Alejandro Sabella, who managed Argentina to the final of the 2014 World Cup, died on Tuesday. In this week’s Hand Of Pod, Sam, Santi, Tony, English Dan and Andrés begin by looking back on his life in football, before reviewing the action over the last week in the various Copas – Diego Maradona, Libertadores and Sudamericana – that Argentine sides are involved in at present.
One story dominates the hundred-and-fiftieth episode of Hand Of Pod, and we make no apologies for it: Sam and Andrés mark a landmark episode with discussion of Julio Grondona’s exit from his position as head of the Argentine FA, which came to pass in the manner he frequently said it would; in a coffin. The FIFA Vice-President died on Wednesday afternoon, and we ask what the consequences will be for the AFA and for FIFA. If you don’t believe in speaking ill of the dead, you might want to avoid this one. We also congratulate San Lorenzo on reaching their first ever Copa Libertadores final, ask whether outgoing Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella was the man who killed Grondona (sort of), and answer a few listeners’ questions. Thanks to all our listeners for helping us reach this milestone; here’s to another 150 episodes!
The hundred-and-forty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Gustavo look back on the semi-final and final of Argentina’s World Cup campaign, and on the tournament as a whole from the Argentine perspective. What went wrong, what went right, what could have better and more. We ask whether Lionel Messi had a good or a bad tournament, look at the reasons for his attacking colleagues not firing on all cylinders, and consider what might have been in the final. We also turn our attention to some names for the future, and consider how Argentina’s squad for the next World Cup, in Russia 2018, might look. At the time of posting, Alejandro Sabella hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he’ll continue in charge, but we also consider the good job he’s done so far, and ask who might take over if he does decide to go.
The hundred-and-forty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod was convened to discuss Argentina’s historic qualification for their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, but before we get on to that, we have to begin by bidding farewell to Alfredo Di Stéfano, whose arrival in Madrid in 1953 changed the history of European football. Sam, Peter and Santi are joined by Argentine football historian Esteban Bekerman, who provides a unique perspective on Di Stéfano’s place in Argentina’s football culture and tells us how his game developed from the early years as a fast-paced centre forward at Huracán and River Plate to become perhaps the greatest all-round player who ever kicked a ball. After that, we look at Argentina’s World Cup campaign so far; perhaps underwhelming performance-wise, but undoubtedly successful already given they’ve finally got past the barrier of the quarter-finals after so long waiting for a return to the semis. As listeners will realise towards the end, this episode was recorded before that astonishing Brazil 1-7 Germany first semi-final.
The hundred-and-twenty-second episode of Hand Of Pod gave us a lot to talk about, and it was quite an achievement to have got the final thing down to an hour and a half. Santi hosts in his new home for the first time, and Sam is also joined by German/Chinese/Relevant Dan and HOP debutant Jonathan Gilbert, author of a recent New York Times piece previewing this weekend’s clásico rosarino. We discuss Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign and what they need to improve between now and Brazil 2014, before looking back over a weekend of surprises in the league and asking whether Newell’s Old Boys already have the title sewn up. As already mentioned, Newell’s play their bitter enemies Rosario Central this weekend, and we also preview the return to the Primera of perhaps the country’s most passionate derby.
As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions are below. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to us on iTunes (other podcast services are available).
Mystic Sam’s twelfth round predictions
Quilmes v Rafaela
Argentinos v Estudiantes
Racing v Vélez
Gimnasia v Olimpo
Colón v Lanús
San Lorenzo v All Boys
Tigre v Arsenal
Central v Newell’s
River v Belgrano
Godoy Cruz v Boca
The hundred-and-seventeenth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Joel and Andrés discussing Argentina’s confirmation of their place in the Brazil 2014 World Cup, courtesy of an historic 5-2 away win over Paraguay on Tuesday night. After that, we move on to review a surprise-filled weekend of Torneo Inicial action which saw Mystic Sam get only one prediction correct. River Plate’s attack finally clicked (as did Olimpo’s), Racing avoided defeat, Newell’s were tonked by Vélez Sarsfield and more. Independiente also managed their first win in the B on Monday evening, a fact we completely forgot to mention even in passing. There’s always next week…
As usual, you’ll find Mystic Sam’s recommendations of what to absolutely, definitely not bet on this weekend below. And you can click here if you still haven’t subscribed to us on iTunes, and want to.
Mystic Sam’s predictions
Lanús v Argentinos
Belgrano v Vélez
All Boys v Quilmes
Newell’s v Olimpo
San Lorenzo v Godoy Cruz
Rafaela v Estudiantes
Tigre v Central
Boca v Racing
Arsenal v River
Gimnasia v Colón
The eighty-first episode of Hand Of Pod is another bumper one, with a look back on Argentina’s 3-0 dispatching of Uruguay last Friday and Tuesday’s hard-fought 2-1 win away to Chile, as well as the main World Cup qualifying results in the rest of the CONMEBOL region, including an impressive Radamel Falcao García- and James Rodríguez-inspired win over Paraguay for Colombia. We then move on to the domestic scene, where the main story is Juan Antonio Pizzi’s confirmation as San Lorenzo manager, before answering a veritable barrage of listeners’ questions. Next week: the superclásico preview. Enjoy!
Episode 80 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Joel welcome guest Ed Malyon to Buenos Aires, and in a bumper episode we go through last weekend’s Torneo Inicial action – which included a woeful loss for Boca Juniors, a very impressive win for leaders Newell’s Old Boys and a thumping 5-0 victory for River Plate against Godoy Cruz. We also answer listeners’ questions on the sons of ex players coming through club youth ranks and more, and cast our eyes over Argentina’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers – at home to Uruguay on Friday and away to Chile on Tuesday. Enjoy.
The seventy-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod is a sad affair, being as it is Australian Dan’s final appearance as a full HOP-er. As well as discussing this momentous event, we also find time for less important things, such as Argentina’s latest World Cup qualifying double-header and last weekend’s league action, which saw none of the top NINE win their matches, and in particular a brilliant 3-3 draw between River Plate and Newell’s Old Boys. We also, of course, have the last ever Mystic Dan. Enjoy.
Don’t forget, you can subscribe to us on iTunes, and you’ll find Mystic Dan’s predictions below the ‘Continue reading’ line.
The sixty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan meet to discuss Tigre’s impressive win over San Lorenzo in Sunday’s big relegation clash, and where it leaves both sides in the relegation table, as well as those around them. We also discuss Boca Juniors’ slip-up in drawing 1-1 away to Banfield, Alejandro Sabella’s charge of Argentina and Lionel Messi’s brilliant hat trick against Brazil on Saturday, River Plate going top of Nacional B with two games to go before the end of the season, and all the title race talk from the Primera, as well as looking at the Nacional B relegation struggle. There are some very silly listeners’ questions this week, but we answer them anyway.
As usual, you’ll find Mystic Dan’s eighteenth round predictions below, and if you want to subscribe to us on iTunes, you can click here.