Episode 197: More AFA power struggles, crisis at Crucero del Norte and violence rears its head again

This week’s Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés have as much off-pitch stuff to focus on as on-pitch. San Lorenzo drew and Boca Juniors won, to leave Boca two points clear at the top heading into this Sunday’s clash of the top two, but the bigger news last weekend was in Mendoza, where Godoy Cruz v Racing was called off after 25 minutes with Racing leading 1-0, after Godoy Cruz barras started pelting the players with stones, apparently in protest at new manager Gabriel Heinze’s refusal to give them money. There is also crisis at Crucero del Norte, whose players have started to publicly complain about how they have to travel to away matches. As well as all this, we look at the latest bizarre twists in the ongoing story of Marcelo Tinelli’s campaign to get elected as president of the Argentine FA, look at two more points dropped by River Plate, and much more. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s twenty-second round predictions (last week: 3/14)
Banfield v Argentinos
Tigre v Godoy Cruz
Central v Arsenal
Temperley v Belgrano
Defensa y Justicia v Newell’s
Huracán v Independiente
Crucero v Lanús
Colón v Sarmiento
Boca v San Lorenzo
Racing v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Unión
Chicago v River
San Martín v Vélez
Atlético de Rafaela v Quilmes
Estudiantes v Aldosivi

Episode 174: Laferrere’s barra cause trouble, San Lorenzo lose and more

The hundred and seventy-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés begin with a discussion of yet more violence affecting Argentine football, after a weekend marred by a running street battle involving the barra brava of fourth division club Laferrere which left 2 policemen seriously injured. We then move on to review last weekend’s action in the Primera División and the last few Argentine games in the Copa Libertadores. San Lorenzo lost at home to San Martín – and just after we recorded this episode, also lost at home to Corinthians – but things look less gloomy for the rest of the Big Five, whilst Estudiantes and Rosario Central are also doing well. Hand Of Pod is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a wonderful source of English-language news from Argentina and across Latin America.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions (last week: 5/15)
Huracán v Gimnasia
Atlético de Rafaela v Racing
Newell’s v Crucero del Norte
Aldosivi v Quilmes
Independiente v Belgrano
Chicago v Godoy Cruz
Olimpo v Rosario Central
Vélez v Sarmiento
River v Unión
Lanús v Arsenal
San Martín v Argentinos
Defensa y Justicia v Banfield
Colón v Boca
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo
Temperley v Tigre

Episode 167: Between superclásicos, a failed gamble by River, Racing go top and more

The hundred and sixty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod is the first to fall neatly between two superclásicos, and Sam is joined by Andrés, Gustavo and Asli (and her canine companion Vinicius) to look back on last Thursday night’s disappointingly dull 0-0 in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana semi-final, and forward to this Thursday’s return leg between River Plate and Boca Juniors. At the weekend, River took a gamble with their team selection against Racing in the league, and it backfired – Racing snatched a 1-0 win to go top of the table with two games remaining. There were surprising wins away from home for Godoy Cruz and Arsenal de Sarandí, some promotions to next year’s top flight have been clinched, and there was a barra brava turf battle in the cafeteria of River’s stadium. We also give you the clearest idea we possibly can of what the 2015 Primera División is going to look like, because that seems to have been confirmed now (though further developments would surprise none of us).

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 eighteenth round predictions
DyJ v Vélez
Gimnasia v Quilmes
San Lorenzo v Estudiantes
Independiente v Newell’s
Tigre v Atlético de Rafaela
River v Banfield
Lanús v Boca
Central v Racing
Godoy Cruz v Olimpo
Arsenal v Belgrano

Episode 141: Cantero loses battle with the barra brava, River go top and title & relegation run-ins

There’s a lot to get through on Hand Of Pod 141, but Sam, Peter and birthday boy Andrés manage to whistle through in under an hour and a half, for once. First on the agenda is the news that on Wednesday, Javier Cantero finally stood down as Independiente president. How the club’s barra brava forced him out and why, in spite of being against the barra, many ordinary fans will be happy to see him go as well is the first topic of the day that we tackle. We then consider the Primera División title race – River Plate and Gimnasia La Plata now sit joint top of the Torneo Final – and ask whether River are the favourites, given the run-in they have. Also up for discussion is the relegation battle, in which although most teams (bar Argentinos Juniors) are quite close together, it looks like the three drop spots are all but settled already. Questions include our thoughts on Lanús’ full back Alejandro Silva and our all-time favourite Argentine club kits.

Hand Of Pod is available for subscription via iTunes, or Stitcher. Or both, if you prefer. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s sixteenth round predictions
Newell’s v Tigre
Vélez v Central
Belgrano v San Lorenzo
Racing v Quilmes
Atlético v Colón
Argentinos v Gimnasia
Olimpo v River
Lanús v All Boys
Boca v Arsenal
Estudiantes v Godoy Cruz

Episode 61: Battling the barra bravas, tragedy at Banfield, Boca’s (lack of) controversy and more

In the sixty-first episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan are joined by the wonderful Joel Richards to discuss yet another weekend of controversy. There was controversy (though there shouldn’t have been) in Rafaela at the end of an incredibly dramatic 2-2 draw between Rafaela and Boca Juniors, a youth player for Banfield shot dead by a policeman, and Independiente’s president has declared war on the club’s barra brava. We answer questions ranging from Fabián Monzón’s chances at future call-ups for Argentina to Manchester City target and River Plate midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano. Enjoy.

As ever, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below, and you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes. Please.

Continue reading “Episode 61: Battling the barra bravas, tragedy at Banfield, Boca’s (lack of) controversy and more”

Episode 43: Verón’s argument with the barras, Teo’s idiocy, media bias and more

In the forty-third episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Dan and Seba begin with a look at Juan Sebastián Verón’s stand against Estudiantes’ barra brava, who on Monday caused their match with Banfield to be abandoned after only thirteen minutes. We then move on to talk about Boca Juniors’ 0-0 draw with Racing on Sunday, a result that edges Boca a tiny bit closer to the league title, and Racing striker Teo Gutiérrez’s idiocy in getting himself sent off, and the effect it’s likely to have on Racing’s squad for the rest of the season. Sam mentions River Plate’s first ever competitive match in Patagonia (a 4-1 win away to Guillermo Brown of Puerto Madryn), we talk about San Lorenzo’s woes as they change managers, and after Mystic Dan’s predictions we close with a discussion of media bias towards the two giants, and especially Boca.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below. Click here if you like us so much you want us in your iTunes.

Continue reading “Episode 43: Verón’s argument with the barras, Teo’s idiocy, media bias and more”

Episode 34: Argentina’s first World Cup qualifying squad, and two rounds of Apertura matches

Alejandro Sabella has named his first competitive Argentina squad, in preparation for the big kick off at home to Chile early next month. In the thirty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Dan and Seba discuss that, as well as a lot more. Boca Juniors top the Apertura table, whilst Lanús have fallen away; we wonder whether Atlético Rafaela really can last the distance, English Dan tells us of a lost virgin in Colón (stop sniggering), and we talk about the organisation of the brand-spanking-new Copa Argentina, and the influence of the infamous barra bravas on Argentine football. All this and more is right here for your listening pleasure.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below, and Hand Of Pod is available on iTunes if you prefer to subscribe to us there.

Continue reading “Episode 34: Argentina’s first World Cup qualifying squad, and two rounds of Apertura matches”