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.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola

What now for Premier League title race?

Read full article on Liverpool win, Man City lose - what now for the Premier League title race?

Manchester City have blinked first, Liverpool have taken over at the top, and the Premier League title race is well and truly on.

Pep Guardiola's reigning champions will remain favourites because of sheer weight of quality, but Liverpool hovered in their shadow in second place before their 4-0 win at Bournemouth and City's defeat at Chelsea sent them to the front.

Jose Mourinho

Have Man Utd fans accepted B-List status?

Read full article on Manchester United: Have fans reluctantly accepted their team's 'B-List' status?

Manchester United's hopes and ambitions have slipped so alarmingly this season that a routine show of grit that left them eighth in the Premier League drew warm applause from Old Trafford at its conclusion.

Jose Mourinho's side battled back twice to earn a point in an eventful, if scrappy, 2-2 draw against Arsenal - but was the sanguine reaction at the final whistle acceptance this is now as good as it gets under the current regime?

Unai Emery

'Emery has blown through Arsenal like a hurricane'

Read full article on Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham: Unai Emery's remarkable Gunners transformation continues

Arsenal laid down a marker and leapfrogged Tottenham into the Premier League's top four with an outstanding display, their finest under manager Unai Emery, to deservedly win the north London derby at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners' unbeaten run stretches to 19 games after the 4-2 win and this was their most significant of the season.

England celebrate against Croatia

'England deliver Wembley win to savour'

Read full article on England 2-1 Croatia in Nations League: Three Lions deliver Wembley win to savour

England have waited more than a decade to provide the "new" Wembley with a game, a victory and an occasion that would live indelibly in the memory bank - but Gareth Southgate's side delivered it against Croatia.

This may have been the Uefa Nations League, still the infant poor relation when set alongside the World Cup and Euros, but the dramatic manner in which England transformed potential relegation from their group into a 2-1 victory that sent them to next summer's finals had great significance in the wider context.

England forward Jadon Sancho

'Rooney bids farewell, Sancho sparks squeals'

Read full article on England 3-0 USA: 'Wayne Rooney bids farewell, Jadon Sancho sparks squeals'

Wayne Rooney felt the full glow of Wembley's warmth as he made his 120th and final England appearance in a 3-0 friendly win against the United States, a match which served as a tribute to the country's all-time record goalscorer and a fund-raiser for his charitable foundation.

And, while Rooney could not write the fairytale finish with a goal, he saw enough in his brief England reunion to leave with a ringing endorsement of manager Gareth Southgate and the squad he leaves behind.

Claudio Ranieri

'Fulham hope Ranieri can reinvent spirit'

Read full article on Claudio Ranieri at Fulham: Cottagers hope Italian can reinvent spirit

Claudio Ranieri is always a welcome presence in the Premier League - with even neutrals warming to the dignity, class and gentle humour of the man who was sacked after taking Chelsea to the Champions League semi-final before producing one of the greatest feats of management in sporting history at Leicester City.

The 67-year-old Italian replaces Slavisa Jokanovic as manager of bottom club Fulham, a little over two years after masterminding arguably the biggest surprise in British sport at the King Power Stadium in 2015-16.

Jose Mourinho

'Mourinho deluded if he can't see gulf in class'

Read full article on Man City 3-1 Man Utd: 'Jose Mourinho deluded if he can't see gulf in class'

Manchester City's cursory dismissal of Manchester United simply confirmed their status as the Premier League's outstanding team - and reduced Jose Mourinho to the ranks of the deluded.

Pep Guardiola's reigning champions also finished off Manchester United's own title aspirations for this season as City's 3-1 win opened up a 12-point gap between these neighbours that no realist can seriously see being bridged.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha

Rainbows, celebration, tears - Leicester remembers The Boss

Read full article on Leicester City remembers Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha amid rainbows, celebrations & tears

As thousands set off from Leicester city centre on a march towards the King Power Stadium in memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the heavens opened. By the time they reached their destination, the sun was shining and a rainbow threw a spectacular arc across the sky.

The changing moods of the weather were symbolic of a day that made the journey across every emotion, from sadness to celebration. There was also commemoration, as fans and club legends remembered the 60-year-old Leicester owner and the four others who died in a helicopter crash outside the stadium after the draw with West Ham United a fortnight ago.

Wayne Rooney playing for England

Is Rooney's return an indulgence too far?

Read full article on Wayne Rooney to play for England again: Does it cheapen an England call-up?

Wayne Rooney's expected one-off England return for the friendly against the United States at Wembley is certain to raise eyebrows - and even prompt ridicule - in many quarters.

Rooney's England career, which he initially ended with 119 caps and a record 53 goals, did have a low-key conclusion in a 3-0 win against Scotland in November 2016.