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

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager - Events, Digital, Offline

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable