It's not a bad read in general actually. It has pretty good, intelligent, largely articulate articles on The Game. Then again, it serves as a pretty good platform to bash referees as well.
In the article Earl Gardner starts off great, giving credit where credit is due in citing several sources and agreeing that Mark is knocking it out of the park so far in Brazil as our (as in yours too Earl) US referee representative. So much so that he even is considering at least a historical revision of the "Geiger Counter" which is a less than clever way to beat the hell out of Mark. Here is the comment from the article:
So while Earl passes kudos to Mark for a job well done, his conclusions about how that has occurred shows what a true neophyte he is to the art of refereeing.
In essence he states that Mark's style is to let the match go until he needs to come roaring in to save it with some dramatic decision. Specifically from the article:
"Accept that this is the league’s culture and call a looser game, stepping in only when things threaten to get out of hand."
He continues by saying that this style fits International play at the World Cup and that Mark essentially got lucky that players are working with him because that's the only way he knows how to control a match.
Foolishness of that assertion aside that Mark (or any referee for that matter) does not try and at times successfully make adjustments to their decision types at a match or a tournament, it also shows a lack of knowledge, not only by the fact that referees for this tournament have been working international matches for months but also have been through lengthy training about how they want matches decided at this World Cup.
It also precludes the fact that adjustments by (US) FIFA referees going from MLS to Olympics to CONCACAF qualifiers to World Cup and up and down and all around happen all the time and frankly are really freaking hard. Somehow Mark has been successful at all of these ... why?
Because he successfully adjusts to the level he is refereeing. A concept that Earl dismisses outright in Mark's ability to "get it right" at the World Cup.
Do you wonder why many FIFA on a World Cup referees over here don't generally do regular league matches? Its to keep them dialed in to what they need to focus on, which is the international game.
Earl has no concept of this reality.
While he pays platitudes in "flipping the Geiger Counter" which is now miraculously to him a measure of how good a referee is, not how bad, the sentiment of the article falls flat, just as platitudes do.
So while Earl believes that Mark simply found gold under a rock that he stepped on, anyone with even a scintilla of soccer knowledge knows better.
It was at least a half hearted effort by Earl to give a referee some credit.
Credit where credit is due indeed.