Episode 30: Vélez lose another player, River Plate force changes in Nacional B, & much more

This week’s Hand Of Pod is a sensible length, so rejoice! Sam, Australian Dan and Seba meet again, and there are plenty of hot topics to get through. Santiago Silva has left Vélez Sarsfield for Fiorentina, seriously damaging the champions’ title defence. We discuss the relative economic strengths of the Argentine league with Europe (and Brazil), a listener asks why Estudiantes are so rubbish, we admire Racing’s tenacity under Diego Simeone, and talk about the return of visiting fans to the second division (Nacional B) after Independiente Rivadavia’s president forced the AFA’s hand in his club’s match against River Plate at the weekend. There’s also a call for your feedback on the pod (please send suggestions to sam [at] hastaelgolsiempre [dot] com), and a mention for an excellent new(ish) online football magazine, Man And Ball, whose second issue includes an Argentina-inspired piece of fiction.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s fourth round predictions are below. And don’t forget, you can subscribe to us on iTunes if you just can’t bear to visit this blog in order to get your weekly fix.

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Episode 20: Superclásico review, Maradona’s new job & more

For the 20th episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Dan and Seba welcome special guest Asli Pelit to the show. Asli’s a Turkish TV presenter who was at La Bombonera to see Boca Juniors beat River Plate 2-0 in Sunday’s superclásico, and as well as giving us her impressions of that game, she also shares her thoughts on the most intelligent interviewees by position on the pitch, Julio Grondona’s Argentina mafia connections, and the sandwiches at Colón (worth remembering if you’re heading to a Copa América game in Santa Fe). We consider Diego Maradona’s prestigious new managerial position, and offer to act as underwear models for a well-known Argentine brand. Oh, and we debate the age of Racing striker Teófilo Gutiérrez. He turns 26 today (17th May), so well done Aussie Dan.

As ever, you can listen here, and subscribe on iTunes for your regular fix. Mystic Dan’s predictions are below the ‘Continue reading’ line.

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Episode 19: the 2011 Clausura superclásico preview

In the nineteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Seba and Dan greet a couple of special guests to preview this Sunday’s superclásico in La Bombonera. Samuel (no, not Sam) is our tamed River Plate fan, and the four of us try to keep him from attacking Boca Juniors fan Ariel. The team discuss the key players, our guests’ memories of previous superclásicos, predictions and more, as well as looking over the action from the weekend just gone and contemplating Vélez Sarsfield’s status as the only Argentine side in the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

Sam is the author of Hasta El Gol Siempre. Australian Dan runs Argentina Football World, English Dan edits Goal.com’s South American section (to which Boca-supporting guest Ariel is a contributor), and Seba is the websmaster of Mundo Albiceleste. In spite of their Spanish names, both HEGS and MA are English-language sites. Clicking each of our names above will take you to our Twitter accounts.

As ever, you can listen right here or subscribe to Hand Of Pod on iTunes. The videos mentioned in the pod of goals from previous supers are below, as are Mystic Dan’s predictions.

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Episode 18: Four clásicos in three days, Riquelme’s TV ad & Lamela to Juventus?

In the eighteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan have to make do without Seba, but attempt nonetheless to sum up an action-packed weekend in the 2011 Torneo Clausura. As well as four clásicos and a seven-goal thriller in Banfield, we discuss Vélez Sarsfield’s and Estudiantes’ diverging form (and their Copa Libertadores chances for Thursday night), the news that Ángel Cappa and Gimnasia La Plata have parted company (as Sam guessed at a week or two ago), and Erik Lamela’s possible move before long to Europe. There’s also a Juan Román Riquelme TV ad (which we’ve got right here for your viewing pleasure), and a cautionary tale of what happens when a footballer thinks with his balls rather than his head.

As ever, you can listen to the pod right here, and subscribe to us on iTunes if you want to get it as soon as it’s out each week. Next week’s the superclásico special, so don’t miss out!

Mystic Dan’s predictions – and that Riquelme TV spot – are right here for those who’d like to read on.

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Episode 14: Boca’s revival, River Plate’s liquid football, & the world’s tightest league?

In the fourteenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan are once again back on the fernet (after an alcohol-free episode 13), whilst Seba is dry as ever. We discuss the two giants of Argentine football; Boca Juniors, who had another Riquelme-inspired win, and River Plate, who scored an absolutely fantastic goal which their latest wunderkid was at the heart of. We also take in the rest of Argentina’s ‘Big Five’, and Seba gives us some historical context on why they’re called that. We also look at how just six points separate the leaders from the team in sixteenth, halfway through the season. As well as warning us why you should never venture to Boca’s stadium without a massively overpriced tour guide, Mystic Dan is back with his predictions – place bets on four of these results this weekend, we just can’t tell you which four – and Zombie, once again, is chasing his own tail. One day we’ll get that on a videocast for you all.

As usual, read below the ‘Continue reading’ line for Mystic Dan’s predictions. And if you’d like to subscribe to iTunes and haven’t done so yet, you can do so right here.

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Hand Of Pod Episode 8: Tevez vs Batista

In the eighth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Dan and Seba examine the recent (and ongoing) feud between Carlos Tevez and Argentina’s national manager Sergio Batista – and AFA President Julio Grondona. They also look back on an interesting clásico clash between Racing and Boca Juniors in Avellaneda, and look forward to the coming weekend’s matches, including a big derby clash between River Plate and Independiente. And Sam’s got confirmation of a controversial rumour from late last year that was discussed in a 2010 episode of the show.

You can listen or download (the downward-pointing arrow) right here on the blog, or subscribe on iTunes. And if you’d like to see Mystic Dan’s weekend predictions neatly laid out, just click ‘Continue reading’ below the listening widget.

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Hand Of Pod episode 4

Hand Of Pod episode 4
Zombie, one of the resident HOP dogs

In the fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan discuss the denouement of the Argentine season, which will be played out between now and Monday night in the final two rounds of the Torneo Apertura. We also take a look back at the first leg of Independiente’s Copa Sudamericana final against Goiás, and you’ll hear our considered response to the announcement of the Argentina squad for the South American Under 20 championships, which will be played in Peru in January. You can listen or download right here, or of course subscribe to us on iTunes. Enjoy.

The theme music, as ever, is composed, performed and produced by Nick Ball.