As a kid at Manchester United Stewart trained alongside Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes who were both influencing matches in their late thirties.
Those appearances were rationed as the United team evolved but at key stages in the season Alex Ferguson knew that he had two tried and tested players that had done it all before and understood exactly what was needed.
Brown has started all but one Celtic match this season, after below par performances in the Glasgow Derby and against AC Milan there are alternatives in the shape of Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie open to Lennon against Aberdeen tomorrow.
In The Sun, Stewart explained:
The Celtic captain has been a massive leader during a period of success and can continue to be a key player. But what he can’t do nowadays is play every game. To get through 60-plus fixtures at 35 is almost impossible.
You think back to Giggsy and Scholesy at Man United. They played on for years but only because they weren’t used as much. Sir Alex would almost plan out the season for them. He would pick the key games and period he wanted them ready for. He would pull them aside and explain what he was thinking with his team selection.
It worked perfectly. They were left out of the more run-of-the-mill fixtures to make sure they were fresh for the big ones. Giggs and Scholes were still major players for Man United but they just didn’t have to batter their bodies with games every three days.
It’s no coincidence that they played on for as long as they did. Sir Alex managed them both right.
Rogic’s introduction in place of Brown certainly brought extra life to Celtic’s attacking play against AC Milan with the Australian looking difficult to leave out.
A back four seems certain at Pittodrie but the composition of the midfield looks key to giving Celtic the dynamic to recapture the form shown at the turn of the year.
Scholes was still playing at the age of 38 with Giggs making his last United appearance at 40.