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.

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.

Atletico manager Simeone consoles Jamie Vardy

Noisy & brave but not enough for Leicester

Read full article on Leicester City: Noisy, brave, chaotic - but not enough to reach Champions League semis

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone knows fighters when he sees them - so the warm embraces he offered Leicester City's players at the end of his side's hard-fought Champions League victory spoke of respect fully earned.

Leicester spent everything on and off the pitch to write one more chapter in the remarkable story of their past 12 months - but the dream died at the hands of a mix of excellence and experience that is La Liga powerhouse Atletico.

John Terry

'Terry was leader & legend but also divisive'

Read full article on John Terry: Chelsea's greatest captain prepares to leave Stamford Bridge

John Terry will bring the curtain down on his Chelsea career and a golden Stamford Bridge era when he leaves the club after 22 years at the end of this season.

Chelsea and Terry announced the mutual decision in low-key fashion after a campaign in which the 36-year-old club captain has been reduced to the ranks, barely figuring as manager Antonio Conte has led them to the top of the Premier League table.

Tottenham celebrate

Chelsea keep cushion but durable Spurs stay in hunt

Read full article on Late drama keeps Spurs in touch with Chelsea and Hull on track for survival

Chelsea's win over Manchester City and Tottenham's triumph at Swansea meant it was 'as you were' at the top of the Premier League - but the story behind the scorelines was one of pulsating drama.

It was a night of fluctuation at either end of the table, with fortunes swinging back and forth as the season enters the finishing straight.

England players v Germany

'Defeat laced with promise for England'

Read full article on Germany 1-0 England: 'Defeat - but a display laced with promise for England'

Gareth Southgate's first game as permanent England manager, following a four-game spell in interim charge, ended in defeat - but it was a loss with honour here in Germany.

The 46-year-old is charged with shaping the new era that was meant to be Sam Allardyce's province, but which ended after one World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia when the now Crystal Palace manager was caught in a newspaper sting.