The English press in particular, often the first to point the finger of blame at the country's supposed third-world academy set-ups, never seem to do themselves any favours - yet the ammunition is often provided by those on the playing field. Prior to the Three Lions' disastrous World Cup campaign in 2014, then-Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana was asked a simple run-of-the-mill question during a weekly press conference.
It was not a difficult poser, as such, but instead one that English hopefuls in the Premier League can expect to be asked time and again in the run-up to any major tournament. The answer provided by Lallana, however, presented a springboard for the press pack to pounce on.
"He's got such a level head on his shoulders and is so grounded," the Saints product said, offering a typically choreographed answer when asked about the form of his club teammate Luke Shaw. "He's an outstanding talent and one of the best - probably the best - I have ever seen at 18."
You can never read too much into on-the-spot responses like the one provided by Lallana on this occasion, but this at the time seemed particularly striking. Shaw, remember, was still a young player with just a handful of eye-catching performances under his belt. Not, as his compatriot would have you believe, the "best" 18-year-old on the planet.
That did not stop Manchester United, of course, who were happy to make the three-cap England international the world's fourth-most expensive defender. Only David Luiz and Thiago Silva, signed by moneybags Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Rio Ferdinand, could boast having a more substantial price tag.
Hindsight tells us that Shaw's time at Old Trafford thus far has been somewhat mixed - a slow debut campaign being followed up by a more promising start to his second term at the Theatre of Dreams, before being cruelly struck down by injury. Only time will tell whether the potential fee of £31,000,000 splashed out to land him from Southampton will indeed turn out to be good value for money.
Shaw is just one high-profile example, but there are countless other similar cases in the recent past. In the space of one international game, a certain Andros Townsend - deemed surplus to requirements by Tottenham Hotspur last month - was transformed from an up-and-coming wide player into the nation's great hope; the wildcard who would surely make a difference in Brazil.
A glorious goal against Montenegro on his debut in late 2013 sparked the latest media frenzy. We had interviews with the winger's family and closest friends; school teachers soon followed providing more of an insight into the latest next big thing; countless background features penned ("Six things you most definitely didn't know about this Spurs star"); and exclusive interviews just to emphasis the rise to prominence.
Again, injury issues have not been kind to Townsend during his development over the past two years, but would anyone argue that he has stagnated, or even gone backwards, since that vital strike at Wembley some 29 months ago now? The latest stand-out example of over-the-top hype centred around another young midfielder, this time from West Ham United's famed academy - Reece Oxford.
Oxford enjoyed an impressive enough debut against Arsenal on the opening day of the campaign, which inevitably led to the double-page spreads in national newspapers. A youngster breaking through the ranks is no longer considered merely sports news; instead it is now deemed worthy of general news - something that simply must be read to be believed.
This is without touching upon the infamous 'Golden Generation', too - a group of English youngsters spearheaded by David Beckham who were destined to lead the nation to glory once more. Failure to qualify for Euro 2008 proved to be the nadir, leading to much ridicule from wider circles.
Neymar, for example, is already setting the world alight at one year his senior. David Alaba (23), Raphael Varane (22), Koke (23), Alvaro Morata (23), Isco (23), Hakan Calhanoglu (21), Marco Verratti (23), William Carvalho (23), Mauro Icardi (22), Felipe Anderson (22) and Anthony Martial (20) are all technically more superior players.
Different positions in some cases, granted, and also perhaps unfair to compare directly due to different leagues. But the point here is that England still have some way to go before certain players can justifiably claim the label of being a superstar. Only this week we were told of the 'New Dele Alli' at Coventry City, who was supposedly being coveted by a handful of Premier League clubs. Not even Dele Alli is Dele Alli quite yet.
This is not to say that England do not have reasons to be optimistic for the future, of course. The aforementioned Alli is on the right track to making something of his talents, while Spurs teammate Harry Kane can be happy with his season to date following on from his remarkable rise last time out.
Joe Hart can also argue his case for being among the top five or six goalkeepers in the world, and many will also suggest that Wayne Rooney has plenty more to offer despite his dwindling goal tally. So how does this all link in to Wales, then? Well, it can be justifiably argued that two of the hottest British talents of the past few years are not actually English at all.
Gareth Bale followed up a dream debut campaign at Read Madrid, where he was made the world's most costly player, with a more mediocre showing last term. It appears as though the former Spurs man has got his Bernabeu career back on track of late, though, and can stake his claim among the globe's elite.
Aaron Ramsey, too, is also one of the most technically gifted midfield men in the top flight right now, which makes it unsurprising to see his name linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Barcelona of late. Both Bale and Ramsey were never touted as the next big thing when working their way through the ranks at Football League level, with both instead being given a chance to develop before making their respective moves to London.
Another generation of players will no doubt depressingly head down the same road as those before them, suffocated by the pressure to live up to the hype of becoming 'the next Delle Ali'
Far from that, in fact, Bale was instead often the subject of ridicule due to his inability to find himself on the winning side during his early days in his new surroundings. Ramsey, on the other hand, was so often the brunt of blame at Arsenal despite the likes of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott being given a free pass for equally mediocre displays.
Ramsey has now usurped Wilshere in a remarkable fashion, and appears to be one of Arsenal's biggest assets. Wales skipper Ashley Williams had to fight hard to earn a place in the Premier League, as did Joe Allen, both of whom played their part in Swansea City's rags-to-riches rise to the big time.
Both now have top-flight experience under their belts, yet both will no doubt head to the Euros this summer almost as unknown quantities. These players have not been pressured into producing world-class showings on a weekly basis from a young age, but instead allowed to do their own thing.
England will head to France backed by many as one of the handful of teams able to go all the way, despite containing a squad comparatively weaker to the world's elite. But who is to blame: The media? The fans? The players? In truth, it all comes down to the collective idea that these players are not given the platform to blossom in their own time.
Those previous comments made by Lallana may have just been standard throw-away quote fodder, but it just goes to show that another generation of players will no doubt depressingly head down the same road as those before them, suffocated by the pressure to live up to the hype of becoming 'the next Delle Ali'.
England are the masters of building up expectation, when instead realism is more often than not needed. Wales, you feel, can capitalise on that come June 16 in what will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated matches in both nations' long histories.