Football: Dominguez delights Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Derby County 0

MATT TENCH

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Derby County 0

The clearest indication of Tottenham's current travails comes as you approach their ground, in the names emblazoned on the backs of a thousand replica shirts. There are none. For while the continued rebuilding of White Hart Lane may eventually produce stands fit for heroes, the work in progress on the team is having great difficulty producing any.

After half an hour of this game it was easy to see why. The visitors were comfortably in charge and fans who once thrilled to Gascoigne, Hoddle and Waddle were forced to admire the passing patterns created by opponents such as Carsley, Burton and Hunt.

Tottenham's two costly summer signings brought little solace. Les Ferdinand put himself about with customary gusto without ever threatening to dominate, while David Ginola, more galling than gallic, appeared intent on finding a hundred ways to be dispossessed inside his own half. Ginola's most telling contribution was to hurt his shoulder, an injury which saw his departure and the arrival of Jose Dominguez. At that moment the game changed.

Dominguez's arrival from Sporting Lisbon on the eve of the new season was overshadowed by Chelsea's capture of Graeme Le Saux the same day, but given that his previous employment in England had been with Barry Fry's Birmingham City, it was hardly surprising that he was not immediately tipped as a Spurs saviour.

Gerry Francis had been tracking his progress for some time, though, and with Dominguez having missed all the pre-season training, the Spurs manager rushed him through three reserve games in the last 11 days. Francis later suggested his new recruit was still not fully fit, which makes you wonder what he will do to defences when he is.

The Portuguese international was a revelation. Playing behind the two strikers he was constantly hungry for the ball, blindingly quick to turn away from his marker and always eager to find more players to beat. A succession of Derby defenders went into the book as they attempted to shackle him, and it was from one of the resulting free-kicks, glided in by Andy Sinton and headed home by Colin Calderwood, that Spurs scored the game's only goal.

"He's a little bit more than a winger, he's a modern day winger in that he can roam everywhere and pick the ball up anywhere," Francis said. For his part Dominguez, who wanted to return to English football because of the atmosphere - "at Sporting you have two, three big games a season, here it's every game,"- felt he was a better player than at St Andrew's. "I was a teenager at Birmingham. I was very young. Sometimes I hold on to the ball a bit too much," he said.

Dominguez is a perfect illustration of the attraction of foreigners. At 23 he cost just over pounds 1.5m, a price that may make him the bargain of the summer. Francis himself made the comparison with Trevor Sinclair, an uncapped Englishman who would probably have cost more than pounds 5m.

The debutant, whose stature makes it inevitable that he will henceforth be known as diminutive, also won a penalty in the closing seconds when his pace proved too much even for the otherwise excellent Igor Stimac.

It was perhaps fitting that it was blasted over by David Howells because, Dominguez apart, much of the rest of Spurs' play was disappointing. Derby missed the cutting edge of Aljoso Asanovic, who should return this week, and the finishing power of Dean Sturridge, who played for half an hour but was clearly not match fit. They were a little unlucky to suffer a second successive defeat, but simply had no answer to Dominguez.

"We're calling Jose, Joe," Francis said. No ordinary Joe, it would seem.

Goal: Calderwood (45) 1-0.

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-1-2): Walker; Calderwood, Scales, Edinburgh; Carr, Howells, Clemence, Sinton (Neilsen, 76); Ginola (Dominguez, 33); Ferdinand, Iversen. Substitutes not used: Baardsen (gk), Fox, Mabbutt.

Derby County (3-5-2): Poom; Dailly, Stimac, Laursen; Eranio, Hunt (Solis, 72), Van der Laan (D Powell, 72), Carsley, C Powell; Burton (Sturridge, 60), Ward. Substitutes not used: Hoult (gk), Rowett.

Referee: M Bodenham (Cornwall).

Bookings: Tottenham: Nielsen, Edinburgh. Derby: Laursen, Eranio, Carsley, Stimac.

Man of the match: Dominguez.

Attendance: 25,886.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea