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.

Frank Lampard

Would Lampard risk pay off for Chelsea?

Read full article on Frank Lampard set to become Chelsea boss: Would risk pay off for Roman Abramovich?

Roman Abramovich's ruthless approach to ruling Chelsea has always been rooted in brutal reality - so the idea of appointing Frank Lampard as his next manager almost qualifies as the Russian showing a romantic side.

Chelsea have been granted permission to speak to the Derby manager and should a deal be reached it would arguably be the biggest gamble Abramovich has taken since he took over at Stamford Bridge 16 years and 11 managers ago.

Rafael Benitez flag

'Fans the biggest losers as Benitez exits'

Read full article on Rafael Benitez leaves Newcastle: What next & why fans are the biggest losers

Rafael Benitez's departure from Newcastle United will leave the long-suffering Toon Army nursing an acute sense of betrayal and - if this is actually possible - widen the gaping chasm between themselves and owner Mike Ashley.

Magpies supporters started the day ramping up "Rafa Appreciation Week" as the clock ran down on his contract, only to end it organising a peaceful protest at the Sir Bobby Robson statue at St James' Park as he cleared his desk. Only at Newcastle.

Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea players with the Europa League trophy

'Sarri leaving with reputation intact'

Read full article on Maurizio Sarri: Why Italian is leaving Chelsea with reputation intact

Maurizio Sarri's imminent departure from Chelsea comes as no surprise despite winning the Europa League - yet the maverick, unloved Italian can leave with his reputation enhanced.

Sarri shaped Chelsea's superb 4-1 win over Arsenal in Baku, returned them to the Champions League after finishing third in the Premier League behind two magnificent teams in Manchester City and Liverpool, and only lost the Carabao Cup final to Pep Guardiola's City on penalties.

Gareth Southgate

Are England shaping up as Euro 2020 contenders?

Read full article on Nations League: Are England shaping up as Euro 2020 contenders?

England's season drew to a close with disappointment in the inaugural Uefa Nations League finals as Gareth Southgate's side reached the midway point between last summer's feel-good run to the World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020.

The feats of last year's Russian summer came as a pleasant surprise before the pain of defeat by Croatia in Moscow - but the loss to the Netherlands in Guimaraes was a setback and raised key questions about the team's level of development.

Jordan Pickford and John Stones

England receive another reality check

Read full article on Netherlands 3-1 England: Nations League defeat a reality check for Gareth Southgate

England's disappointment will not be on the crushing scale that followed the World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia in Moscow last summer but it will still be painful after arriving in Portugal with high hopes of claiming their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Instead, the last four proved an insurmountable barrier once more, meaning England must somehow raise themselves for a cosmetic third-place play-off with Switzerland in Guimaraes on Sunday - a tough task at the end of such a gruelling season.

Gareth Southgate (centre) celebrates with England players

'Chance for England to make a statement'

Read full article on Nations League: Chance for England to make a statement

England may not erase 53 years of hurt here in Portugal as they prepare to start their campaign in the inaugural Uefa Nations League finals - but this is the chance for manager Gareth Southgate and his players to make a powerful statement before next summer's Euro 2020.

It is stretching reality to put this new tournament in the same stratosphere as the true showpieces of the sport such as the World Cup and European Championships.

Fabinho celebrates, Moura looks to heavens

'Lift-off for Liverpool, a crossroads for Spurs'

Read full article on Champions League winners Liverpool have lift-off, while Tottenham are at a crossroads

As Liverpool and Tottenham's supporters made their way out of Madrid at dawn on Sunday, the emotions were as contrasting as they had been hours earlier at the vast Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Liverpool's followers were jaded but exultant at Barajas Airport after a 2-0 win that made the club kings of Europe for the sixth time, while the Spurs fans reflected on an historic first Champions League final appearance that ended in bitter disappointment.

Jurgen Klopp in 2018 (left) and 2019 (right)

'Just reward for Liverpool on a night of redemption'

Read full article on Liverpool and Klopp get over the line on a night of Champions League redemption

Liverpool were two thousand miles away from Kiev - and a world away from the bitter emotions of that night 12 months ago - as they returned to European football's pinnacle.

In the heat of Madrid, Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp savoured the moment they had craved since they left Ukraine beaten by Real Madrid, undermined by an early injury to Mohamed Salah and the performance of their accident-prone goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Man City's Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy

Premier League end-of-season report

Read full article on Phil McNulty's Premier League end-of-season report

Worthy and deserved champions after a magnificent tit-for-tat title race with Liverpool. Pep Guardiola's team showed all the brilliance that has earned them 198 points over two seasons but this was also about mental strength and character in a situation that required 14 straight victories to become the first side to retain the crown for a decade. Winning the Carabao Cup and FA Cup for the clean sweep of domestic trophies demonstrates their quality.

McNulty's pre-season prediction: Champions

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with Raheem Sterling after the FA Cup win over Watford

‘Man City show hallmark of true greatness’

Read full article on Man City FA Cup win ‘shows hallmark of true greatness’

Manchester City's historic FA Cup final win was almost swamped by the glowing list of statistics piling up around them - but nothing can disguise the scale of this achievement and the brilliance of Pep Guardiola's team.

The club once loftily dismissed as "noisy neighbours" by then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed they now exert a domestic dominance that speaks eloquently on their behalf with a crushing, brutal 6-0 dismissal of Watford in the final at Wembley.