Football: Dominguez delights Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Derby County 0


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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago