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.

Man City lack Champions League belief

1 October 2014
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany

Manchester City's acquaintance with the Champions League continues to be uncomfortable - for the fourth time in succession they failed to win their opening home group game as they were held by Roma.

City are not yet up against it in Group E but a meagre return of a single point from their opening two games, a defeat by Bayern Munich in Germany and Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium, provides evidence of the difficulty of both the club's transition to Europe's elite tournament and the task ahead.

Read full article, Manchester City's Champions League struggles remain a mystery

Is pressure of captaincy getting to Rooney?

27 September 2014

Wayne Rooney's red card for Manchester United will claim the headlines from an eventful Saturday in the Premier League.

The United and England captain must now serve a three-game ban - but the good news for manager Louis van Gaal is that his 10 men held on for a crucial win against West Ham United to ease some of the wounds from the 5-3 collapse to Leicester City.

Read full article, Premier League talking points: Wayne Rooney & a two-horse race

The latest great managerial rivalry?

21 September 2014

Manchester City's meeting with Chelsea at Etihad Stadium was a collision of the Premier League's two current superpowers.

The game ended with honours even between the two teams likely to be contesting the title when it reaches its decisive stage, and the 1-1 draw gave both City manager Manuel Pellegrini and Chelsea's Jose Mourinho an indication as to how their seasons may unfold.

Read full article, Jose Mourinho & Manuel Pellegrini: The latest great rivalry?

Wayward Welbeck and a raging Pellegrini

13 September 2014

Arsenal's draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium will have brought both pleasure and frustration to Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini.

Gunners' boss Wenger was left regretting the failure to hold on for victory while City counterpart Pellegrini saw his side concede a lead before rescuing a point - while also nursing a very obvious sense of injustice over a series of decisions from referee Mark Clattenburg.

Read full article, Arsenal v Man City: Wayward Welbeck and a raging Pellegrini

Sweet Swiss solace for Hodgson

8 September 2014

England manager Roy Hodgson and his players finally enjoyed that winning feeling once more after a winless World Cup in Brazil as the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign started with victory in Switzerland.

It was suggested, not in jest, after this 2-0 win that England have effectively qualified for France with nine games still to play after negotiating what was regarded as the most dangerous game in a favourable group that also contains San Marino, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia.

Read full article, England coach Roy Hodgson finds sweet solace in Switzerland

Hodgson's England dare not lose Swiss test

7 September 2014

The lights went out on Roy Hodgson on Sunday as he conducted his media duties in a hotel in downtown Basel before the opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland - but England's manager was in brighter mood after the industrial language and anger of his post-Norway inquisition.

Gone was the tetchy Hodgson, responding colourfully to unflattering statistics, his expletives hardly a shock in modern day football but perhaps a significant sign of the pressure he is now under after England's World Cup failure.

Read full article, Roy Hodgson's England team must beat Switzerland to lift gloom

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'

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