Writer: Alex Humpage
Date:Friday May 30 2008
Tony Mowbray has confirmed that he won`t be pursuing a deal for Slovenian international centre back Bostjan Cesar.
The defender, capped 26 times by his country, was signed on a season long loan deal last summer from Olympic Marseille, to whom he will now return. Making his debut in the Carling Cup victory over Bournemouth, he followed in the tradition of technically gifted Mowbray imports; an assured passer who looked comfortable with the ball at his feet, was strong in the air and quick into the challenge.
'Bostin` Bostjan` went on to appear 24 times for the Baggies, 20 of those in the league, scoring one goal in the 2-1 victory of Burnley at Turf Moor in February. As the season progressed errors began to creep into Cesar`s game - perhaps most notably in an away game at Oakwell, one week after the game in which he scored, where he was at least partly at fault for two Barnsley goals in the first half. Mowbray took him off at half-time, and from then he was selected infrequently and made little impact as the season finished.
Cesar`s loss in form coincided with the most difficult part of the season, where then pressure was at its most intense and every game was a 'must-win`. It is perhaps this particularly which influenced TM`s decision not to extend his time at the club, as he believed Cesar would have been unable to cope with then even higher demands of England`s top tier. He also found his chances limited when then fully fit Neil Clement returned from his own loan spell at Hull, and was a pivotal steady influence in the defence which managed to concede far fewer than we scored in our game-packed run-in.
Tony Mowbray told the official site "Bostjan`s a good man… He played a very important part in accumulating the number of points we did and I wish him all the best."
Cesar is only 25, and returns to a team who finished third in one of the top leagues in Europe. If he can remove some of the errors from his game I believe he could be a solid defender in a good side, and I too thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best.
Date:Friday May 30 2008
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