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Reds defender praises former Blues midfielder's influence on city and team...

Jamie Carragher has hailed the influence that former Chelsea star Joe Cole has had on Liverpool since joining the club.

The England international, who came to the Reds on a free transfer this summer, was sent off for the first time in his career on Sunday for a challenge on Laurent Koscielny in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal to open the season.

Cole will miss the next three Premier League matches as Liverpool have chosen not to appeal the referee’s decision to send the midfielder off.

Despite the sending off, Carragher praised the positive effect that Cole’s move to Reds has had on both the city of Liverpool and the team.

“Joe has lifted the whole city,” Carragher told The Mirror.

“It’s not just in the dressing room, it’s the whole place.

“He’s staying in the centre of town, getting well-wishers all the time, and he’s starting to realise how big this club is. He’s like a God in the city already, so he’s already got the fans on his side.

“Joe is the type of player others love playing with. We saw that in Europe with Stevie and with Torres that’ll come.

“Fernando is used to having Stevie putting him in and now he’s got Stevie and Joe. Joe adds things we never had last season."

Carragher revealed how excited Cole was to make his league debut with Liverpool at Anfield, and expressed his disappointment with the red card decision that prematurely ended his first Premier League match with the Reds.

“He was talking before about how big a game this was for him and, if you think of the matches he’s played for England in World Cups and Chelsea, he was really up for it," Carragher revealed.

“I’m just disappointed for him that it ended like that. You see that tackle so many times, trying to block a ball down the line, and if you don’t get the ball, you can’t stop yourself in mid-air.

"To me, that type of tackle should be a yellow.”

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