deals.

Read full article, Mario Balotelli: Liverpool's calculated £16m gamble

Circus at the Palace: Where did it go wrong?

23 August 2014

The dark humour that has served Crystal Palace's fans well in the 10 days of turmoil that have turned their club upside down surfaced even before the demoralising defeat by West Ham United.

As an urban fox startled the players during the warm-up by racing across and around the perimeter of the pitch and out of the gate, one supporter announced: "He's late for his job interview."

Read full article, Circus at Crystal Palace: Where did it go wrong?

Who will finish where in the Premier League?

13 August 2014

Louis van Gaal has arrived at Old Trafford, Luis Suarez has left Anfield, and Manchester City and Chelsea have spent big again - so with the new Premier League season just days away from kick-off, here are my predictions for where each team will finish.

The selection of Chelsea as champions is made with some conviction after manager Jose Mourinho's summer in the transfer market - but choosing who will fill the other Champions League places has never been more difficult.

Read full article, Premier League 2014-15: Who will finish where?

'Broken' Gerrard's painful England exit

21 July 2014

When England captain Steven Gerrard revealed he had been left "broken" by the failure of a World Cup campaign in Brazil that effectively only lasted six days, there was nothing that would fix the pain.

It meant a decision that was already in the making even before he left for South America was merely confirmed by England's exit - only two games into a tournament he hoped would provide a perfect finale to his international career.

Read full article, Steven Gerrard: England captain 'broken' before retirement

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