A life following Manchester City has left me over-familiar with many idioms most of which involve avoiding optimism at all cost. A succession of false dawns all proved to be flashes in a pan that left me with egg on my face after counting my chickens before they hatched. It sometimes feels like one long lesson in exasperating, perplexing let-downs. How could I ever believe that Franny Lee was the answer to our prayers? Why did I not see the 1-0 reverse coming to the bottom of the league side after we’d been in such a rich vein of form? Furthermore, why is my face covered in yolk when the fucking chicken hasn’t even lay yet?

No matter because the upshot is that being a blue has built up an inherent fear of being boastful. We do bravado sure but bragging certainly not, perfectly aware as we are that pride always comes before a fall.

With this in mind I can see the warning lights flashing danger ahead for Sunday’s trip to Craven Cottage. Because all the elements are there for a comedy tumble and a throbbing behind.

Firstly City have been sensational thus far, unleashing a fusillade of slick, inventive attacking élan all finished off with predatory glee by two strikers so hotly in form their shorts are in danger of bursting into flames.

Then came Wednesday’s reality check against Napoli. Good. We needed that. It amounted to a Latin whisper into Emperor Silva’s ear to remind him that he’s mortal like you and I. It eradicated any shred of hubris or complacency that has arisen from administering four straight spankings on the bounce.

And now comes Roberto Mancini demanding even more ruthlessness, highlighting that when United had already secured the points against Arsenal recently they continued to remorselessly press and plunder. Fifteen goals in four? Ha, I speet in the face of such a pitiful amount.

Which for any other team would add up to an imminent merciless slaying of their next opponents. For City it will probably mean that we huff and puff without reward only to see that miserable fucker Zamora wheel away with a late deciding goal.

Roberto had built a house with solid foundations. Fulham was when he began to decorate.

In fact if Balotelli starts, as expected, and Tevez is involved then Sunday could well host four of the gloomiest goal scorers around. With Andy Johnson and Zamora it’s all grim pointing, the former either side of him, the latter straight ahead, like two pissed off air stewards going through the formality of a safety drill before embarking on a long-haul to Kazakhstan.

Tevez ignores the acclaim to take off his boot to remind us once again that a guy so ugly has somehow managed to procreate whilst Super Mario simply seems to be glum at losing possession, what with the ball nestling in the back of the net.

Expect plenty of goals in this game but don’t raise your hopes too high for a smile.

My nagging concerns for Sunday are only exacerbated when I think back to the corresponding fixture last year. The 4-1 walloping we dished out that day – with Maradona in attendance shivering in the stands alongside a glamorous girlfriend befitting of God – was a genuine turning point in our season; everything clicked from that moment on as a sense of exuberance was added to the patient power play. Roberto had built a house with solid foundations. Fulham was when he began to decorate.

So it would be entirely in keeping with our predilection for unpredictability that we choose this Sunday for a wheel to puncture on the juggernaut. For Dzeko to cease with his effortless ransacking of Premier League defences. An end to the goal rush and back to life, back to reality, followed by Bobby complaining of fatigue from our mid-week efforts as if European football is an entirely new invention being trialled by UEFA.

In theory this should be a straightforward affair despite Fulham’s decent home record with a long established first XL who know each other’s games inside out. After unsuccessfully attempting to scale the fortress of Napoli’s back-line our creative imps Silva, Nasri and Aguero shouldn’t even have to pick the lock to Fulham’s defence. The key will be beneath the mat.

In theory City should dominate throughout and pick up where they left off against Wigan, creating chances at will with lively relish.

In theory…fuck theory and expectation can sod off for good measure. Like Luke approaching the Death Star I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Though it must be said that Craven Cottage doesn’t have a super charged energy beam and is always a lovely day out.

I’ve been here before too many times and can see the writing on the wall for an upset.

Should that occur however there will be no need to go back to the drawing board. Rome wasn’t built in a day.