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.
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|
|Kovac expects tough test against AEK Athens|
|Whyte gives Chisora deadline over rematch|
|Spartak Moscow sack Massimo Carrera|
|Atletico Madrid confirm fresh injury issue for Gimenez|
|Dolberg extends Ajax contract after Real Madrid links|
|Ronaldo an example for Lukaku to follow|
|Bertens battles back to blast past Kerber|
|Ramos apologises for training ground fracas|
|Raikkonen should take heed of Alonso misfortune as F1 career winds down|
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Mandzukic to miss Manchester United trip|
|I turned down Manchester United to return to Juventus - Bonucci|
|Sanchez out of Manchester United´s clash with Juventus|
|Australia make Short work of run chase in T20 win|
|Brotherly g-love! Tommy Fury follows Tyson into the pros|
|Ozil´s international retirement can help Arsenal - Emery|
|If you sack Lopetegui, you have to sack us all – Isco|
|Lopetegui defiant amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|Sri Lanka spinner Herath to retire after Galle Test|
|Ronaldo returns for Old Trafford welcome amid disquieting noise|
|Garcia claims third Andalucia Valderrama Masters title|
|Ex-England international Waldrom retires|
|´Massive personality´ Hart can lift Burnley, says Kompany|
|Liverpool felt wrath of ´emotional´ Klopp, says Shaqiri|
|Reid: Jenkins capitalised on Kaepernick movement|
|Manchester United v Juventus: Ronaldo out to end dismal scoring record against Mourinho|
|Injured Ribery to miss Bayern´s clash with AEK|
|Wilshere would have stayed at Arsenal under Wenger|
|Mahomes stars again as Chiefs crush Bengals|
|Bolt must accept ´much less´ to join Mariners, says A-League chief|
|Klopp compares Liverpool to dog without favourite toy|
|Young leads Hawks to first win, Thunder fall in Westbrook´s return|
|Spalletti hits out at physical Milan – I had three players asking to be replaced|
|Cowboys, Ravens lose after missed kicks in final seconds|
|Hernangomez secures Nuggets´ win over Warriors with last-second block|
|Hasler returns to Manly on three-year deal|
|Sarri: Chelsea fans must respect Mourinho|
|Ronaldo learnt from Scholes – Pjanic praises Juventus star|
|CA dismisses spot-fixing claims|
|WATCH: Will Ferrell leads chants with LAFC fans|
|MLS Review: Galaxy on track for play-offs as Timbers, DC clinch spots|
|Elliott secures win at Hollywood Casino 400|
|Thunder´s Westbrook makes season debut against Kings|
|Saints beat Ravens after Tucker misses extra point|
|Rondo, Paul and Ingram banned after Lakers-Rockets fight|
|Saints QB Brees reaches another historic milestone|
|Biglia: VAR should have checked Nainggolan tackle|
|Gattuso not blaming Donnarumma for derby defeat|
|Seventh in Mexico will secure Hamilton´s fifth world title|
|Rooney fires DC United into MLS play-offs|
|Alonso slams ´amateur´ F1 rivals after latest crash|
|Spalletti fears lengthy Nainggolan absence|
|To the Max! Verstappen destroyed shoe fending off Hamilton|
|Icardi delight after Donnarumma error gives him another derby winner for Inter|
|Guardiola: Versatility the key for Stones|
|Vettel frustrated as mistakes continue to hamper title challenge|
|ECB refutes spot-fixing claims against England players|
|I thought we would do better - Hamilton queries Mercedes strategy|
|Inter 1 AC Milan 0: Icardi settles derby with dramatic late winner|
|Hamilton denied title party as Raikkonen wins in Austin|
|Patriots RB Michel out against Bears with gruesome knee injury|
|Kohli hails Rohit partnership after comprehensive India victory|