The hundred-and-forty-fifth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan, Peter, Gustavo and Andrés joined by a documentary film crew from the USA; the American Fútbol boys have been touring Latin America and filming their way around it in the run-up to the World Cup. Before we get on to their story, though, there’s plenty to review; starting with the end of another shocking season for Racing, but quickly moving on to the week’s biggest story, River Plate’s 35th Argentine top flight title, secured with a 5-0 thrashing of Quilmes last weekend. We also look at a near unbelievable end to the relegation struggle which is not, in fact, and end to the relegation struggle, since Colón and Atlético de Rafaela now have to play off to decide who goes down; that match will kick off roughly 12 hours after this podcast goes live (i.e. on Saturday afternoon). We have a general Torneo Final review including Boca Juniors’ runner-up spot, and much more. Enjoy!
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.
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
In the hundred-and-twenty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Andrés and guest Ilan are invited round to English Dan’s swish new pad. We discuss the fallout of last weekend’s clásico, which saw Racing beat River Plate 1-0, and look at how and why the title frontrunners dropped points yet again (to be fair to them, in four cases it’s because they were playing each other). We also bring the latest from the situation in Santa Fe, where Colón are in danger of being de-affiliated from the AFA, ask whether Ramón Díaz and Carlos Bianchi are really the best managers for River and Boca Juniors, and basically teach ourselves during the recording who All Boys’ new manager Ricardo Rodríguez – who started with a 2-0 win in La Bombonera – is. Oh, and there’s news of the first Swiss person ever to score a competitive goal in the Argentine league. Since this episode was recorded, Lanús have advanced to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, where they’ll play Ponte Preta.
Mystic Sam’s eighteenth round predictions
Godoy Cruz v Olimpo
Central v Racing
Colón v Vélez
Tigre v Rafaela
Arsenal v Belgrano
All Boys v Newell’s
San Lorenzo v Estudiantes
Gimnasia v Quilmes
River v Argentinos
Lanús v Boca
The hundred-and-twenty-forth episode of Hand Of Pod is one of our shortest ever episodes, but hopefully we’ve still got enough to be going on with. Racing, having won twice in a row, are officially no longer rubbish, and English Dan celebrates by returning to the pod. He and Sam run the rule over Racing’s sudden improvement, and contrast it with River Plate’s absolutely awful form, which plumbed new depths on Wednesday night as they lost 3-1 at home to Lanús to go out of the Copa Sudamericana. We ask why David Trezeguet didn’t start for Newell’s Old Boys last weekend – he came off the bench to score twice, helping them claim a 2-2 draw away to Colón – and look forward to this weekend’s big top of the table clash between Newell’s and San Lorenzo. All this and much more.
Next week, Hand Of Pod turns three years old, so please share this episode with your friends and join us next week for the celebration!
You’ll find Mystic Sam’s predictions just below, and don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes.
Mystic Sam’s fifteenth round predictions
Rafaela v Godoy Cruz
Olimpo v Quilmes
All Boys v Gimnasia
Estudiantes v Central
Newell’s v San Lorenzo
Belgrano v Colón
Racing v Argentinos
Boca v Tigre
Vélez v River
Lanús v Arsenal
The ninety-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan and Joel reunited after a few weeks, to discuss a goal-filled weekend which saw San Lorenzo beat River Plate in the clásico, Lanús claim a point away to Dan’s Racing which took them top of the table, and Boca Juniors hilariously crash and burn at home to Unión on the day of Juan Román Riquelme’s comeback. There were two 3-3 draws, a policeman hitting a player in the face with a baton (and then reporting the player for assault!), and the announcement that Gerardo Martino won’t be staying on as Newell’s Old Boys boss at the end of the season – will Marcelo Bielsa be returning to replace him? The very thought has got us all excited…
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.
The eighty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod is the last one of 2012, and sees Sam, Dan and Joel analysing Vélez Sarsfield’s 2012 Torneo Inicial title win, which was confirmed on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Unión de Santa Fe whilst nearest challengers Lanús lost 1-0 away to River Plate. The roles of manager Ricardo Gareca and forward Facundo Ferreyra are discussed, as well as some of Vélez’s other crucial players during the campaign. We also talk about Ramón Díaz’s welcome back to River, whether any current Primera managers are future contenders for the national team job, and look back at San Lorenzo’s 2-1 win over Independiente in the weekend’s big relegation clash.
One subject looms large over this week’s (belated) episode of Hand Of Pod, the eighty-seventh since we started. Sam, English Dan and Joel discuss Ramón Díaz’s emotional return to the club he loves and which loves him, River Plate, after Matías Almeyda was fired in the extremely early hours of Wednesday morning/late hours of Tuesday night. What Díaz’s return means for River, whether Almeyda really deserved the sack and more. We also discuss Vélez Sarsfield, who could win the title on Sunday afternoon, and whether their boss Ricardo Gareca is really the Argentine Sir Alex Ferguson, as some in the Argentine media would have us believe. There’s an appreciation of Tigre – who hours after recording reached the Copa Sudamericana final, the first continental final in their history – and listeners’ questions ranging from Sam’s ideal River starting XI to who Julio César Falcioni’s replacement as Boca Juniors manager might be. Enjoy.
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.