So often the question has been asked: Why can't England's top Premier League protagonists translate that form to major tournaments with the national team?
In Monday's dramatic 2-1 Group G win over Tunisia, Harry Kane took the first tentative steps towards confining that criticism to the history books and laying it squarely at the feet of those belonging to vintages gone by.
Time and again since the turn of the century, England's so-called 'golden generation' failed to deliver for their country in the way they had for their clubs - their campaigns often undermined by a poor opening showing that ultimately scuppered their chances of advancing beyond the group stage with any degree of confidence.
Or, as was the case in Brazil four years ago, advancing beyond the group stage at all.
Even throughout his fledgling international career, Kane has been singled out as a man who has teetered dangerously close to following that perilous path, failing to replicate his prolific Tottenham performances, which have yielded 105 league goals across the past four seasons.
But the captain came up trumps in Volgograd, netting the opener on the rebound from close range for his first goal at a major tournament, after 14 unsuccessful shots here and at Euro 2016.
And, after Tunisia levelled through Ferjani Sassi's penalty following Kyle Walker's needless forearm to the head of Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, the Spurs man nodded home the winner in the 91st minute - his 10th England goal in his last eight outings.
It was a fitting finale to what had been an entertaining, if somewhat haphazard and erratic, affair.
On almost every occasion in recent memory, England's pre-tournament positivity has been swiftly punctured by a lacklustre opening display devoid of vim and vigour.
But this clash was anything but dull.
Gareth Southgate's side flew out of the blocks and ought to have led through Jesse Lingard after just two minutes, before Kane struck.
Walker's error halted their momentum but by half-time Southgate's men had fired in six shots on target - more than any other side at Russia 2018 and the most of any England team since that triumphant 1966 campaign.
6 - England have had six shots on target so far, their most in the first half of a World Cup match since the 1966 semi-final against Portugal (also six). Frustration.#ENG #ENGTUN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/tkvtW9HArl— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 18, 2018
But Kane, Lingard, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling only looked sporadically dangerous after the interval - the latter replaced by Marcus Rashford with a quarter of the contest left.
Just when it seemed England would have to settle for a draw - and what Southgate may have seen as two points dropped against an average Tunisia outfit - Kane was on hand to deliver a maximum haul.
Firmly established as one of European club football's top strikers, Kane joined the likes of fellow superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in making an early bid for the Golden Boot.
The only Englishman to win one of those is Gary Lineker - also the last man to score a World Cup brace for the Three Lions - and Southgate and co will hope their shining light does not fade on the global stage, like so many before him.
|Brazil captain Neymar pleased with stern Uruguay test|
|Ravens´ Flacco doubtful, Jackson could start|
|Richarlison: I want to be at the Copa America|
|Tabarez buoyed by inexperienced Uruguay|
|Howell fires 64 again to extend RSM Classic lead|
|I´m proud of them - Giggs still upbeat despite Denmark defeat|
|Mancini ´very sorry´ for Ronaldo absence|
|Neymar clinches anything-but-friendly win for Brazil over Uruguay|
|Cipriani-inspired Gloucester thrash Tigers|
|Djokovic makes it three wins from three at ATP Finals|
|Germany relegated from Nations League top tier to cap miserable 2018|
|Fulham will back Ranieri in January transfer window if required|
|Brazil 1 Uruguay 0: Neymar penalty settles tight contest|
|Netherlands 2 France 0: Wijnaldum & Depay decisive as Germany are relegated|
|Wales 1 Denmark 2: Jorgensen and Braithwaite seal Nations League promotion|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain targeting early return|
|New Zealand-born Aki will ´relish´ facing All Blacks – Marmion|
|Portugal cannot focus on absent Ronaldo - Santos|
|Ramsey reiterates he wants to stay with Jaguars despite cryptic tweet|
|We tried to hit a home run and it didn´t work out - D´Antoni explains Carmelo exit|
|West Ham´s Zabaleta backs Premier League´s VAR introduction|
|Southgate eyes winning end to England´s ´brilliant year´|
|Patient Zverev seizes opportunity to make amends at ATP Finals|
|Rodgers: Packers still believe they can make playoffs|
|Mahomes hoping to ketchup to Heinz´s touchdown target|
|Ranieri tells Fulham fans not to expect repeat of Leicester ´fairytale´|
|Brown to leave role as RFU chief executive|
|Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of England clash|
|Capital gains for Zverev as he secures last-four spot in London|
|Sancho rise continues with Player of the Month award|
|Jones-Buchanan, Ablett and Briscoe sign new Rhinos deals|
|Root leads from the front as aggressive England assume control|
|Croatia´s Lovren antagonises Ramos and ´rude´ Spain|
|Rakitic has ´enormous respect´ for England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Ireland make flanker switch with Leavy out of All Blacks clash|
|Pakistan rip through Black Caps in Abu Dhabi|
|WATCH: Barcelona mark 15-year anniversary of Messi´s first match|
|Sterling, that you? - Walker uses falling fan to poke fun at England team-mate|
|Fleetwood applies pressure on Molinari, Wallace leads in Dubai|
|Don´t talk to me about VAR – Rakitic not over World Cup final loss|
|Van Dijk leadership essential for Liverpool – Wijnaldum|
|Dalic: Croatia´s bench was ready to stop Spain!|
|Sublime Root century gives England imposing lead|
|Vinicius appreciates Solari influence at Real Madrid|
|Havertz would suit Bayern Munich – Kimmich|
|Wilder: Roach recruitment a sign of Fury nerves|
|Ranieri targets defensive improvements at failing Fulham|
|PSG close investigation into player recruitment practices after finding no discrimination|
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|