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.

Raheem Sterling

England stand tall on shameful night

Read full article on England stand tall on shameful night of racism in Bulgaria

England made a powerful statement in Sofia as they delivered the most eloquent response in disgraceful, dispiriting circumstances of racism.

Gareth Southgate's side, in the sporting context, needed to answer their first loss in 44 qualifiers against the Czech Republic on Friday - but what they actually achieved went beyond this single game, will be of wider significance, and publicly tackled the scourge that still blights so many areas of society and the game itself.

England players

'A disturbing night for Southgate as cracks reappear'

Read full article on Czech Republic 2-1 England: A disturbing night for Southgate as cracks reappear

The alarm bells were ringing for England manager Gareth Southgate even in victory over Kosovo in September - on the grim evidence of a dismal and thoroughly deserved defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague, no-one was listening.

England's sequence of 43 unbeaten qualifiers stretching back a decade - flattering when placed in the context of their wretched performances at every major tournament except the 2018 World Cup - was ended in the noisy surroundings of Slavia Prague's Sinobo Stadium.

Tottenham lose to Bayern Munich

'Embarrassing, abject, lack of heart'

Read full article on Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich: Mauricio Pochettino faces crisis

Mauricio Pochettino has become an expert in mixed messages for much of the past few months, but there was no disguising the meaning of this abject Champions League humiliation for Tottenham's manager.

This was the most embarrassing result since he arrived at Spurs in May 2014. If you were being cruel you would say it was the most embarrassing for seven days after they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester United.

Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

'A rivalry drowned in downpour of mediocrity'

Read full article on Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal: 'A great rivalry drowned in a downpour of mediocrity'

Manchester United's rivalry with Arsenal provided the great theatre of the Premier League's formative years and beyond - but those days seemed light years away on Monday at a soggy and dismal Old Trafford.

Long gone is the era when Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger jousted on touchlines and for trophies, when the likes of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira squared up even before leaving the tunnel, when the pizzas flew and silverware was the main currency at both clubs.

Jurgen Klopp

'Resilient more than eye-catching but Klopp's Liverpool juggernaut rolls on'

Read full article on Liverpool's win at Chelsea epitomises resilience Jurgen Klopp has built into team

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's celebrations at the final whistle at Stamford Bridge offered a window into the importance of victory in his 150th Premier League match in charge.

Klopp's impact on Liverpool in that period has been immense, culminating in making them European champions for the sixth time with victory over Tottenham in Madrid in June.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

What is expected of Lampard at Chelsea?

Read full article on Frank Lampard: Have expectations changed at Chelsea this season?

Chelsea's start to life under Frank Lampard has reflected the transitional nature of a club operating under a new template with an inexperienced manager, an influx of young players and a transfer ban.

Lampard has had mixed fortunes, combining impressive away wins at Norwich and Wolves with struggles at home, including a damaging defeat by Valencia in their opening Champions League game on Tuesday.

Michael Keane and Raheem Sterling

'England horribly fallible in defence'

Read full article on 'England horribly fallible in defence' against Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying

England manager Gareth Southgate will have struggled to decide whether his glass was half-full or half-empty as he reflected on a thud and blunder night against Kosovo at St Mary's.

First things first - everyone at Southampton enjoyed a thrilling Euro 2020 qualifier that led to a rousing ovation for both sides at the conclusion of England's chaotic 5-3 victory.

England's Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount

'Common sense to play England youngsters'

Read full article on 'England's young players should get chance to become battle-hardened in qualifiers'

England face a familiar, ominous threat as their path to qualification for Euro 2020 continues to look little more than a formality - but it will not come from any of the teams they will face on the route to next summer's showpiece.

Their opponents in Group A could almost have been hand-picked for a comfortable passage by manager Gareth Southgate and the Football Association.

Leicester City's James Maddison

Is it time for Maddison? The key issues facing England boss Southgate

Read full article on England: What are the key issues facing Gareth Southgate?

England return to Euro 2020 qualifying duty with a home double header against Bulgaria at Wembley on Saturday and Kosovo at St Mary's in Southampton on Tuesday - two fixtures that should not present huge obstacles on the road to next summer's showpiece.

Gareth Southgate's side still, however, face serious questions after falling short once more against the Netherlands in the semi-final of the inaugural Uefa Nations League - so what key issues will be on the agenda over this next international period?