Kasey Keller acknowledges that, by joining Spurs last summer, he was effectively playing poker with his World Cup place.
The USA keeper signed on during last pre-season after leaving Spanish outfit Rayo Vallecano. But, given the season that Neil Sullivan had just enjoyed, it was always going to be unlikely that Kasey would find a starting position easy to come by - hardly ideal in a World Cup year.
Kasey reasons that he could have gone elsewhere, been pretty sure of a first team place and also secure in the knowledge that he would have featured in Japan and South Korea.
He chose an alternative route.
"I knew I'd be in the squad, I pretty much knew that," reflected Kasey. "It was just a matter of if I was going to be able to go into the starting role.
"I think what it was, if I was a couple of years older, I think I would have just gone somewhere where I knew I was going to play, and play in the World Cup and be happy with that."
For Kasey, returning to the familiar surroundings of London was putting his family first.
"But I think the risk of going to a Besiktas, or some place like that where, if it didn't work out or my family hated it, if September 11 happens and I'm not really sure if I want to be there was too great.
"My only option at that stage would have been to return to the USA and at 31-32 I don't think I was ready for that.
"Coming back to England and a club like Spurs I thought, 'okay, let's just give it a shot'.
"The World Cup is a bonus. I've played in World Cups, and if I break in and the manager is happy with that, then fantastic. If I don't, we'll just see what happens."