'West Ham's owners have messed Moyes around'

West Ham manager David Moyes reacts during a Premier League game against Nottingham Forest
West Ham are ninth in the Premier League table with two games of the season left [Reuters]

West Ham's owners have "messed" David Moyes around and could have shown him "more respect", says former Premier League striker Chris Sutton.

The Hammers announced on Monday that Moyes will leave at the end of the season, with former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui lined up as a replacement.

Sutton said the owners had been "sucked in" by a section of the fanbase who are "entitled" and want "fantasy football".

"To an extent, every football fan now wants this Pep [Guardiola] brand of football," Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Monday Night Club.

"It's not realistic."

In February, Moyes said he had been offered a new deal to stay as West Ham boss - but would wait until the end of the season to make a decision on his future.

In April, Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim apologised for holding talks with West Ham, saying it was a "mistake" - and Sutton believes ongoing speculation about Moyes' future has resulted in a downturn in results.

The Hammers have won just one of their past nine Premier League games.

"I think subconsciously players switch off," said Sutton. "I don't think it has been helpful the fact David Moyes has been messed around by the owners and I think it has had a knock-on effect.

"I just think they may have got this badly wrong.

"There will be West Ham fans expecting the world next season, expecting them to push on, expecting them to be more expansive and I would be surprised if it's any better than it has been under David Moyes.

"The owners have got sucked in to the fact that there is a section of the fanbase who are entitled and they want fantasy football. That's the long and the short of it.

"I just think it could have been handled better and he could have been shown more respect."

Moyes' final home game in charge will be against relegation-threatened Luton on Saturday (15:00 BST kick-off).

Hatters winger Andros Townsend believes West Ham's owners were right to announce Moyes' departure before the end of the season.

"There are rumours as soon as West Ham go on a bit of a bad run - 'Oh, Moyes is going to get replaced'," Townsend told the Monday Night Club.

"I think they [the owners] have done the right thing. They have waited until the season has petered out."