This week Sam and English Dan look back on Atlético Tucumán once again rising to the challenge of maintaining their league leadership, wonder which players have made a case for inclusion in Lionel Scaloni’s World Cup squad during Argentina’s 3–0 wins over Honduras and Jamaica, and review the Copa Argentina quarter-finals, which we didn’t want to turn into just talking about River and Boca’s matches … but which did anyway because those two matches were really good and the other two frankly weren’t.
The two hundred and fifty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam and Andrés meet to discuss a weekend during which there was no change at the very top of the Primera: Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys both won, meaning Boca remain three points clear at the top. There was some re-ordering of the sides just below, though – partly thanks to yet another home draw for Independiente – and a dramatic shaking up of the relegation dogfight after shock wins for Atlético de Rafaela and Quilmes. We also look again at the Copa Libertadores and developments which have the potential to affect the immediate future of the Argentine national team, as well as explaining another new rumour about the next Primera championship. Oh, and HOP listeners within reach of London will want to listen out for a discount code to get 10% off tickets to the upcoming London Festival of Football Writing!
Mystic Chris’s twenty-third round predictions (last week Mystic Andrés got 6/14)
San Martín v Quilmes
Talleres v Tigre
Patronato v Lanús
Racing v Gimnasia
Atlético de Rafaela v Unión
Estudiantes v Boca
River v Temperley
Aldosivi v Huracán
Arsenal v Olimpo
Defensa y Justicia v Godoy Cruz
San Lorenzo v Central
Colón v Atlético Tucumán
Newell’s v Independiente
Banfield v Sarmiento
Vélez v Belgrano
Episode 207 of Hand Of Pod is a very special one, because on Friday we turn five years old. Sam is joined for the celebration by Andrés, English Dan, Peter and very special guest Tim Vickery, who’s flown down from Rio de Janeiro specially for the occasion. Entirely coincidentally to Tim’s visit (honest), on Thursday night Argentina host Brazil in World Cup qualifying, so after a review of last weekend’s most important league action – which saw Nueva Chicago relegated in spite of an impressive win over Quilmes – and a discussion about our team of the championship, we move on to previewing Argentina v Brazil. There’s plenty of chat throughout about the differences between football in the two countries, from the trends in management (Argentina good, Brazil bad) to player development, in which it seems both countries have something of an imbalance in very different ways. HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.
Mystic Sam’s predictions for Argentina’s two upcoming WCQs:
Hand Of Pod is 200 episodes old, and this week Sam is joined by Peter and Andrés for a champagne celebration in a bumper episode. We look back over a weekend of Primera action which saw Carlos Tevez make more bad headlines (for breaking an opponent’s leg) than good (for scoring twice) during Boca Juniors’ 3-1 win over Argentinos Juniors which saw them remain top of the table. There were a few belting goals as well, and there’s praise for the fine form of Independiente, Quilmes and others. We examine the run-ins of the title candidates – of whom we’ve decided there are three, with both leaders Boca and current second-placed San Lorenzo still yet to play third-placed Rosario Central, and also look at Gerardo Martino’s first World Cup qualifying Argentina squad, which among more predictable calls includes Paulo Dybala’s first call-up and Gonzalo Higuaín’s exclusion. All this and plenty of listeners’ questions! Thanks for your support over our first 200 episodes, and here’s to plenty more… HOP is sponsored by Argentina Independent, a fine English-language source of news from Argentina and across Latin America.
Mystic Sam’s twenty-sixth round predictions (last week: 9/15)
Olimpo v Godoy Cruz
Atlético de Rafaela v Unión
Colón v Belgrano
Racing v Argentinos
Crucero del Norte v River
Tigre v San Lorenzo
Chicago v Aldosivi
Boca v Banfield
Defensa y Justicia v Quilmes
Central v Gimnasia
Lanús v Independiente
Huracán v Vélez
San Martín v Sarmiento
Temperley v Arsenal
Estudiantes v Newell’s
In the seventy-first episode of Hand Of Pod, we celebrate Joel Richards’ liberation from his building after he was locked in during last week’s episode. We also look back at an eventful first weekend of action in the Torneo Inicial, which included opening weekend losses for both Boca Juniors and River Plate, as well as a very impressive win – against very poor opposition – for Vélez Sarsfield. We recap Boca’s and All Boys’ hilarious journey back to Argentina from Venezuela, and preview the Copa Argentina final which – because producer/uploader Sam got the kick off time mixed up for – is being played as I type these words.
As ever, you’ll find Mystic Dan’s predictions for the second round below. And you can subscribe to us on iTunes here.
There’s only one topic for this week’s Hand Of Pod, and we make no apologies for that. Dan, Dan, Seba and River fan Sam try to make some sense of what none of us quite thought would come to pass: the news that River Plate endured the worst day in their 110-year history on Saturday, and will have to play the playoff against Belgrano de Córdoba to avoid relegation. Who’s to blame? And how do the playoffs work? There’s also praise for a magnificent afternoon’s league action on Saturday, and Sam has a rant at Twitter. It’s all cathartic.
There’s no Mystic Dan this week, but next week will see the ‘Clausura as it would look had his predictions all come true’ presented to the world. Oh, and if you’ve not already subscribed to us on iTunes, here’s where you need to click.
In the 24th episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan and Dan discuss Vélez’s title win on Sunday, and offer their commiserations to Lanús. Sam gives an impromptu history lesson about Alumni, the first side to dominate the Argentine top flight, English Dan tells us about an amazing comeback from Godoy Cruz away to Racing, and we take a look at the weekend to come, when five games will be played at the same time due to the relegation situation. There’s praise for Godoy’s Mariano Donda and Huracán’s Javier Cámpora, and we end by looking at Martín Palermo’s highly, um, moving farewell to La Bombonera.
As usual, Mystic Dan’s final round predictions are below the ‘Continue reading’ line. And here’s where to click if you like us so much you want to subscribe on iTunes.
In the 23rd episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Seba and Dan return to guide our listeners into the closing rounds of the Torneo Clausura. We cover the Nigeria v Argentina match last week which is being investigated by FIFA, Sam suggests Daniel Passarella might like to sell his body to help fund River Plate’s transfers this winter, and Seba learns a couple of new English words. English Dan teaches us about a Mexican hairless dog, and Australian Dan gets all mystic on us as usual. Oh, and we talk about some football as well! Vélez and Lanús are left fighting it out for the Clausura crown with two games to go (thouh Vélez exited the Copa Libertadores last week), and River are sweating on relegation. All this and much more lies in wait…
As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are just below, and you can click here to subscribe to us on iTunes.
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.
In the seventeenth episode of Hand Of Pod, Seba rejoins Sam, Dan and Dan. He’s not happy with the way referees have been treating his club, and he’s not afraid to make his anger heard, but a little surprisingly it’s another HOP-er who drops an expletive, for which we of course apologise unreservedly. We also discuss Quilmes’ recent upsurge in form, and English Dan tells us of an Argentine playing in Brazil who could be the next Messi (if it weren’t for the fact he turned 27 the day after we recorded). Seba, meanwhile, reminds us of José Sanfilippo, the man who was never known as the old Fernando Torres. We recorded on Monday, since when Vélez have won their Copa Libertadores first leg against LDU Quito 3-0, and Estudiantes drew theirs 0-0 at home to Cerro Porteño. Lanús and Olimpo, in Monday night’s game, drew 1-1.
As ever, Mystic Dan’s predictions are right here, and you can subscribe on iTunes if you so please.