The Draw for the Third Round of the 2017/2018 Football Association Challenge Cup was made on Monday night with West Ham United being given an away trip to face League One Shrewsbury Town at The New Meadow in early January.
The tie will see both Joe Hart and David Moyes return to their former employers, Hart, England’s No1, started out his coveted Career with The Town, leaving for Manchester City in 2006.
Whereas, Hammers Boss Moyes represented Shrewsbury as a centre-back between the years of 1987-1990, making close to 100 appearances and scoring 11 goals in Shropshire.
The encounter will be played out on the weekend commencing 5 January 2018, with an exact date yet to be confirmed, and wreaking havoc amongst Hammers who now face the proposition of travelling to three games in six days.
The Irons will welcome Alan Pardew’s West Bromwich Albion to The London Stadium on the 2nd of that month, before making the short trip to Wembley just two days later on the Thursday and then the 187-mile trip North at the weekend.
However, this does mean that Moyes’ Boys will only be in action once, away at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day, between Christmas and The New Year, while many other Premier League teams will be featuring twice.
All in all, The East Londoners will play a staggering ten times over the course of the next 31 days, but when the time finally does come for the magic of The FA Cup to fill the air in early 2018.
The Claret & Blue Army will certainly be hoping for a much happier Third Round outing than last year, when Pep Guardiola’s Citizens visited Stratford and left with a place in Round Four after an incredible 0-5 win.
Although the year before that, we did taste some success in The Competition making it to The Quarter-Finals under Slaven Bilic during the 2015/2106 campaign by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, eventually bowing out in a Replay with Manchester United at Upton Park.
You have to go all the way back to 1980 to find the last time that we lifted the famous Trophy by defeating Arsenal in the Final at Wembley, a feat that we also achieved in 1964 and 1975, beating Preston North End and Fulham respectively.
Despite this, Hammers history in the Competition dates back even further than that as we featured in the first FA Cup Final to be held at The Old Wembley, losing out to Bolton Wanderers in “The White Horse Final”.
Another of our loses at the final Stage came agonisingly on penalties to The Reds in the 2006 playing of The Cup held at The Millennium Stadium in Wales.
So, now that we have learnt who we will be pitting our wits against next year in Round Three of Football’s Oldest Competition, can Moyes deliver our first Major Honour in close to 40 years? Will it be the year of West Ham United?