Manchester City fans have uncovered an old tweet from Port Vale striker Tom Pope when he claimed he'd score 40 goals a season playing against John Stones every week.
Their opponents currently sit ninth in the fourth tier, and earned their lucrative draw after beating Cheltenham 3-1 in the second round. Veteran striker Pope scored all three goals in an eight-minute spell in the second half.
Clearly delighted with the chance to face City, Pope took to Twitter after the draw, posting: "You're welcome" and "I bet the bookies are laughing now! I'm sure a lot of people had a lot of money on Man City winning the FA Cup again this year."
But while Pope and Port Vale fans were enjoying the draw, City fans had uncovered a six month old Tweet from the lower league journeyman in which he claimed he would score plenty of goals against 'soft' and 'weak' defender Stones following his mistakes for England in the Nations League defeat to Netherlands.
Pope had said: "Just watched the highlights of the England game! I know I’m a league 2 player, I know he plays for England, I know he’s on £150k a week, I know he’s a million times better player than me but I’d love to play against John Stones every week! I’d get 40 a season! #soft #weakasp***."
In more tweets from June, Pope described Stones as a 'target man's dream', with 'zero aggression' and said there's a reason Pep Guardiola doesn't play him regularly because he can't play out from the back.
"This tweet was 6 months ago and you’ve all managed to dig it up," he said. "In them 6 months he’s improved dramatically and I think he’s the best centre half in the world."
Pope's tongue-in-cheek tweets continued as he said he was 'honoured' to be receiving abuse from City fans for his tweets on Stones.
In another post, he said: "I feel absolutely honoured to be getting abuse from Man City fans. it’s made me emosh! You lot should be worrying and tweeting Mane and Salah not Tom ‘the carthorse’ Pope you plantpots."
Pope's hat-trick against Cheltenham put him on six goals for the season for the Valiants, who will travel to the Etihad on the weekend of January 4.