Things had been a little quiet on the Everton stadium front over the last few weeks and months until Monday.

The last fortnight in particular had been dominated by an altogether unexpected new manager search for the club, with Nuno Espirito Santo now emerging as the firm favourite to take the role.

But to begin this week, the ECHO revealed that the Blues are on site on the waterfront and conducting preliminary works in and around the dock.

Construction is still hoped to start in the second half of this year, with a number of surveys and key tests taking place initially to provide as much information as possible in the build-up to that date.

From that point, it's expected to be approximately a three-year build process until Everton can walk out onto the pitch in their new state-of-the-art ground.

In context, it's really not that far away from this point.

But the news today of preliminary work at least beginning on the site should serve as a stark reminder for Everton while they're on the hunt for their new manager.

This new ground has the purpose of bringing the club right back up to the modern standards, and should make them ready to house European football for years to come in a hugely impressive waterfront arena.

To achieve that, however, there needs to be a clear long-term strategy - and that's something which starts with the latest managerial appointment.

There will be at least three seasons until Everton do move into their ground at Bramley-Moore, if all things go to plan and the timings of planning and construction stay as they currently are.

Not since David Moyes' tenure have the Blues kept a manager at the helm for that long.

Roberto Martinez got close to reaching that feat, although the writing was on the wall for the Spaniard long before he was eventually given his marching orders with one game of the 2015/16 campaign left.

Ronald Koeman followed, but only lasted 16 months until he was given the sack by the club. Sam Allardyce was next, but only lasted until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

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Since then both Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti had around 18 months each at the helm, not coming near the period of stability Everton have really needed from their managers.

The latter, of course, was speaking until recently about wanting to stay in situ until the new stadium was opened.

He said in February: "I would like to be there when the new stadium opens, it will be a good achievement for me of course!

"I think to finish the contract here until 2024 means that you did a good job, and when you did a good job the contract will not be stopped in 2024, I think it continues.

"So for sure I think that for the time that I've spent here, I felt and I feel good.

"I would like to stay as long as possible."

Of course that hasn't transpired, but Ancelotti will have been speaking in a sincere manner at the time. He wouldn't have expected a swoop from Real Madrid once again.

The Italian knew the value of having a project in place for the long-term with the club in the position it is at the minute, speaking about slowly building through European football to eventually be right into challenging on all fronts once again.

Thanks to his surprise exit, though, that process now starts all over again for Everton.

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The Blues can't afford to have another short-term appointment with the move to a new stadium being essentially just on the horizon.

It's imperative that the club can be in Europe by the time they make the move to Bramley-Moore Dock, and can keep that goal in place as they complete their transition to a new waterfront ground.

Santo is the clear front-runner at the minute, and Evertonians will desperately hope that he can be the answer if he is appointed.

Short-term thinking needs to be a thing of the past. The Blues need a system and identity which is going to carry them through to what is going to be an historic moment in this club's illustrious history.

Monday's latest stadium news should be a timely reminder that the long-term is what really matters here.