I listened to the FA Cup Fourth Round Draw this afternoon (2pm in the States) with dread/excitement. Would we draw a top-flight opponent who'd be fun to take on on international TV? Would we create memories to last a lifetime at the end of January? Or would we draw a Cinderella team and have a better chance to move on? All good things, right?
Well, I wasn't too disappointed, even though we didn't draw the Manchester United/Chelsea matchup I hoped for/dreaded with everything in me. Instead of the big-name team, we got two teams, neither of which is likely to inspire fear: Bolton Wanderers and Eastleigh FC.
Bolton, as you'll know, sits at the bottom of the Championship, a shadow of its former self, riddled with debt and looking to sell all of it's players. Eastleigh FC is in a promotion battle... to League Two. Goodness, that feels like a lucky draw for Leeds United, doesn't it?
Neither side will garner much respect in the coming weeks, I'd bet, but both will be entering their replay on January 19th with everything to play for: the FA Cup exists for teams in situations like these, giving a team mired in an awful season something to hope for... giving a non-League side a chance to prove themselves amongst the big boys of England.
We'll save our detailed analysis of the FA Cup for January 20th, when we know who we'll face in the Fourth Round, but goodness, you have to feel like Leeds dodged a bullet in the round of 32. If beating Rotherham and moving on to the final 32 was the first step towards the #bestyearinLUFChistory in 2016, the second step looks easier to take than it did this morning.
What say you, Leeds fan, do you want Bolton or Eastleigh in our next FA Cup matchup? Vote in the poll, discuss in the comments, get excited for Ipswich tomorrow.