Episode 34: Argentina’s first World Cup qualifying squad, and two rounds of Apertura matches

Alejandro Sabella has named his first competitive Argentina squad, in preparation for the big kick off at home to Chile early next month. In the thirty-fourth episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam, Dan, Dan and Seba discuss that, as well as a lot more. Boca Juniors top the Apertura table, whilst Lanús have fallen away; we wonder whether Atlético Rafaela really can last the distance, English Dan tells us of a lost virgin in Colón (stop sniggering), and we talk about the organisation of the brand-spanking-new Copa Argentina, and the influence of the infamous barra bravas on Argentine football. All this and more is right here for your listening pleasure.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below, and Hand Of Pod is available on iTunes if you prefer to subscribe to us there.

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Episode 31: Everton’s new centre forward, and the Apertura finally takes off

In the latest episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam and the Dans discuss Denis Stracqualursi, and what Everton fans can expect from him in the Premier League, and an interesting weekend of Torneo Apertura matches which saw the championship finally get going properly. We talk about Ricardo La Volpe’s possible return to Banfield (he’s since been confirmed as the new manager there), Alejandro Sabella’s possible first-ever Argentina starting XI, some animal nicknames which may or may not be used for Argentine players, and Gio Moreno’s probable return to the Racing team (via the subs’ bench) this coming weekend, among other subjects. Enjoy.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below. And you can subscribe here on iTunes. Please send your feedback to sam [at] hastaelgolsiempre [dot] com.

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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 29: Alejandro Sabella’s first Argentina squad(s), and the Apertura begins

The twenty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod is, as the milkmaid said to the parson, quite a whopper. That’s largely because Sam, Australian Dan and Seba have not one but two rounds of Torneo Apertura matches to look back on, as well as River Plate’s historic debut in the Nacional B (second division). There’s more, though; before we can even get onto that, we’ve got – like those Apertura rounds – not one but two Argentina squads to discuss, with Alejandro Sabella having named both a full national team and a domestically-based side to take on Brazil. Carlos Tevez’s exclusion from the former, Juan Román Riquelme’s and Seba Verón’s inclusion in the latter, the new boys’ early performances in the Primera and the start of Vélez Sarsfield’s title defence; all this and much more is covered. And next week’s will be a more sensible length. We promise.

As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below. You can subscribe to us on iTunes here, and please, if you’re resident or a citizen of the UK, sign the petition for the release of the Hillsborough files by clicking here.

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Episode 28: The Hand Of Pod Torneo Apertura 2011 preview

Hand Of Pod’s two resident Racing fans are both on holiday this week, but Sam and Australian Dan are battling on, insistent that their partners’ absence is but a flesh wound, and are joined by the one and only Joel Richards, who does a sterling job of patching the bleeding. On the menu is a discussion of practically every team in the Primera División this season, as well as the AFA’s U-turn on last week’s planned expansion of the top flight to 38 teams, Alejandro Sabella’s appointment as Argentina manager, the unveiling (at last!) of the Best Argentine Abroad of 2010-11 according to our listeners, and more.

Mystic Dan’s predictions are back for the new season, and are as ever below the ‘Continue reading’ line. We’ve also got a juicy video of Marcos Angeleri for the ladies, and a video to Sam’s best friend’s latest YouTube uploads. Nick Ball is the composer of the HOP theme tune as well as a professional musician, composer and producer, and has recently put up a few videos demonstrating techniques from 1910s and ’20s ragtime drumming. It seems only fair that we help spread the word, not least because most of our listeners seem to prefer the music to the actual pod…

Oh, and you can subscribe to us on iTunes right here.

Enjoy the new season!

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Episode 24: Vélez’s title, the relegation run-in… and Martín Palermo’s retirement

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.

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Episode 23: Gambling, prostitution and language learning

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.

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Episode 22: Tevez in the Copa América squad, & your votes are needed!

This week in Hand Of Pod, Sam, Seba, Dan and Dan give their opinions on Javier Mascherano’s sterling job at centre back in recent weeks for new European champions Barcelona, and discuss whether he might also be a good option in the role for Argentina. We run the rule over Carlos Tevez and the other names in Argentina’s Copa América squad – announced right before we started recording – and consider the latests developments in the domestic league as usual. We also want your votes in a poll to find the man our listeners feel has been the best Argentine in a foreign league during 2010-11. Please send them (just the one each, please) to awards@hastaelgolsiempre.com. We’ve suggested a few names for you, but the list is by no means limiting.

Remember, you can get HOP delivered straight to your iTunes by clicking here to subscribe. As usual, Mystic Dan’s predictions are below the ‘Continue reading’ line.

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Episode 21: Maradona goes postal, poor referees & Arsenal’s new boy

We had difficulty shutting up this week. A full 45 minutes of actually quite good stuff (if we say so ourselves) was cut, and the podcast still comes in at over an hour. Diego Maradona is the focus of much of the early part, his ongoing wars of words with AFA president Julio Grondona and Argentina manager Sergio Batista the main reasons, and his unlikely alliance with River Plate president Daniel Passarella. The latter leads us on to more dodgy refereeing in the weekend just gone, before we consider the key fixtures in the run-in as the races for the Clausura title and to avoid relegation approach their defining points. You’ll find a full diagram of the relevant bits of those tables, and the fixtures to come for each team, right here. Oh, and we run the rule over potential new Arsenal man, Vélez’s ‘Ricky’ Alvarez.

Mystic Dan’s predictions, and those all-important tables and upcoming fixture lists, are below the ‘continue reading’ line, as usual. And don’t forget you can subscribe to us on iTunes.

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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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