Three to take Jose's place if axe falls

Jose Mourinho faces the deepest crisis in his extraordinary managerial career.

The defeat by West Ham has heaped massive pressure on the Chelsea board, who see their club languishing in 15th place in the Premier League.

The indiscipline on the pitch is being mirrored in the dugout as Mourinho was red-carded by Jon Moss at half-time while his assistant  Silvino Lauro had already being sent to the stands. This followed the red card handed to Nemanja Mattic on the pitch which reduced the beleaguered Blues to 10 men.

Roman Abramovich issued the dreaded vote of confidence two weeks ago to Mourinho, which almost by default has set up action plan to prepare for the dismissal of the manager should they decide that enough is enough.

The board will seek to appoint an immediate interim man and the people in the frame are current technical director Michel Emenalo, first-team coach Steve Holland and a Abramovich favourite and former Chelsea manager Avram Grant.

Grant is Ghana's manager and will be very familiar with the set-up at SW6 and will know some of the players very well. Chelsea's recent surprise signing, left-back Baba Rahman is a Ghana international.

While Holland is cutting his teeth as Mourinho's number two, his part-time role at the England U-21 coach too will have increased his standing with the board members and he will be considered a safe pair of hands, albeit inexperienced.

Emanalo is naturally well connected with the hierarchy having been a scout and assistant coach before becoming the clubs's sporting director.

His talent for picking players for Abramovich to buy is understood well in the boardroom and should he get to sit in the big chair, even for a short time, he will be confident in his own ability to steer the side out of the relegation-threatened position they find themselves in.

 Chelsea face Stoke City on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup at the Britanian Stadium and host Liverpool at the weekend.

By the time the two matches are concluded, Abramovich will have decided to either stick or twist - stick with Jose or twist the knife in and show him the door.

there does not seem to be an apitite from Chelsea fans to get rid of Mourinho and that, for once will count in his favour.

But the business side of the club is predicated on regular Champikns League football. They could absorb one season on the sidelines, but would expect for normal top four finishes to resume straight away.