Episode 353: Boca frustrate River in the superclásico, and Gimnasia unveil Maradona

This week on Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back on a superclásico in which Boca Juniors weren’t giving anything away against River Plate, and consider how and why the astonishing news came about – just an hour or so before we started recording – that Diego Maradona has been named manager of Gimnasia La Plata. There’s also a bit of national team talk.

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Episode 230: Previewing the new season & Jonathan Wilson on his new book

At long last, the Hand Of Pod 2016-17 season preview is here! Sam is joined by Andrés and Tony to look over the main transfer moves and some of what we can expect from the main contenders on the pitch in the coming months, as well as explaining why we can only be definitely assured of football until December, for the moment. We also preview Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela, since there will be no HOP next week as Sam’s off to Mendoza to cover the former. And there’s a chat with Jonathan Wilson, who tells us a bit about his new book on the history of Argentine football, Angels With Dirty Faces – why he wrote it, some of the things he uncovered and more.

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Mystic Sam’s first round predictions
Sarmiento v Arsenal
Godoy Cruz v Huracán
Gimnasia v Vélez
Central v Defensa y Justicia
Racing v Talleres
Atlético Tucumán v Atlético de Rafaela
San Lorenzo v San Martín
Tigre v Estudiantes
Quilmes v Newell’s
Belgrano v Independiente
Unión v Olimpo
River v Banfield
Lanús v Boca
Aldosivi v Colón
Temperley v Patronato

Episode 176: Central’s perfect start continues, River’s six-goal thriller and more

In the hundred and seventy-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and Santi look back over a goal-packed weekend of Primera action in which only four sides out of the thirty managed to keep clean sheets (and two of those were in the same game). River Plate’s problems continued but they battled back to a 3-3 draw with Arsenal, whilst Rosario Central remain top of the league with a 100% record courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Temperley. And for Lanús, Santiago Silva’s exit seems to have lifted some of the weight from their remaining attackers’ shoulders, because they got a thumping 5-1 win away to Godoy Cruz. All of this is covered, as well as the Argentine sides in the Copa Libertadores and a look at the three local league players who’ve been called up to the national team for next month’s ‘tour’ of the USA. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, providing English-language news and cultural pieces from Argentina and across Latin America.

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Mystic Sam’s sixth round predictions (last week: 8/15)
Newell’s v Quilmes
Lanús v Gimnasia
Colón v Tigre
Vélez v Belgrano
Independiente v Arsenal
Huracán v Argentinos
Sarmiento v Crucero del Norte
Atlético de Rafaela v Central
Estudiantes v Banfield
Defensa y Justicia v Racing
River v Godoy Cruz
San Martín v Boca
Chicago v San Lorenzo
Aldosivi v Unión
Temperley v Olimpo

Episode 163: Carlos Tevez returns to the Argentina fold, and just how good are River Plate?

In episode 163 of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by Peter and Andrés to discuss Carlos Tevez’s return to the Argentine national team, ahead of the upcoming friendlies in England against Croatia at Upton Park and Portugal at Old Trafford. After that, we spend a good while wondering just how good this current River Plate team are, after Marcelo Gallardo’s boys beat Estudiantes 2-1 in the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday evening to make it 29 matches unbeaten in all competitions – equalling River’s best unbeaten run of the professional era, and leaving them just two short of the longest unbeaten run in the club’s entire history. Does this say more about the current state of the Argentine league than anything else? After that, we look at the rest of the league. Listeners’ questions include just how things are going for Juan Román Riquelme’s Argentinos Juniors.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s previews for this weekend’s matches are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 152: San Lorenzo win the Libertadores, Martino is the new Argentina boss & more

On the hundred and fifty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Peter, Andrés and Joel are joined by Neil Clack, a former resident of Buenos Aires and author of Animals! The Story of England v Argentina, who is visiting BA again after a few years away. We’ve got a lot to talk about, starting with San Lorenzo’s first ever Copa Libertadores win on Wednesday night. We also discuss Gerardo Martino’s unveiling as Argentina manager after Alejandro Sabella stood down, Juan Sebastián Verón’s announcement that he’ll stand for the Estudiantes de La Plata presidency in September, yet more potential messing around with the league structure… oh, and the first weekend of league action, because that happened as well. It’s a long one, but we hope you’ll enjoy it.

Mystic Sam’s second round predictions are below, as ever (Newell’s v Gimnasia has already been played, and ended 1-1). You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher (or both), and follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 149: Looking back on a successful World Cup for Argentina, and where to next?

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.

You can subscribe to HOP on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks to preview the new championship.

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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