West Ham star Andy Carroll celebrates scoring his second goal in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough
One moment hailed as the Premier League's finest centre forward, written off as a crock the next, bouquets and brickbats have been hurled at him in equal measure.
Right now, however, he is in the zone.
A week after scoring the finest goal of his career, Carroll notched up another double against a Middlesbrough side, justifiably proud of their defensive record yet who found him unplayable at times.
Asked if he's still worth £35m, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was said: "No, no, no, no money. I wouldn't sell him for no money. It's impossible to replace a player like that because Duncan Ferguson has retired."
Carroll is accustomed to such hype but is also wary of the pitfalls that can lie ahead. He has not pulled on an England shirt since 2012 and has scored less than 50 goals in six seasons since leaving his hometown club.
Slaven Bilic insists he would not sell Andy Carroll for any price
But at 28 he is showing signs that the dark days could be behind him. He can even afford a cheeky dig at Bilic, who had claimed he was doubtful for the Riverside match after suffering whiplash scoring his spectacular scissor kick against Crystal Palace.
"I was training and had a sore back on Tuesday and the next thing I know, apparently I've got whiplash from the overhead kick," he said. "I don't know why the gaffer said that."
Not so long ago, Carroll admits he would get upset when labelled injury-prone but with maturity has come realism and honest reflection. "It used to annoy me but how many years has it been that I've been getting that?" he said.
"It doesn't bother me any more and I can't deny I've been injured more than I'd have wanted but that's over with and forgotten about. Hopefully it's all in the past and I'm looking forward to many years of injury-free football.
Carroll claims the mood inside the Hammers' camp has been a cornerstone in their revival, ensuring Dimiti Payet's strike antics have united rather than disrupted the dressing room.
Carroll scoring West Ham's opening goal at the Riverside
"This is a very tight group and our response just proves what the lads have got deep down in themselves," he said. "Our passion for football, for the manager, for our club, everything – no one player is going to destroy anything."
That was reflected again in their performance.
Boro played well themselves and after Cristhian Stuani cancelled out the first of Carroll's two goals, there were times when the home side looked the more likely winners.
So it was bizarre and totally needless for manager Aitor Karanka to launch into a rant against his own fans who he claimed were urging his team to play long balls when in reality, they were just urging Boro on before Jonathan Calleri's late goal killed them off.
Boro's recent run of one win in eight is worrying but midfielder Adam Forshaw said: "We can't just sulk and put our heads down. We have 17 games left and it will be a fight."
Middlesbrough (4-1-4-1): Valdes 6; Chambers 7, Bernardo 5, Gibson 5, Friend 6; Clayton 6; Traore 8, Forshaw 6 (Gestede 84), De Roon 6, Stuani 6 (Bamford 80); Negredo 6. Booked: Gibson, Bernado. Goal: Stuani 27. Next up: Accrington (h) Sat, FA Cup.
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Randolph 6; Byram 6, Reid 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 5; Noble 6 (Fernandes 54, 5), Obiang 7; Feghouli 6 (Collins 84), Lanzini 7, Antonio 7; Carroll 8 (Calleri 67, 6). Booked: Lanzini. Goals: Carroll 9, 43, Calleri 90. Next up: Manchester City (h), Feb 1, PL.
Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).