The Crows skipper has kicked a dozen goals in his past five games, though his impact has been queried by some pundits, with Adelaide winning just three games from their past seven starts.
Defender Daniel Talia yesterday leapt to the defence of his captain, insisting Walker’s worth is measured in leadership, not just goals.
“Tex has been a great leader throughout the year,” Talia said.
“On the weekend he was one of the most vocal guys. As captain, you obviously have to be.
“But even if he’s not playing well he’s still giving himself to the group and that is what a great captain does.”
Talia said the Crows, still in second spot after losing four of their past seven games, weren’t overly reliant on Walker.
The Adelaide skipper is averaging 15 disposals and six marks a game, and his side remains the league’s highest scorer.
“I wouldn’t be worried about Tex at all,” Talia said.
“Good teams don’t rely on one player and it has got to be up to all of us to play well in big moments. And I think the group is pretty aware of that.”
The defence follows high-profile critiques of Walker’s game from AFL stalwarts, including former Melbourne captain turned commentator Garry Lyon, who told SEN radio: “I think he’s become so enamoured with team footy and bringing others into the game that I think it might have diminished his ability to want to be that man.”
“They might have to say listen we love what you’re doing but we want you to be more imposing.”
In response, Walker told Triple M: “I’m not in the best form of my life but I don’t think I’m in the worst form either.’’
He said he would “rather be too unselfish than someone saying I’m too selfish”.
The Crows today announced Walker has committed to a new three-year deal which on top of his existing contract ties the 27-year-old to the club until the end of 2021.
“Like I have said many times before, I love the footy club, its people and especially my teammates,” Walker said in a statement.
“I am convinced this playing group can achieve the type of success we all crave and the supporters deserve.
“It will take sacrifice, everyone focusing on what is best for the team and plenty of hard work but I know the boys are up for the challenge.”
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