Episode 132: The champs are up and running, Boca’s Riquelme-reliance, trouble at River and more

I was up until 6am editing Hand Of Pod 132, so as to be able to get it online before the fourth round of Torneo Final matches kicks off this afternoon. So the least you lot can do is listen to it. Here you go.

Hand Of Pod

In the hundred-and-thirty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by English Dan, Peter and Rob, and we discuss not one but two rounds of league action, with the third round having been played in midweek. San Lorenzo have started looking like the defending champions with back-to-back victories, Estudiantes have started with three straight wins to top the table early on, Racing look like… well, Racing, and it’s been a poor week for Boca Juniors. River Plate are in hot water over another security issue at the Estadio Monumental, and Tigre manager Fabián Alegre might be our new favourite manager. Oh, and Ricardo Caruso Lombardi’s back. All this and much more…

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Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions
Lanús v Vélez
All Boys v Olimpo
Arsenal v Racing

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Episode 129: ¡San Lorenzo campeón!, Lanús claim the Sudamericana, and a general Inicial round-up

The final Hand Of Pod of 2013, congratulating Lanús and San Lorenzo on their titles and looking back over the Torneo Inicial.

Hand Of Pod

The hundred-and-twenty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod is also the last of 2013, and Sam is joined by English Dan and Joel to look back over a Torneo Inicial that was settled in an entirely predictable manner; with all four of the title hopefuls failing to win, meaning San Lorenzo took the trophy by default with the lowest points total of the three-points-for-a-win era. Lanús have the consolation of the Copa Sudamericana, only the third major trophy in their history (and the second in the last six years), whilst River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing and the rest of the pre-season supposed title hopefuls could only look on enviously. We consider Colón’s woeful last few months, look at how Independiente are going at the halfway point of their campaign in the B, and Joel gives us the lowdown on Rodolfo D’Onofrio, who as of Tuesday is the new president of River…

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Episode 123: Maradona’s birthday, Giunta’s balls, and a lot of very angry people

It’s the 123rd episode of Hand Of Pod! What better way to preview the weekend’s action?

Hand Of Pod

The hundred-and-twenty-third episode of Hand Of Pod was recorded on Diego Maradona’s 53rd birthday, and after giving that fact the amount of coverage it deserves, we move on to a review of the last two rounds of Torneo Inicial action. Central shocked Newell’s in the clásico rosarino, River Plate still can’t score and Manu Gigliotti’s in fine form for Boca Juniors. Oh, and RACING HAVE WON A MATCH! Former Arsenal (de Woolwich) player, and now former Quilmes manager, Nelson Vivas clocked a fan and has been replaced by big-balled ‘Argentine Ferguson’ Blas Giunta, and a lot of other people have been getting very aggressive indeed in Argentine stadia. For once, it’s mostly players, not barras. There’s also time to consider whether River Plate goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero really deserves an Argentina call-up, and the amount of attention Mauricio Pochettino’s English managerial exploits are getting in Argentina (short answer: zero).

As ever…

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Episode 122: A World Cup qualifying roundup, previewing the Rosario derby and more

Hand Of Pod

The hundred-and-twenty-second episode of Hand Of Pod gave us a lot to talk about, and it was quite an achievement to have got the final thing down to an hour and a half. Santi hosts in his new home for the first time, and Sam is also joined by German/Chinese/Relevant Dan and HOP debutant Jonathan Gilbert, author of a recent New York Times piece previewing this weekend’s clásico rosarino. We discuss Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign and what they need to improve between now and Brazil 2014, before looking back over a weekend of surprises in the league and asking whether Newell’s Old Boys already have the title sewn up. As already mentioned, Newell’s play their bitter enemies Rosario Central this weekend, and we also preview the return to the Primera  of perhaps the country’s most passionate derby.

As ever, Mystic Sam’s predictions are below. Don’t forget, you…

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Episode 121: Reviewing the superclásico, previewing Argentina’s final WCQs & more

Ahead of Argentina’s final two World Cup qualifiers, and Mauro Icardi’s probable debut for the national team, why not give Hand Of Pod 121 a listen?

Hand Of Pod

The hundred-and-twenty-first episode of Hand Of Pod sees Andrés welcome Sam and Mariano to his living room for the first time, as we look back on Boca Juniors’ 1-0 win away to River Plate in Sunday’s superclásico. That was far from the only talking point of the weekend; we had wrongly-given red cards for diving, two managers left their jobs, another two seem to be on the brink, and Racing, of course, are as awful as ever. We consider what value an injury-ravaged Argentina side can take from their final two World Cup qualifiers, given that their place in Brazil next year is already secure, and discuss Mauro Icardi’s impending debut for the national side among other things.

As usual, Mystic Sam’s predictions for this weekend (for there are domestic matches in Argentina on Saturday, Sunday and Monday) are just below. If you subscribe to us on iTunes, we’ll love…

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Episode 120: previewing River v Boca, and crisis at Racing & Huracán

Episode 120 of Hand Of Pod sees myself, English Dan and new HOP member Fede previewing the superclásico, which will be played this Sunday at 18:15 local time. Enjoy.

Hand Of Pod

The hundred-and-twentieth episode of Hand Of Pod is the first appearance of Fede González, and it’s timed perfectly – he works on one of the most popular unofficial Boca Juniors Twitter accounts around, and has arrived just in time for our big superclásico preview episode. We discuss bad times at Racing and second division giants Huracán and consider another impressive performance from leaders Newell’s Old Boys before turning our eye on the weekend’s biggest attraction: the super. Both River Plate and Boca Juniors won last time out, so come into this one in rude health and both in the title race for the first time in what seems like a long while. Before closing, we also consider Mauro Icardi’s first call-up for Argentina for next week’s World Cup qualifiers, in Lionel Messi’s absence. Since this episode was recorded, Vélez Sarsfield have advanced in the Copa Sudamericana and Arsenal…

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Merry Christmas to all HEGS readers

I've just got in from celebrating Christmas with a friend, on the night of the 24th December as is tradition in Argentina. And as usual, I'd like to wish HEGS readers old and new a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it. I hope you have a wonderful one.

It's transfer deadline day in England, and with numerous things still up in the air it remains to be seen whether Blackburn Rovers really are going to secure the signature of Newell's Old Boys' playmaker Mauro Formica - whose move to Monaco collapsed on Friday - for a fee of €4.2 million. Any Blackburn fans... Continue Reading →

A service announcement

On Tuesday, I'm heading back to Buenos Aires, and that means packing, and loose ends to tie up in England, and getting to see people again when I get off the plane on Wednesday. As such, HEGS will be unlikely to be updated for a few days. Bear with me, and I'll be back and... Continue Reading →

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