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.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

Liverpool - ruthless to toothless

Read full article on Liverpool - from ruthless to toothless in nine months

When Liverpool's team coach pulled out of Old Trafford last March, it was fuelled by the growing belief that years of domination by Manchester United were finally coming to an end.

Liverpool's 3-0 win, built on the thrilling attacking strategy of manager Brendan Rodgers, hugely flattered a United side in disarray under David Moyes and cast adrift of their resurgent rivals by 14 points.

Can English trio challenge elite?

Read full article on Can Chelsea, Man City or Arsenal challenge in Champions League?

Manchester City's win at Roma was an impressive statement of intent as they completed a superb recovery from their Champions League struggles to reach the knockout phase.

Manuel Pellegrini's side now join Chelsea and Arsenal as they try to challenge Europe's current superpowers Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Pedestrian Liverpool fall short

Read full article on Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers' side fail in Champions League

Liverpool's defining Champions League group game against Basel prompted the usual sift through Anfield's history of memorable European nights as a source of inspiration - the only memories from this game will be bad ones.

The return to Europe's elite competition after a five-year absence was designed to be an affirmation of Liverpool's restored status after almost claiming the Premier League title in thrilling style last season.

Are Arsenal fans greedy?

Read full article on Arsene Wenger: Arsenal fans right to complain, or greedy?

Alexis Sanchez's status as the new golden boy of Arsenal was further secured with the late winner against Southampton on Wednesday.

The Chilean's 14th goal of an outstanding season since his £32m summer move from Barcelona completed an excellent week for Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger after a Champions League win against Borussia Dortmund followed by victory at West Bromwich Albion.

A week in Brendan Rodgers's life

Read full article on Brendan Rodgers: A week in the life of the Liverpool boss

Brendan Rodgers has made the uncomfortable journey from sitting on Liverpool's team bus as it received a guard of honour through Anfield's Shankly Gates from thousands of fans to admitting he was favourite for the sack inside six months.

If anyone can be used as an accurate measure of the Premier League's skewed level of expectation, it is the Northern Irishman, who was three games from delivering Liverpool's first title for 25 years in May only to find himself under intense pressure at the end of November.

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.