This was to be the start of a new era, Paul Lambert has gone and Chris Hughton duly took a Norwich City side heavily influenced by Lambert to Craven Cottage for the first game of the season.
Two of Hughton`s summer signings, Michael Turner and Robert Snodgrass were in the City first eleven - other than that it was familiar faces all round.
A back four of Martin, Tierney, Bennett and Turner sat behind a midfield three of Surman, Johnson and Howson. Upfront, Captain Holt was supported by Pilkington on the left and Snodgrass on the right.
The match kicked off in glorious 30 degree sunshine and for ninety seconds or so, Fulham didn`t see the ball, Norwich playing a slick passing game. After that though, it all started to go wrong.
An impressive Fulham side started to push the Canaries backwards. It quickly became very hard for the City players to get the ball, let alone keep it or do much with it.
Riise spent most of this match in the Norwich half and made some tremendous surging runs. On the other side it was Damien Duff who did the same.
City were being pushed further and further back with Pilkington and Snodgrass dropping back to help out time and time again. Eventually they were playing as extra full backs as City started to play with six at the back - I`m sure this wasn`t tactically what Hughton had in mind when he was planning for this game at Colney during last week.
City had the odd chance on the break, the "best" falling to Surman who ran onto a lovely Holt flick. Unfortunately he was pushed wide and had no choice other than to hit a shot from a tight angle which brought a sharp save from Schwarzer.
A Fulham goal was coming and on 18 minutes, it almost came to Ruiz as Ruddy`s shanked clearance fell to Ruiz. Luckily though, he could only lob over the cross bar.
Dembele was controlling the midfield now and Ruddy had to make three very good saves from Riise, Ruiz and then Petric that will have pleased the watching Roy Hodgson.
On 26 minutes though the inevitable happened. Riise played a huge 60 odd yard cross field to Duff who raced toward Ruddy with the City defence flailing. He slotted the ball past Ruddy who will feel disappointed as he almost stopped it with his right foot.
Petric doubled the lead when he headed Duff`s corner in, the ball was correctly ruled over despite Howson`s clearance.
At half time it was 2 nil and Fulham were cruising. Holt had become an increasingly isolated figure up front, alone and in need of help.
For the second half, Hughton took off Surman and brought on Steve Morison. City were chasing the game and Surman will feel his luck was out as he had been one of the midfield`s livelier performers - that`s not saying much though.
Norwich reverted to a 4-4-2 but you have to get crosses into the box for players like Holt and Morison - in the first half this just didn`t happen.
In the second there was a brief rally from the Canaries before they fell three behind. Ruiz played Petric into space 25 yards out and he had a go. His shot deflecting off Michael Turner to leave Ruddy stranded.
The game was now over, although City`s performance suggested that was the case a long while before the third goal went in.
Snodgrass was replaced immediately with Elliot Bennett but no amount of changes would do anything here today.
On 66 minutes, Petric played a lovely flick to Kacaniklic who strode forward and slotted the ball past Ruddy to make it four nil - an absolute nightmare and with 25 minutes still to play.
Bradley Johnson`s 25 yard effort was about as good as it got for the City faithful and Schwarzer blocked it with his knees, without too much trouble.
Petric had been replaced by Rodallega after the fourth goal and was looking to add to Fulham`s tally - what better time to make your debut?
With just three minutes left and the Canary fans starting to drift away, Rodallega was up-ended by a clumsy challenge from Turner in the box - Steve Sidwell smashed the resulting penalty past a helpless John Ruddy to finish the scoring at five nil.
Another, shell shocked afternoon at Fulham for Norwich City - at one point I thought it was going to be worse than the infamous six nil defeat there in 2005.
Make no mistake about it though, this was a terrible drubbing at the hands of a decent Fulham side. But they aren`t Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal or Chelsea are they? No disrespect to you Fulham lads - you were by far the better side today.
Chris Hughton will be mightily worried by what he saw - as were the rest of us. Norwich offered little or nothing in an offensive manner and our most threatening times were from set pieces which were on the whole, comfortably dealt with.
Quite why this happened, only the players know. It was a very hot afternoon and I wouldn`t have fancied running around for ninety minutes, but Fulham managed it just fine.
Arguably, last season, we were only drubbed twice - both times at the hands of Champions, Manchester City and they have a team of Galacticos.
If Norwich City want to stay in this league then they have to be more than competitive against the teams around them, which you would assume is what Fulham are.
The City management team must now respond and so must the players.
Next week we play our first home game against a QPR side who were also drubbed five nil by a free scoring Swansea team. This game now takes on important status for both sides.
If either side lose heavily, then a truly awful start to the season is complete. Both managers will know this and do everything they can on the training pitch this week to ensure it doesn`t happen.
Which set of players will respond the best? I`m hoping that it`ll be the Norwich lads. I`m also hoping that our manager is looking at further attacking signings.
I still feel that we need another goal scorer - We have two target men in Holt and Morison and I know James Vaughan could be like a new player for us but if you don`t score, you won`t win.
On this display though, the defence could do with some help as well. Javier Garrido is in the building and there may be another - anyone else notice that Steve Morison has vacated the number five shirt he requested last season for the number sixteen shirt(?!). Let`s hope this signals the arrival of another centre back because on this performance our defence is leakier than ever.
We move on and look forward to our first home match now - onwards and upwards, it`s the only thing we can do. This cannot happen again or we`ll be playing Ipswich next season.