Logistically this makes sense but it certainly is not the simple way of looking at the Mishna. that means this principle of intention is so important that the Gemara is willing to interpret the mishna in an very un-obvious way to make it work out right.--also because of the later Mishna.
This is like in Shabat where we require thought work ["melechet machshevet"] to be liable.
But at this point we have to ask, What kind of intention makes one liable? Clearly it can't be to consider the idol to be a creator. No ancient gods were creators. They all found some preexisting substance to form the world from. Rather they had spiritual powers. And this seems to be the most simple basic intention one needs to be liable for idolatry. To bring some kind of sacrifice, or to burn incense or to pour a libation or to bow or to serve according to his way to a person that one thinks has spiritual powers in order to gain some benefit or in order to get closer to God [as per the Rambam on Perek Chelek].
I would venture a guess that the Geon from Villna might have thought that the chasidm of his time had crossed the line from monotheism towards polytheism.
So however I can see many people that get involved in Breslov seems to make a tzadik the center of their attention and this troubles me because of the idolatry problem