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-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.
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
In the thirty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan and Seba discuss Argentina’s mixed start to World Cup qualifying, which began with a 4-1 thrashing of Chile and continued with a surprise defeat at the hands of Venezuela. What positives can Argentina take from the former, and what lessons can Sabella learn from the latter? As well as that, we give an update on the Copa Argentina – whose qualifying stage has now finished – and, with no Primera action to look back on due to the international break, Sam reviews a brilliant couple of matches for River Plate in the Nacional B, including a 7-1 win. Oh, and we fill in for Aussie Dan by reading out his predictions in dreadful Australian accents at the end.