England will tackle the Pumas in Dunedin on Saturday, September 10 in a tricky-looking Pool B encounter.
And having watched France come unstuck against Argentina in Paris in the 2007 tournament opener, Johnson is determined not to suffer the same fate a week on Saturday.
That means Johnson wants his side to sacrifice showing they are potential winners and instead focus on getting the result.
Using France's loss as an example of the pitfalls of trying to put on a show, the England boss said: "The psychology of the game was massive. As I said at the time, all you have got to do is just win.
"The whole thing was starting in their country and there was huge pressure on them to lay a marker down or make a statement.
"Just win the game and get through.
"When we beat South Africa in 2003, that was the most pressurised game and we beat them by 17 points and everyone said that wasn't very good. I would have taken winning by one point.
"If you win by a point, you are still in there fighting."
Although the pragmatic approach may not endear England to the rugby purists of the host nation, Johnson insists he is unconcerned over any criticisms.
Johnson, who skippered England to glory in 2003, said: "World Cups are about handling the pressure and performing over a long period of time and not getting distracted with what people say.
"When you get down to it, they are still games of rugby that need to be won like any games of rugby."
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