No one can accuse Stuart Pearce of lacking optimism. The England Under-21 coach was unveiled yesterday as manager of the GB Olympic football team and at his inaugural press conference he suggested he will have no problem in choosing exactly who he wants for his squad next August.
"The players will dictate their availability. I think they will be very, very excited and will dictate to their clubs whether they play or not," he said.
Good luck with that, Stu.
The Olympic football competition has never resonated in this country, largely because political in-fighting between the home FAs has, since 1960, precluded a GB side from entering. For the football press here it is largely reckoned an irrelevance, a pointless addition to the calendar, a laughable furring up of the schedule.
You could tell how much it means to the public, too, by the numbers of us queuing up to watch. While the big Olympic events like the 100 metres or the beach volleyball were over-subscribed, there are still two million tickets left unsold for the men's and women's football competition.
The giant stands at Hampden, Wembley and the Millennium stadium could look horribly empty next summer unless there is a serious and speedy uptake of tickets. And the only way that will happen is if there is a possibility of a competitive GB side containing a couple of names of which the general public might have heard.
Which was largely the reason behind Friday morning's "FA clears way for Rooney to play for Team GB" headlines. The FA stated that there would be no restriction on a player turning out in both the Euros and the Olympics, "clearing the way" for players like Theo Walcott, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jack Wilshere to be selected in both competitions. Plus Rooney as one of the three over-23 players allowed in each squad.
We got an indication of how likely that will be from Sir Alex Ferguson's response at his media briefing on Friday ahead of the Manchester derby. "Players need rest," he said, bluntly.
The last thing he wants is for his players to have exhausted themselves in two competitions before the domestic season has even kicked off. The Euros are bad enough, but another one as well before the Community Shield has even taken place? Do him a favour.
Whatever Pearce's assertion that club managers will regard the Olympic tournament as not much more than a couple of glorified friendlies in which they can get their players match fit for the privations ahead, his chances of Ferguson, Wenger and Villas-Boas cheerfully allowing any of their players who have already been away during the close season in Polkraine playing in the Olympics are minimal. Actually they are not even that. They are zero.
It is not exactly clear from where Pearce gets the idea that if such players as Wilshere, Walcott and Rooney fancy having a stab at a gold medal they will be able to tell their clubs to release them for action.
Players don't dictate to their pay masters their playing schedule and they never have. They take their orders and get on with things. Not even Carlos Tevez managed to get away with that one.
We can safely say that next summer no one picked for England for the Euros will be available to Pearce. And worse for him, those from the other home nations who might otherwise be open to selection will have to battle with their own administrators for a chance to play.
If the Welsh FA decides that, such is their antipathy to a GB side, they will punish Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey for joining in by banning them from future access to the Welsh jersey, or the Scots do the same for Darren Fletcher and Charlie Adam, it will be a difficult choice.
On the one hand, they could be missing out on the only major international finals of their lives. On the other, a dispute with their national FA would bring them untold personal grief.
The chances are, then, that Pearce will being looking at a collection of also-rans and wannabes, the juniors and the otherwise unselected for his squad. Plus a couple of Dad's Army additions - David Beckham and Ryan Giggs most likely - foisted on him in the vain hope of shifting a few tickets.
"I don't feel obliged to pick anybody," he said, when the notion that he must go with Beckham as skipper for PR reasons was put to him. "I will look at form and fitness of individuals to have a good tilt at winning it."
And good luck with that too, Stu.
The fact is you are now saddled with steering a team through a competition which has subverted and twisted the trait generally ascribed to Millwall supporters: no one likes it, nor do they much care.