Episode 146: River’s endless trophy collection, Colón are relegated and more

The hundred-and-forty-sixth episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés discuss River Plate’s second trophy in a week (and their third in two weeks, if you’re particularly easily pleased), Colón’s relegation/Atlético de Rafaela’s survival, the Argentine national team a little bit, and Independiente’s chances of regaining Primera División status on Saturday, among other things. Soon, we’ll have a World Cup preview episode. For now, enjoy this one.

As ever, Hand Of Pod is available for subscription on iTunes or Stitcher. And if you want to, you can follow us on Twitter.

Episode 145: ¡River campeón!, a Colón v Atlético relegation tie-breaker and more

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!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to Hand Of Pod on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter here.

Episode 144: Argentina’s World Cup longlist, and River Plate close in on a long-awaited title

The hundred-and-forty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod is recorded in Sam’s living room, and he, Peter and Andrés – backed by a dog, an antiquated and improperly removed former doorbell and a passing heavy goods train – discuss Argentina’s World Cup longlist, including why Carlos Tevez has NOT been left out for Franco Di Santo. We then move on to look at the last weekend of the Torneo Final, which begins on Friday but sees all its crunch matches on Saturday; will River Plate claim their first title since their return to the Primera? Will Estudiantes given Juan Sebastián Verón a trophy-winning send-off? Will Gimnasia finally end the wait for a professional Primera title? We also look at the relegation table, which sees Godoy Cruz enter the last weekend one point ahead of Colón and Atlético de Rafaela (if two or more sides end up tied on points, there’ll be a playoff to decide who goes down). Enjoy.

Hand Of Pod is available via iTunes or Stitcher, and if you really want to you can follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 143: Gimnasia & River joint top with two games left, All Boys relegated and more

The hundred-and-forty-third episode of Hand Of Pod  is upon us, and Sam, Peter and Andrés review another weekend of Torneo Final action as River Plate draw back level with Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata at the top – both have 31 points – with just two rounds of matches left. All Boys have been relegated following a 3-1 defeat to Boca Juniors, and there were tremendously entertaining matches between Arsenal and Newell’s Old Boys, and River and Racing – both of which ended 3-2. Wasn’t it just last week we were asking whether it was a dull league after very few goals had been scored? We ask why a barra brava group feel able to demand free World Cup tickets from the AFA, wonder who’ll replace ‘Mostaza’ Merlo as Racing manager, and try to explain how the bloody hell Copa Sudamericana qualification works, among other subjects.

You can subscribe to HOP on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 142: Crazy league restructuring from the AFA, Gimnasia go top & Argentinos are down

The hundred-and-forty-second episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés begin with an in-depth consideration (much more in-depth, we’d be prepared to bet, than the AFA gave it) of the Argentine Football Association’s decision this week to expand the top flight to thirty teams and change the entire league structure as from next February. What it means for the top flight, what the second half of 2014 in Argentine football will look like, why it’s been done and how many people are happy about it (just the one, and you can guess his name), among other subjects. We then get on to the football from last weekend, in which Argentinos Juniors were relegated, Gimnasia La Plata took a two point lead at the top of the Torneo Final, Boca Juniors looked impressive and there were some fine goals scored. Oh, and down in the second division, Independiente won a match!

HOP is available for subscription via iTunes or Stitcher, and you can follow us on Twitter if you so wish.


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

Episode 141: Cantero loses battle with the barra brava, River go top and title & relegation run-ins

There’s a lot to get through on Hand Of Pod 141, but Sam, Peter and birthday boy Andrés manage to whistle through in under an hour and a half, for once. First on the agenda is the news that on Wednesday, Javier Cantero finally stood down as Independiente president. How the club’s barra brava forced him out and why, in spite of being against the barra, many ordinary fans will be happy to see him go as well is the first topic of the day that we tackle. We then consider the Primera División title race – River Plate and Gimnasia La Plata now sit joint top of the Torneo Final – and ask whether River are the favourites, given the run-in they have. Also up for discussion is the relegation battle, in which although most teams (bar Argentinos Juniors) are quite close together, it looks like the three drop spots are all but settled already. Questions include our thoughts on Lanús’ full back Alejandro Silva and our all-time favourite Argentine club kits.

Hand Of Pod is available for subscription via iTunes, or Stitcher. Or both, if you prefer. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 140: Managers making foolish declarations & Argentine Libertadores hopes

Episode 140 of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Peter welcome not one but two special guests – Jonathan Wilson returns to HOP and Rupert Fryer finally makes his long-awaited debut. We discuss Ramón Díaz and Ricardo Caruso Lombardi embarrassing themselves to varying degrees, two managerial changes, as Newell’s Old Boys and more surprisingly, Arsenal de Sarandí both changed bosses, consider the title race and the relegation battle and ask how Argentine sides will do in the Copa Libertadores – four of Argentina’s five representatives are in the knockout stage, with only Newell’s failing to get out of their group. We also look at whether Fernando Gago’s injury is really bad news for either Boca Juniors or Argentina, and have a bit of a laugh at Racing, who’ve been rubbish again lately.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher if you like, and also follow us on Twitter.

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

Episode 139: Looking back on the clásico rosarino, summarising Argentine Libertadores hopes and more

Hand Of Pod episode 139 is a bumper edition, featuring Sam, Santi, Andrés and Peter. They discuss not one but two rounds of Torneo Final action, including a 3-3 thriller between Racing and Estudiantes which no-one saw coming, and a 2-1 away win for Rosario Central in Sunday’s Rosario clásico against Newell’s Old Boys. Three sides lead the Torneo Final on 21 points, with two more just behind them on 20, and the top nine are separated by just three points. We also look at Argentine hopes in the Copa Libertadores – at the time of recording, Lanús, Vélez Sarsfield and Arsenal had all confirmed their places in the knockout stage. A couple of hours after recording ended, San Lorenzo joined them, but just as this episode was uploaded on Thursday night, Newell’s Old Boys crashed out. Santi’s not been on for a while and has grown jealous of HOP new boy Gustavo hugging the lower league limelight, so we also let him give a roundup of Ascenso action, and look at the frankly slightly silly notion that Boca Juniors might be in relegation trouble next season.

Since we recorded, following Newell’s Copa Libertadores exit, their manager Alfredo Berti has resigned.

You can subscribe to us, remember! Click here for iTunes, or here for Stitcher. And if you like us enough and use Twitter, you can follow us on it.

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

Episode 138: reviewing River’s first win away to Boca in a decade, a Libertadores overview and more

L-R: Sam, Will and English Dan. Photo taken more for Mother Kelly's benefit than anything else.
L-R: Sam, Will and English Dan. Photo taken more for Mother Kelly’s benefit than anything else.

The hundred-and-thirty-eighth episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded at lunchtime on Tuesday, over mate, in order for us to get it to you ahead of (most of) the eleventh round of Torneo Final action. It features Sam, English Dan and a brief guest appearance from Sam’s brother, Will, who tells us what it was like watching – or rather, trying to watch – Boca Juniors v River Plate from a cafe on the Bolivian border with a small child who was more interested in cartoons. We dissect River’s 2-1 away win in the superclásico as no other English-language Argentine football podcast can, as well as considering the other results from the weekend and how they affect the title and relegation races. We also take a look at how Argentine sides are doing with one match each of the Copa Libertadores group stages left, give a mention to some very good news for San Lorenzo fans, and much more. Enjoy.

As  ever, Mystic Sam’s eleventh round predictions are below. He’s already got Quilmes v Belgrano right at the time of uploading. You can subscribe to us here on iTunes, or here on Stitcher, and click here to follow on Twitter.

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

Episode 137: Colón still lead the way, Independiente in meltdown & previewing Boca v River

The hundred-and-thirty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés joined by German Dan to discuss an interesting weekend of matches, at the end of which Colón were still top of the Torneo Final pile, and looking increasingly likely to avoid relegation, points deduction or no points deduction. There were surprising results on Saturday and more predictable ones on Sunday, which concluded with a dire goalless draw between Quilmes and Boca Juniors. Boca’s next match is of course at home to their arch rivals River Plate, so as ever we dedicate a chunk of this week’s pod to previewing the superclásico; will River get their first win in La Bombonera in a decade? Can Boca lift their game? We also discuss Dan’s side Argentinos Juniors, and what’s gone wrong for them, and Peter tries to give us a quick lowdown of what mentalness is happening at Independiente this week. All this and more awaits…

As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions for superclásico weekend are below. You can subscribe to us if you like: here on iTunes, or here on Stitcher. And you can also follow us on Twitter.

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