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.

Arsene Wenger

Wenger under scrutiny after debacle

Read full article on Arsene Wenger: Spotlight on Arsenal boss after Monaco defeat

Arsene Wenger - exactly like his shambolic Arsenal team - refused to mount any sort of defence after the home defeat to Monaco left them contemplating another Champions League exit in the last 16.

Wenger, normally so loyal to Arsenal's players in public, refused to defend the manner in which they were caught cold on the break twice by Monaco, particular in the dying seconds of the 3-1 loss after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's goal had appeared to offer a measure of damage limitation.

Suarez exposes Man City at top level

Read full article on Luis Suarez: Barcelona forward exposes Man City at elite level

Manchester City's match programme delivered a temptation impossible for fate to resist when it described Luis Suarez as "the dogsbody in this trio of artful dodgers" in comparison to Barcelona superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The Uruguayan striker known for his bite as well as his bark demonstrated he is much more than a mongrel among pedigree champions with both goals in a 2-1 win that leaves City contemplating an identical Champions League fate to last season, when they fell to Barcelona in the last 16.

No goals & dull football - Lambert's demise

Read full article on Paul Lambert: Aston Villa had little choice but to sack manager

Aston Villa's chief executive Tom Fox claimed just two weeks ago that he struggled with "the whole false narrative" of taking the easy way out and sacking manager Paul Lambert as results threatened to fall off a cliff.

The flaw in Fox's admirable argument is that the reality of relegation - and the subsequent loss of status and the billions of pounds now pouring into the Premier League - always trumps the false narrative of endless loyalty.

Harry Kane: England's next number nine?

Read full article on Harry Kane: England's next number nine?

Harry Kane may have ended on the losing side as Liverpool won Tuesday's Anfield thriller, but he is still the goalscoring gift that keeps giving for Tottenham - and for England manager Roy Hodgson.

Kane could not engineer another win for Spurs, as he did with his double under the gaze of Hodgson in the 2-1 win against Arsenal in the north London derby at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Will silence be golden for Mourinho?

Read full article on Jose Mourinho: Will silence be golden for Chelsea manager?

The Premier League's game of the season was watched by an estimated global audience of 650 million and covered by a record 26 television crews - but Chelsea and Manchester City could not serve up a spectacle to match the expectation.

The 1-1 draw keeps Chelsea five points clear of City and in prime position at the top of the table, yet conflicting emotions swirled around Stamford Bridge at the conclusion of a disappointing game.

Is Costa becoming a divisive figure?

Read full article on Chelsea v Liverpool: Rivals serve up a classic at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Liverpool served up a Capital One Cup classic at Stamford Bridge - with every ingredient in the mix to keep a packed house on the edge of their seats for 120 minutes.

The plot had an arch-villain in Chelsea's short-fused striker Diego Costa, two managers who were once master and apprentice in Jose Mourinho and Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers, helped along by a decade of antipathy and rivalry between the two clubs across the whole range of domestic and European competition.

Is this the most open FA Cup ever?

Read full article on FA Cup: Is this the most open competition ever?

After a weekend of FA Cup shocks and upsets the list of Premier League casualties lies at 10, leaving Monday's fifth-round draw wide open and those left with a 33% chance of avoiding a top-flight team.

There were 11 Premier League exits in 2005 and 2006 but this year all the clubs remaining will be dreaming of Wembley.

Man Utd twitchy, Cambridge terrific as two worlds collide

Read full article on Man Utd 'dismal' as Cambridge defy odds to earn FA Cup draw

Louis van Gaal demonstrated a colourful command of the English language this week to illustrate just how nervous some of Manchester United's performances this season have made him feel - and it was very unlikely he was sitting comfortably in Cambridge.

On a freezing, rain-soaked night that provided trademark conditions for an FA Cup shock, a dismal United allowed League Two side Cambridge United to deservedly bridge a 76-place gap between the clubs to earn a fourth-round replay at Old Trafford.

'Austin on track for England call'

Read full article on Charlie Austin: Is it time England called on QPR striker?

England manager Roy Hodgson's focus has been on the defensive arts this week after his contentious nomination of Argentina's Javier Mascherano for the Ballon d'Or - but he had a striker on his mind at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney may have captured his attention after Hodgson took his seat in the directors' box to watch Manchester United beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 but there is little new to learn about the man he made his captain.

How much damage has Evans saga done?

Read full article on Ched Evans: 10 big questions facing football

Oldham Athletic's decision to pull out of a deal to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans ended a tumultuous few days of legal and moral arguments about the Wales striker's right to return to the game following his release from prison.

While this episode in the story is now at a close, the chapter is not over for football - with the game still left facing crucial questions.