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 154: A glut of goals, Vélez have maximum points and crisis at Boca Juniors

The hundred and fifty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod is one of those rare episodes which clocks in at well under an hour. Sam is joined by English Dan for a daytime recording, looking back on a goal-filled weekend of action in the Primera which saw no fewer than three 4-0 scorelines and a 3-3 – this season still hasn’t produced any goalless draws. Vélez Sarsfield and River Plate particularly impressed, whilst a 3-0 win for Atlético de Rafaela – their first ever in La Bombonera – has plunged Boca Juniors still deeper into crisis.  We wonder how much longer Carlos Bianchi can cling on as manager, and whether Boca’s problems run deeper than simply having let Juan Román Riquelme go during the winter transfer window. There’s a midweek round (or two-thirds of one, at least) on Tuesday and Wednesday, hence the early recording of this episode.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions are below. You can subscribe to HOP on iTunes and on Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions (including the postponed games originally scheduled for Thursday)
Belgrano v Gimnasia
Olimpo v Independiente
Racing v Arsenal
Atlético v Newell’s
Central v Godoy Cruz
River v Defensa y Justicia
Estudiantes v Boca
Banfield v Tigre
Vélez v Lanús
Quilmes v San Lorenzo

Episode 133: No shortage of thrillers, Boca finally win again… and look out, Newell’s are back!

The hundred-and-thirty-first episode of Hand Of Pod features Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Ilan. They look back over the fourth round of the Torneo Final, which saw some wonderfully entertaining games: two golazos from Gonzalo Castellani as Godoy Cruz beat Rosario Central 3-0; a 3-2 thriller in La Fortaleza where Lanús ousted Vélez; a frankly slightly silly 2-2 draw in the round’s final match between Gimnasia and Belgrano in La Plata… and a simply awe-inspiring performance from Newell’s, who ended a run of thirteen matches without in spectacular fashion, dismantling Atlético de Rafaela to claim a 4-1 victory (they did it again as this episode was being edited, beating Nacional 4-0 in the Copa Libertadores). Boca Juniors finally won a game; their 1-0 win over Estudiantes was the La Plata side’s first defeat of the year. And of course, River Plate and Racing are both looking awful again. We ask why that is. Enjoy.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes here – and if you already have, please click that link and leave a review! You can also follow us on Twitter, if you fancy.

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

Episode 106: reviewing the Newell’s v Boca mini-series & more

The 106th episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Santi convene to discuss what we were previewing in episode 105 – the three matches (two in the Copa Libertadores, one in the league) which Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors have played since then. Newell’s were the happier side, with a 4-0 league win and a penalty shootout win in the Libertadores after two dull 0-0 draws. We also ask whether River Plate can challenge for the league title, whether Independiente can catch Argentinos Juniors in the relegation battle, and whether Quilmes v Racing (which was played a few hours before this episode was uploaded, and ended 1-0 to Quilmes) was likely to be fixed, among much more. Oh, and we tell you our favourite ratios for mixing a fernet and Coke.

Mystic Sam’s predictions are below – you can subscribe to us on iTunes right here, and can also follow the HOP Twitter account.

Continue reading “Episode 106: reviewing the Newell’s v Boca mini-series & more”

Episode 100: Brindisi, Bianchi, Boca’s historic thrashing… and a centenary!

Hand Of Pod is one hundred episodes old. And we’re celebrating in style; recording in an almost silent flat, with current and former regulars and guests. Sam, English Dan, Seba, Asli and Mariano are joined on Skype by Ed Malyon (Aussie Dan and Joel sadly couldn’t make it this week) for a podcasting landmark, and we’ve got plenty to discuss. Independiente unveiled a new manager, and the day after he was appointed he was held up at gunpoint and robbed… whilst conducting a radio interview on his mobile phone! Boca Juniors fell to one of the worst defeats in their history on Saturday, Lanús lead the league by two points ahead of Newell’s Old Boys, and there’s a lot, lot, lot more besides. We hope you enjoy this bumper edition, and we’d all like to thank our listeners very much for your support. Not too many independent, non-English-league-focussed podcasts get to be 100 episodes old. So, here’s to the next hundred!

Mystic Sam’s predictions are below the ‘Continue reading…’ line. Don’t forget you can follow HOP on Twitter; our page is here. And if you want to get us plugged straight into your ears via iTunes on a weekly basis, you can subscribe to us here.

Continue reading “Episode 100: Brindisi, Bianchi, Boca’s historic thrashing… and a centenary!”

Episode 89: Grondona out, various players in & Riquelme still going nowhere

Hand Of Pod is back, and Sam, Joel and English Dan welcome 2013 with a nice laid-back chat about nothing in particular. There’s just the news that one of the most powerful men in world football will leave his charge of the AFA in 2015, a bunch of (admittedly often tiresome) transfer gossip from the summer and various other issues to mop up, including the ongoing saga of where (or whether) Juan Román Riquelme will be playing his football this year; could it be Tigre, now that they’re in the group stages of the Copa Libertadores for the first time? We discuss River Plate’s and Boca Juniors’ pre-seasons, as well as those of the other big boys, confusing goings-on surrounding Ricky Centurión’s transfer from Racing to Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, Argentina’s latest Under-20 failure, and a lot more. It’s good to be back.

Here’s the ‘La concha de tu madre, All Boys’ video mentioned by Sam and Joel during the pod.