So, David Cameron finally has the chance to form his Cabinet on his terms, with the first this country has seen since John Major. Who's in? Who's made the cut? Who's function is what? The best way to illustrate a part of what we may expect in the coming years is observed below, with explanation following the 2014 transfer season and squad reshuffle. Think of it as a political gameplan. The Tory line-up 2015. Or my favourite; Crosby's Babes.
David Cameron - Striker (Captain)
The PM takes the reigns of his ensemble, captioning from the front. Interestingly our electoral process in it's bid to Americanise has admittedly placed a large focus on the man running, with Cameron's leadership constantly setting the tone for the party's public perception. Be it through instilled 'passion' or calm demeanour, he'll look to prove to the country why he was elected, as well as convincing those that didn't have anything to do with it, as whispered from preliminary echoes from the first Cabinet meeting. Not much controversy in Cameron's aim to score points and figurehead strategy and 'humble' acceptance of celebration.
Boris Johnson - Centre Forward/Free Role
Boris finds himself in the unique position of the inside forward. The position more popular last century than ours, the holder has a 'free role' with two attacking choices - abide by his placement as a supporting striker, charged with supplementing attack and directing the ball toward the main striker Cameron to finish with ease. Or utilising creative and unorthodox skills usually existing in this player, picking up the ball and riding on his own merit, take it and score in style to the jubilation of erupting sports fans. Boris will need to decide what his purpose in this government is. Cameron did call him his 'star striker', keen to include him in the Cabinet with a non-Ministerial role presumably until he passes along his Mayorship. Until then, Cameron will find new opportunities through Boris' playmaking charm but must remain wary of the tempting desire to seek individual glory at his expense. The dark side of the ambitious competitor.
George Osbourne - Centre Attacking Midfielder (Vice-Captain)
Make no mistake, The reprising Chancellor and newly appointed second-in-command is the tip of the diamond formation. Cameron emphasised the urgency of winning an election which sends Osbourne back to his desk principally because of the dependency the economic agenda has on his vision. Sitting at the heart of the pitch, each major Cabinet Minster will have to pay their regards, seeking the ball only if and when he budgets it for them. Ideally placed to work with Cameron, Osbourne will feel free-er in his position without coalition restrictive tactics (perhaps the most liberated position) with the ability to begin each attack of play with every Budget. Osbourne will look to shine this term and expect internal receptiveness to his short and long term moves and passes.
Lynton Crosby - Holding Midfielder / Defensive Mastermind
If Osbourne is the tip of the diamond, Crosby is it's heart. Placing himself at a position of total control, to the temporary frustration of his Ministerial chess pieces, Crosby sees all. He sits overseeing the attacking policy mechanism, being aware of potential conflict zones and deploys the ball to those he analyses as able to carry it forward. Ruthless, he wins election tournaments with decisive counter-attack, working on the weak link of the opponent and punishing them for it. He was criticised for negative focus on Ed Miliband but that is why he is there. Crosby knows which players to spin and which lines to draw as he seeks to co-ordinate the attack of his fellow team-mates. Don't see the end of the election as the end of Crosby - the player-coach can lead from the sidelines and when needed, will substitute himself on from the shadows of enemy lines.
Michael Gove & Sajid Javid - Side Midfielders
Two proven wingers able to penetrate defensive lines with either sharp pace or rock-hard strength. Both will also contribute key policy and will be expected to do the necessary legwork to reach Cameron and present the fruits of their Labour for final finesse. New Justice Secretary Gove begins the assault on the left flank with Human Rights Reform, undoing New Labour's attempt to establish an ethical constitutional bedrock and the liberal democrat attempts to stall the inevitable. Gove will need all his trickery to succeed, side-stepping-over lawyers and constitutional experts alike to lob the Nation a better draft Bill of Rights than we have seen previously. New Business Secretary Sajid Javid may be less feral, but the 'Osbourne protégé' will have to tackle the in/out issue head on with real-life corporate skills albeit from someone still waiting for the fans to come up with a chant for him. Look out for the unlikely position-morph from the player who doesn't appear to fit the mould.
Grayling, Hammond, Teresa May and Iain Duncan Smith - Defence
Cameron will rely on his dependable centre backs to hold the fort, Work and Pensions Secretary Smith and Home Secretary May are weathered veterans knowing the ins and outs of their respective roles, and having survived some fairly direct attacks in their time. They will be seen as sources of stability as the other highest ranking Ministers to retain their positions. They find themselves somewhat in the first third of the game based upon personality and public response, IDS's unpopularity is not unprecedented but damning for a previous leading figure of the party. Cameron will expect loyalty from the solid centre backs as well as input in setting in motion the waves of attack. The wing-backs will be used to supplement attack when needed, but are still adjusting to new squad roles - Grayling has been demoted to Leader of the Commons whilst Hammond's recent appointment to Foreign Secretary in 2014 has not warranted raised eyebrows nor has it proved esential in reaction to any particular international affairs. The big beasts will need time but no doubt will enjoy bombing up and down the wings when match fit.
Mark Harper - Goalkeeper
Finally is goalkeeper Mark Harper, who will need full focus to maintain his front line and back-benchers are working well together. Discipline and internal cohesion is down to his ability, and all importantly he will have to whip into line out-of-position MPs in order to prevent the repetition of backbencher revolt - own goal. Harper will need to show strength in enforcing the line, agility in how flexible his bargaining power is and vision in predicting errors, as well as their margins. He sets the framework for a defensive formation capable of fatal attack.