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.

Tim Sherwood

How Sherwood made heroes of Villans

Read full article on Tim Sherwood: Aston Villa 'alive again' thanks to 'positive' boss

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner took a gamble on Tim Sherwood based on a five-month managerial reign at Tottenham that ended with the sack - a gamble that has been rewarded with rich dividends.

Villa's outstanding FA Cup semi-final win against Liverpool at Wembley was a triumph in Sherwood's own image as they produced a performance that mixed bold, tactical ambition with resilience.

The next great managerial rivalry?

Read full article on Jose Mourinho v Louis van Gaal: Big personalities, different views

Jose Mourinho was the master against the man who was once his mentor as Chelsea moved to within two wins of the Premier League title by beating Louis van Gaal's Manchester United.

This was a meeting of the big beasts of Premier League management - two personalities with an iron-clad confidence their critics portray as arrogance.

Who should Man City keep and sell?

Read full article on Manchester City: Who should stay and who should go?

Manchester City's heavy loss to Manchester United in the derby at Old Trafford on Sunday was further evidence of the decline suffered by the reigning Premier League champions this season.

Instead of defending their title they are now thrust into a battle to ensure they remain in the top four places to secure Champions League football next season. If Liverpool beat Newcastle United at Anfield on Monday they will close to within four points.

'FA Cup the symbol of Reds' season'

Read full article on Blackburn v Liverpool: 'FA Cup the symbol of Liverpool's season'

The clouds that gathered over Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers after successive Premier League losses to Manchester United and Arsenal were lifted by a victory at Blackburn Rovers that takes them to Wembley.

As the Reds' hopes of a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League recede, so the significance of the FA Cup increases as a route to success - and the 1-0 quarter-final replay win at Ewood Park sets up a last-four meeting with Aston Villa.

Pellegrini faces an uncertain future

Read full article on Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City's manager under pressure

Manchester City are facing the sobering prospect of finishing fourth in what was meant to be a two-horse title race - a position they might even sign up for now after their latest damaging defeat at Crystal Palace.

The reigning Premier League champions will surely forget any notions of retaining their trophy after the loss at Selhurst Park left a gap of nine points between City and leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand and only eight matches to play.

'Sterling not the finished article'

Read full article on Raheem Sterling is not the finished article at Liverpool

Raheem Sterling's contract wrangle with Liverpool has provided an unwelcome sideshow as they pursue a top-four place to return to the Champions League next season and manager Brendan Rodgers targets his first trophy in the FA Cup.

Now, in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, the 20-year-old has confirmed all contract talks are off the table until the summer, increasing speculation his future may lie away from Anfield.

Have England improved since World Cup?

Read full article on England: Have Roy Hodgson's side improved since World Cup?

England's progress - when measured by results alone - has been smooth since they made an embarrassing retreat from Brazil last summer after going out of the World Cup at the group stage.

Before Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Italy in a friendly in Turin, Roy Hodgson's side had undergone a comfortable rehabilitation with seven straight wins, including five from five in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Another day in Kane's 'dream' season

Read full article on Harry Kane 'dream' continues as England impress again

Harry Kane may not - in the words of the song - score when he wants but it was a close run thing when Tottenham's striker was finally introduced for his eagerly-anticipated England debut against Lithuania.

After a four-minute wait on the touchline alongside fellow substitute Ross Barkley as a period of prolonged possession broke out, Kane had two touches to familiarise himself with his surroundings at Wembley before heading in Raheem Sterling's cross at the far post.

How F1 is shaping English football

Read full article on How F1 and the FA are working together at St George's Park

How long does it take a group of footballers to change the tyres on a Mercedes Formula 1 car - and what is its relevance to the next generation of British coaches and managers?

The answers to both can be found on a crisp day at St George's Park at the Football Association's £100m National Football Centre, tucked away in the Staffordshire countryside in Burton upon Trent.

How top-four race will unfold... possibly

Read full article on Champions League: How race for top four will unfold... possibly

Chelsea strengthened their position in the Premier League title race with victory at Hull City on Sunday to stay six points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand - but the pursuit of the other places in the top four remains red hot.

Manchester United struck a telling blow with victory at Liverpool but Brendan Rodgers' side were the only ones in the top seven not to win as Arsenal, Southampton and Tottenham all picked up maximum points.