Episode 236: What is wrong with Argentina?

The two hundred and thirty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Peter convene to discuss the recent World Cup qualifying double-header: like the midfield on Tuesday night in Córdoba, there’s not an Argentine in sight. We give our thoughts on two bafflingly below-par performances which saw Argentina gain just one point and lose a home World Cup qualifier for the fourth time ever, consider which names we would (and wouldn’t) like to see in the national team setup, and more. And at the end, Peter provides his predictions of what will happen in this weekend’s Primera matches, because Sam forgot to ask any listeners to do the same.

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Mystic Peter’s sixth round predictions (two weeks ago Mystic Liam got 8/15)
Defensa y Justicia v Banfield
Belgrano v Aldosivi
Vélez v Colón
Atl. Rafaela v Racing
Huracán v Temperley
Estudiantes v Central
San Martín v Talleres
Independiente v Atl. Tucumán
Lanús v Godoy Cruz
Olimpo v Tigre
Boca v Sarmiento
Newell’s v Gimnasia
Arsenal v San Lorenzo
Patronato v River
Unión v Quilmes

Episode 155: Bianchi sacked, River go top, Di María’s star showing for Argentina & more

The hundred and fifty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod is a rather long one, because we’ve had a lot to cover; Sam, Peter and Andrés are joined by a special guest, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sebastian Hassett, who’s been touring South America since the World Cup finished. We have two rounds of domestic action to look back on since the last episode, and those have included the sacking by Boca Juniors of Carlos Bianchi, their victory (and impressive performance) over Vélez Sarsfield in the first match of new man Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s spell in charge, River Plate going top of the table with another couple of very good showings, Tigre manager Fabián Alegre finally being sacked after a year of solid defending but disappointing attacking… oh, and also a few Copa Sudamericana games, the Avellaneda clásico in which Independiente beat Racing 2-1, and the small matter of an Ángel Di María-inspired Argentina thrashing Germany 4-2 in Düsseldorf on Wednesday – we take it as an excuse to discuss the impact he could have for Manchester United, as well as looking at how Gerardo Martino’s Argentina might be made up.

Mystic Sam’s predictions for the sixth round are below. Don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s sixth round predictions
Atlético v Gimnasia
Vélez v Newell’s
Estudiantes v Belgrano
Banfield v Independiente
Central v San Lorenzo
Godoy Cruz v Defensa y Justicia
Racing v Lanús
River v Tigre
Olimpo v Boca
Quilmes v Arsenal

Episode 148: Alfredo Di Stéfano RIP & previewing Argentina’s World Cup semi-final

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.

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Episode 147: Independiente are back & everything you need to know about Argentina at the World Cup!

The hundred-and-forty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod is a very long one, we admit; but not without reason! Sam, Peter, Andrés and German Dan begin by looking at Independiente’s return to the Primera following a mildly controversial 2-0 victory over Huracán in a tie-breaker to decide third place on Wednesday afternoon. After that brief starter, we dig into the main course which, of course, is Argentina at the Brazil 2014 World Cup; whether Lionel Messi can step it up, who the other main players will be, how they’ll most likely line up, what lessons we could take from the friendlies and a lot more. There’s more time than usual given over to listeners’ questions, before as a dessert we have a brief chat about what we think of a few of the other nations. Enjoy.

We might be back after the group stages to sum up Argentina’s tournament so far (well, hopefully it’ll be ‘so far’), but there are no definite plans; the next time you’re certain to hear us will be ahead of the new championship, which starts on this first weekend of August. You can subscribe on iTunes or on Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Episode 97: Argentina edge closer to a World Cup place, and back to domestic matters

In the ninety-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Joel are joined (eventually) by Daniel Schweimler, another Englishman in Buenos Aires, who runs the Hand Of Dan blog looking at Argentine society through the prism of life on the terraces of Argentinos Juniors. We discuss Argentina’s impressive World Cup qualifying results (a 3-0 win over Venezuela followed by a 1-1 draw away to Bolivia) in reverse order, before briefly previewing a weekend packed full of clásicos – not least Guest Dan’s Argentinos v All Boys. Listener’s questions range from Argentinos Juniors to, um, Argentina’s senior national team. What variety.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions are below the line, and you can subscribe to us on iTunes by clicking here.

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