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.
19 de julio 2018
|Ajax tell Barcelona not even ´insane´ money will buy De Ligt, De Jong|
|BREAKING NEWS: Hamilton agrees two-year Mercedes extension|
|Uran withdraws from Tour after failing to shake off injuries|
|Spieth tees off Open defence|
|Zidane has shown no will to coach France, insists FFF president|
|Risking the curse - Steelers star Brown lands on Madden 19 cover|
|Pogba silenced his critics with World Cup displays – Ibrahimovic|
|Warburton overwhelmed by support following retirement|
|Wilshere excited by tactics of Wenger-like Pellegrini|
|Deschamps never considered France exit prior to World Cup win|
|Persepolis eye Champions League after Iran impress at World Cup|
|Sandy Lyle gets The Open underway at Carnoustie|
|Roosters sign England international Hall|
|Ovechkin, Kim earn major honours at ESPY Awards|
|Owens not ´actively seeking´ to play in NFL again|
|Argentina need Messi – Tevez urges Lionel not to retire|
|Minnesota United 2 New England Revolution 1: Ramirez, Quintero sink stuttering visitors|
|Shaw: I want to be first name on Man United teamsheet|
|Manny Machado dealt to Dodgers|
|Pjanic hails Ronaldo arrival but refuses to confirm Juve future|
|Perotti: Roma can cope without Liverpool-bound Alisson|
|Klopp hopes Liverpool building towards title tilt|
|Karlovic exits as four seeds bow out in Newport|
|Angels clap back at Manfred´s marketing comments on Trout|
|Titans DL Casey will still protest despite new anthem policy|
|Popovich on Leonard trade: It´s time to move on|
18 de julio 2018
|Zola returns to Chelsea as Sarri´s assistant|
|Anthony Joshua targets ´dream´ fight in Texas|
|Celtic 3 Alashkert 0 (6-0 agg): Dembele hits brace before injury worry|
|Schwartzman stumbles but Spanish duo reach last eight at Swedish Open|
|Top seeds progress in Bucharest as Larsson conquers Kung|
|Perez promises ´incredible´ signings at Real Madrid|
|Liverpool need a top goalkeeper - Souness|
|It was just an absolute car crash - Root regrets bat-drop celebration|
|Mourinho´s pre-season fears mount with Sanchez sidelined|
|Alisson thanks Roma fans ahead of rumoured Liverpool switch|
|Pogba must understand his World Cup heroics, says Mourinho|
|Odriozola excited by Lopetegui reunion at Real Madrid|
|Revis announces retirement from NFL after 11 seasons|
|The Open 2018 diary: Rahm´s saving Grace, Rory´s going grey|
|Kawhi Leonard traded to Raptors as DeMar DeRozan heads to Spurs|
|Cantona, Rosberg and other surprise retirements after Warburton hangs up his boots|
|No doubting Thomas as he climbs into yellow with stage win|
|Liverpool´s Oxlade-Chamberlain to miss ´vast majority´ of 2018-19|
|Open Championship by far the greatest - Player|
|Sarri wants new central midfielder and hints at Chelsea stay for Cahill|
|Nantes sign former Manchester United full-back Fabio|
|Marcelino rewarded with one-year Valencia extension|
|Warburton retires: Bale leads social media tributes to Welsh great|
|Mistakes do not define me, says Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Saints and Tigers to honour Horne with Twickenham clash|
|I want to keep Hazard, says Sarri|
|Europe must stop American juggernaut at Carnoustie|
|Joshua planning for heavyweight ´legacy´ – starting with Povetkin|
|Warburton retires: Wales and Lions star´s career in numbers|
|Matching ´ridiculous´ Tiger not on McIlroy´s radar|
|Spain sent me World Cup SOS, claims Benitez|
|Ozil, Gundogan critics should ´shut up´ - Klopp|
|McIlroy plans to play carefree at Carnoustie|
|Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe to secure series win|
|Warburton retires: Gatland salutes Wales and Lions great|
|Sturridge determined to stay at Liverpool|
|Mbappe is an alien – Varane|
|Warburton retires from rugby|
|India to assess Bhuvneshwar as Bumrah makes Test squad|
|Injured Craddock passes $100,000 in donations at Tour de France|
|WATCH: Perez taunts team-mate after audacious training goal|
|Alison Becker tweets ´I´m joining Liverpool´... but all is not as it seems|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton chasing down Schumacher - German GP in numbers|
|Notorious Carnoustie holds fond memories for legendary Watson|