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.
The win gave Gareth Southgate's side the ideal start in their bid to qualify from Group G and are next in action on Sunday, when they take on tournament debutants Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.
"We are proud of each other", Kane said after the Three Lions started a major tournament with a win for the first time since 2006.
"We've has no problems", he said.
He told me that if every Arsenal fan who has told him they were there that night had actually been there, the stadium would have been filled five times over.
On nearly every occasion in recent memory, England's pre-tournament positivity has been swiftly punctured by a lacklustre opening display devoid of vim and vigour.
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The only time the ball was in midfield was when it was passing through to either end, with the teams combined for 18 shots. Javier Hernandez raced clear from the halfway line before picking out Lozano on the left.
The team has been transformed by Southgate since then.
Fewer England fans made the journey to watch their team's first World Cup match in Russian Federation than some expected, but one made a special effort, sailing from Bulgaria to Volgograd on a yacht.
Lukaku scored a brace to break the resistance of a fearless Panama side on their World Cup debut.
Asked about the England attendance he said he felt they may have been put off by media stories.
Such considered tutelage coupled with the promise at his disposal has brought encouragement ahead of the World Cup, but it is underpinned by common sense.
"There've been so many first games where England have bottled it but finally to turn it around - brilliant". They were winless in their last seven World Cup opening matches, winning just two and drawing the rest.
"We talked about this with the players at St George's Park over the last few weeks before coming to Russian Federation. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us".