New season, new jobs: Five to watch out for from the Championship

The 2017-18 Football League season begins on Friday when Reading host Derby at the Madejski Stadium in the Championship. 

The upcoming campaign promises to be fascinating, with some intriguing storylines developing in the Championship, League One and League Two next season. 

Here, Sportsmail have identified five things to watch out for in the second tier, as well as three each from League One and League Two.

Frank Lampard has a tough job trying to take Derby back to the Premier League this season

After Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard, another of England’s ‘golden generation’ to move into management. Lampard has a tough job trying to take Derby back to the Premier League but has used his contacts book well to land Chelsea’s very talented teenager Mason Mount on loan.

The former England manager is back in football as a surprise appointment at QPR. He will have to rely on his coaching ability rather than the transfer market because the club were fined more than £41m last week for breaking League FFP rules and will be barred from signing anyone in the January window.

Benik Afobe signed for Wolves from Bournemouth before joining Stoke just 10 days later

It was a strange transfer window for the 25-year-old striker, who signed for Wolves from Bournemouth on June 2 and then joined Stoke on loan 10 days later. The loan will become a £12m permanent transfer in January and relegated Stoke are relying on Afobe for the goals to take them straight back up.

Nottingham Forest’s £13m Portuguese midfielder is aiming to become this season’s Ruben Neves, who helped Wolves win promotion to the Premier League last season. Carvalho, 21, has played in the Champions League for Benfica and is key to Forest’s ambitious plans under Aitor Karanka.

An Egyptian billionaire whose buy-out at Aston Villa with American Wes Edens has saved the famous club from financial ruin. Sawiris has kept Steve Bruce on as manager and his riches mean they won’t be forced to sell Tottenham target Jack Grealish or defender James Chester on the cheap.

Aston Villa chiefs Nassef Sawiris (right) and Wes Edens (left) saved the club from financial ruin

The arrival of the next great young manager? Or a gimmick? Fleetwood Town caused a stir when they made Barton manager. The controversial midfielder, formerly of Manchester City, Newcastle, Strangeways and a few other places, is just back from a betting ban. It’s short odds that he’ll be in the headlines in his new role.

Just 15 months after trotting out at Stamford Bridge and Anfield, the Black Cats are bracing themselves for trips to Spotland and Roots Hall.

Their new owner Stewart Donald and new manager Jack Ross hope to stop the freefall and that the Stadium of Light will be rocking again after back-to-back relegations.

New Sunderland manager Jack Ross (right, with Alan Stubbs) will be hoping to halt the freefall

It worked for Liverpool and Huddersfield and now Barnsley are taking a punt on a German manager. Only time will tell whether Stendel is an exponent of the gegenpress or the kampfgeist but in a town where they call a spade a bloody shovel, the Tykes will expect promotion.

Oh how they must have laughed in Wimbledon when those other Dons were relegated. Colourful owner Pete Winkelman has vowed to bankroll a swift return to League One and hopes manager Paul Tisdale is the man to deliver.

Colourful MK Dons owner Pete Winkelman has vowed to bankroll a swift return to League One

A blast from the past but you cannot quite remember why. Frankie Bunn, the newly-appointed manager of Oldham Athletic, holds the record for most goals scored in a League Cup game, banging in six against Scarborough in 1989. Twenty-nine years later and they’ve finally decided he’s worth a crack in the dugout.

Pencil it in the diary - October 2: Tranmere v Lincoln. Expect the earth to move when Steve McNulty, of Tranmere, goes up for a header with Lincoln’s Matt Rhead. These two might answer to the nickname ‘Sumo’.

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July 28, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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