THE draw for the third round of the FA Cup is always one of those nerve-tingling moments in every season.
Of course everyone watches it to see where their team will be playing, but it comes with that added spice of seeing who the surviving non-Leaguers will get and whether any of the big boys will be drawn together.
Some have said this year’s was not a sparkling draw and for me the pick of the round was Bury or Southend v Bradford or Brentford – my logic being that any one of the lower division four teams can book a place against one of the big clubs in round four, and really I am just being sarcastic.
However, others watch the draw for different reasons, and the people who run the railways will probably be striking former Tottenham star Ledley King and ex-Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba off their Christmas card lists right now, while many members of the Metropolitan police will be rubbing their hands at the thought of a bumper post-Christmas overtime payment.
Somehow Bow-born King, who was drawing the home sides, contrived to pull out Crystal Palace, Brighton, Spurs, Fulham, Charlton, Millwall, QPR and West Ham.
Muamba, obviously selecting away opponents, went for teams from the Midlands and the North as he pitted Stoke, Newcastle, Coventry, Blackpool, Town, Preston, West Brom and Manchester United, respectively, against those teams.
While it is unlikely, potentially all those ties could take place on the same Saturday in the first week of January.
Travelling on the main line down the west of England might be advised against as the trains could be transporting followers of Blackpool and Preston, arch Lancashire rivals, who will be joined by Manchester United fans (some of them do actually live in Salford!), then Stoke, West Brom and Coventry supporters.
Obviously when they reach London they will be milling around the London stations in the company of Town and Newcastle supporters, plus the indigenous supporters from the capital.
Now I know we are no longer living in the 1970s or 80s, but you have to feel the Met police are going to have to have an obvious presence around the city.
So if you have booked a city break to watch a show or do some shopping in the sales in London in early January you may want to buy one of my ‘Ledley and Fabrice ruined my weekend’ T-shirts which I am going to get printed off.