EFL: Big-name managers, Love Island and 'old' players - What's been going on in pre-season?

Marcelo Bielsa looks on from the sidelines
Leeds have appointed former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa as their new head coach

The new season. Renewed optimism, fresh hope... or just a familiar feeling of dread?

Understandably - given the small get-together in Russia - you might have taken your eye off what's been going on below the Premier League since May.

Luckily for you, BBC Sport has put together a list of some things you might have missed over the summer - and a few you things you probably didn't.

There's a new guy in charge

Arguably the biggest summer arrivals in the EFL have come off the pitch.

Derby County handed Frank Lampard his first managerial role, after Gary Rowett left to take over at Stoke City following their relegation from the Premier League.

Lampard's former England boss Steve McClaren is the new man in charge at QPR, Swansea have rewarded Graham Potter for his success with Swedish side Ostersund by giving him the chance to lead them back to the top flight and former Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst has replaced Mick McCarthy at Ipswich.

Meanwhile, Leeds appointing a new boss is rarely headline news these days given that they've now had 11 since February 2012, but the hiring of former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa is seen as a real coup.

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Some ageing players made fools of themselves - Joey Barton

In League One, Bradford and Fleetwood are under the charge of rookie bosses in Michael Collins and Joey Barton respectively, with Barton's appointment garnering slightly more attention.

In League Two, Paul Tisdale's reign as the longest-serving manager in the top four divisions was short-lived as he swapped Exeter City for MK Dons after 12 years. He's already been back to raid his former side for two coaches and three players.

You say goodbye, I say hello

In contrast to last summer, where two Championship clubs spent more than £15m on a player, it's been a slightly more sedate transfer window. So far, at least.

Nottingham Forest have been this summer's big spenders, with Benfica midfielder Joao Carvalho arriving for £13.2m and Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban for about £6m.

Stoke City's loan signing of Wolves striker Benik Afobe, with an obligation to buy in January, was eye-catching given the 25-year-old had only joined the Molineux side from Bournemouth 11 days earlier.

Benik Afobe
Don't I know you? Benik Afobe in pre-season action for his new side Stoke against Wolves

Leeds United signed Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford in a deal that could end up costing £10m, making the former Chelsea man their most expensive signing since the acquisition of Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler in November 2001.

Meanwhile, it's hard to imagine anyone has had a busier summer than Peterborough's club secretary.

After a ninth-placed finish last season, the League One side have signed 15 players, while 18 have left. Never mind surnames on the back of their shirts, don't be surprised if Steve Evans' side take to the pitch for Saturday's game against Bristol Rovers wearing name badges.

Home in time for Love Island?

As in-match Twitter updates go, Crewe's official account tweeting: "HALFTIME 3-0! I've had a word with the Ref and he's only playing 15 minutes next half so we can all go watch #LoveIsland" is probably one of the more unusual efforts.

It turns out that the answer to the question: "What would happen if you let one of your players do your club's social media?" is: "Pretty much exactly what you'd expect".

Alex captain George Ray was given the night off on-field duties for their friendly with Altrincham and sent to the stands to keep the League Two side's fans up to date with events on the pitch.

Ray's approach to his new role was certainly... unique. And, to round off a night when he referred to a cross as a "walnut whip" and said the attendance for the game was "80,403 take away the 80 thousand", the former Wales Under-21 international signed off with a joke straight out of a Christmas cracker:

George Ray tweet
Crewe captain George Ray signed off his Twitter takeover with this

Crewe fans will be hoping Ray puts slightly more effort into his playing duties once the season starts.

Also getting in on the popularity of ITV2 show Love Island were Aston Villa, who announced the signing of Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Andre Moreira by using some edited footage from the villa.

The villa. The Villa... See? Ah, I'm sure George Ray liked it.

Ajax come unstuck in Walsall

Of all the improbable results in the summer few stand out quite like Walsall's 2-0 win over four-time European Cup winners Ajax.

New signing Andy Cook scored twice to give the Saddlers, four-time winners of the Birmingham Senior Cup, a memorable victory in front of 2,449 fans at the Banks's Stadium.

Andy Cook
Former Tranmere striker Andy Cook (left) celebrates giving Walsall the lead against Ajax

"Full credit to the lads," was boss Dean Keates' rather understated response.

The Saddlers were not the only EFL side to host high-flying foreign opponents in pre-season, as Sheffield United secured a creditable 1-1 draw against Italian giants Inter Milan.

'Michael is very old'

It's not unheard of for football managers to want to lead every department of a club.

However, new Chesterfield boss Martin Allen took things to a new level this summer. Perhaps thinking the club's fans needed a bit of a lift after successive relegations to the National League, he decided to write up the club's signings for their website.

The former Barnet boss, known as 'Mad Dog', flatteringly referred to 38-year-old defender Michael Nelson as "very old" but "fit as a butcher's dog", while goalkeeper Shwan Jalal received the high praise of being a "solid, reliable and decent keeper".

Michael Nelson
The "very old" Michael Nelson

Wonderfully, Allen signed off all the press releases with "Take care, Martin".

Also new to the National League this season are Salford City.

Co-owned by five former Manchester United players, the Reds have made a number of high-profile signings this summer, including Peterborough midfielder Danny Lloyd and Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney.

The acquisition of the latter saw the Dons, Motherwell and Accrington Stanley comment on the amount Salford were paying on wages - leading co-owner Gary Neville to tweet:

Gary Neville tweet
Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville was unhappy with other club's publically disclosing the amount Salford were paying players

Only time will tell if Salford's (apparently) big-spending will be enough to see them win promotion to the EFL this season.

Take care, Ian.

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