Bale: We can topple Gunners
A Carling Cup defeat aside, Spurs more than matched the Gunners last season, claiming their first away victory at Arsenal for 17 years before coming back from 3-1 down to clinch a point in a pulsating return fixture at White Hart Lane. Despite this, and Arsenal's dismal end of season form, Harry Redknapp's men were still one position and six points behind their neighbours when the season ended, leaving Spurs to settle for a place in the Europa League. Arsenal have dominated the fight for north London supremacy in recent years - a notion backed up by the fact that Tottenham have not finished above the Gunners since 1995 - but after seeing his team-mates tear apart Europe's finest in last season's Champions League, Bale thinks Spurs should be optimistic of topping Arsene Wenger's team in next year's championship. "There's no reason why we can't finish above them," said Bale. "We have a great squad, great players who are still young and we are playing great football. "If we keep progressing like we have done this year, maybe get a few more players in the squad, then there is no reason why not." Arsenal have the edge over Tottenham in the head-to-head record between the two teams, but Spurs' undefeated record in the last three league encounters has left Bale optimistic. He said: "Every game that we play against Arsenal is like a cup final, especially for the fans. It gives them the bragging rights if we win, and we have certainly been doing that over the last couple of years." Spurs brushed aside both Milan giants before reaching the Champions League quarter-final last season, but their poor league form towards the end of the campaign cost them dearly. When his team were at the peak just before the turn of the year, Redknapp claimed that he could lead them to the title within a few years. Bale concurs with his manager's position and thinks that the club is on the verge of greatness. "I think we can achieve something big," the Welshman said. "We can win the league inside a few years, definitely. "It won't be easy with the likes of Manchester City, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool spending money but hopefully we will too. "If we are more consistent against the lower teams in the league then there's every chance of doing what we want to do." Bale's season came to a premature end when he suffered ankle ligament damage from a tackle by Charlie Adam during Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Blackpool on May 7. After suffering back and hamstring problems in the second half of the season, Bale was glad that the injury was not serious and has revealed that he is nearing a return to fitness. "My ankle is OK. Hopefully I should be running again in a few days," he said. Defender William Gallas has backed Bale's assertion that the club can challenge for silverware next season, but only if they eradicate the poor form against the weaker teams in the league. Redknapp's men dropped points against Blackpool, West Ham, Wigan and Wolves last season and Gallas insists Tottenham cannot afford to fall short against poorer opposition next year. "This team can win a trophy, I'm certain of that, but we have to learn from our experiences," Gallas said "Maybe we haven't been as consistent as we should be and that's got to change. If we want to be champions, if we want to qualify for the Champions League, if we want to win the Premier League then we have to be relentless. "I've been fortunate to have won trophies and I know what it takes. You have to go out there, raise yourself for every game, and be prepared to suffer just to make sure you get the three points."